Nutty Cheese and Apricot Stuffed Pork Tenderloin

Temps des Fêtes 2006
food and drink

BY: Jennifer MacKenzie

The cheese in this stuffing lends a nutty flavour and slightly creamy texture to dried fruit and herbs in this festive pork dish. Look for a semi-soft or firm cheese that can be finely shredded (cold cheese shreds better) and use the fine side of a box grater to make sure cheese gets evenly spread through the stuffing. Experiment with Canadian cheeses such as Cantonnier, Oka or Miranda (the 2006 Canadian Grand Prix Swiss-type category winner from Fromagerie Fritz Kaiser) or European classics such as Gruyère, Emmenthal, raclette or Jarlsberg. You can even use a different cheese in each tenderloin to accommodate more adventurous or more timid palates.

2 pork tenderloins
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tsp (10 mL) chopped fresh thyme
1 garlic clove, minced
Pinch cayenne pepper
2/3 cup (150 mL) finely shredded semi-soft or firm nutty-flavoured cheese
½ cup (125 mL) thinly slivered dried apricots
2 tbsp (25 mL) butter, melted

1. Preheat oven to 375ºF (190ºC).

2. Trim fat and silver skin from tenderloins. Cut tenderloins in half lengthwise, almost but not all the way through to butterfly. Open up and cover with plastic wrap. Pound with a meat mallet to even thickness, about ½-inch (1-cm). Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Combine thyme, garlic and cayenne and sprinkle evenly over surface of pork. Sprinkle with cheese, then place apricots on top. Starting at 1 long edge, tightly roll up tenderloin jelly-roll style to enclose filling, tucking in each end. Skewer together at the ends and seam or tie with kitchen string. Set aside.

3. Heat a roasting pan in oven for about 10 minutes or until hot. Place tenderloins, seam-side down in roasting pan. Brush with melted butter and season outside with salt and pepper. Roast for about 30 minutes, brushing with pan drippings twice, or until or until meat thermometer reads 160 ºF (70 ºC) and just a hint of pink remains in pork. Place on cutting board and tent with foil for 5 minutes.

4. To serve, slice pork on the diagonal. Drizzle with any pan juices.

Serves 4 to 6

What to Serve