01 November 2010

Dried Fruit and Proscuitto Stuffed Pork Tenderloin with Port Reduction

   I first fell in love with this amazing dish at a dinner celebrating my mom's 60th birthday a few weeks ago.  It was so swoonworthy that I couldn't get my mind off of it for days.  Thankfully, an Autumn-themed cooking club with some of my girlfriends gave me the chance to share it (i.e. eat it again myself) in all of it's rich, fruity, port-y glory, with other food-loving friends.  It is SO darn good that even People Who Don't Eat Pork rave over it. 

   If you cook nothing else this winter, please do yourself a favor and find an occasion to make this dish (unless you are a vegetarian, obviously).  Dried fruit, soaked in warm port, scented with thyme and shallots, mixed with creamy Gorgonzola, wrapped in proscuitto and pork tenderloin and paired with a rich, dried cherry port reduction (that uses, I kid you not, an ENTIRE BOTTLE of port)...LAWDAMERCY, it is delectable.  The sauce, alone, is worthy of it's own sonnet.  Serve this all next to a pile of golden roasted or mashed potatoes (that can be used as another vessel for the sauce...did I mention the SAUCE?  :::swooon:::) and a braised dark-leafy-green and you have yourself a meal fit for even the most special of occasions  (perhaps your mom's 60th birthday, for example?  Or dinner with some of your best girlfriends?)

 Please note the empty bottle of port.  
(Please do not note the horrendously stained grout that no amount of bleaching or scrubbing will whiten.  Ahhhh...the joys of living in a very lovely old home with the former owner's crappy DIY tile job.)

The stuffing, pre-Gorgonzola.

 If you're short on evening time this can be prepared in stages and chilled hours before serving and finished about 45-60 minutes before dinner.  I  made the stuffing, reduced the port and stuffed/rolled the tenderloin ahead of time.  Then all that needed to be done for dinner was to brown and roast the pork and finish the sauce.*** 


  • 1/2 cup golden raisins
  • 1/2 cup dried sweetened cranberries (Craisins)
  • 1 cup Tawny Port
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup minced shallots
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup fine dry breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 ounces mild Gorgonzola, crumbled (if you prefer, Goat cheese can be used instead)
  • 4 ounces proscuitto, thinly sliced
  • 2 (3/4 pound to 1 pound each) pork tenderloins, butterflied and pounded slightly to an even thickness 
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • Port Wine Sauce, recipe follows


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (375 for convection oven)

-In a small saucepan, combine the raisins, cranberries and 1 cup Port.  Bring to a simmer, remove from heat and let sit for 10 min.  Drain fruit well and set aside.  Reserve leftover port for sauce. 

-In a medium skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the shallots and garlic and cook, stirring, until soft, about 1 minute.
-Add the bread crumbs, thyme, salt, and pepper and stir until the bread crumbs are lightly toasted, about 1 minute. Remove from the heat and let cool, slightly.  Stir in fruit mixture.  Let cool completely.

-In a medium bowl, combine the breadcrumb-fruit mixture with cheese and stir gently to combine.

-Lay the prosciutto slices over the butterflied pork to cover. Starting about 1/2-inch from the bottom and leaving 1/2-inch on either side, lay the bread crumb mixture in a uniform line across the meat. Pull the bottom edge of meat up and over the filling and roll up into a thick cylinder. Using butcher's twine, tie the meat to seal. Rub with vegetable oil on all sides and lightly season with salt and pepper.

-In a large ovenproof skillet or roasting pan, brown the meat on all sides over medium-high heat, 3 to 5 minutes. -Place in the oven and roast until cooked through and an instant-read thermometer registers an internal temperature of 155 degrees F to 160 degrees F, about 30-35 minutes.

-Remove from the oven and let rest for 10 minutes before carving.
-To serve, remove the butcher's twine from the roast and carve into slices about 1/2-inch thick.  Serve with a generous drizzle of the Amazing Port Wine-Dried Cherry Sauce. 

Amazing Port Wine-Dried Cherry Sauce:
1 (750ml) bottle Tawny Port*  (including any remaining from the dried fruit mixture)
1 cup beef stock
1/4 cup dried sour cherries
1 stick very cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
In a medium saucepan, bring the Port to a boil. Reduce the heat and cook at a low boil until reduced to a thick syrup, 1/4 to 1/3 cup in volume. Add the stock cook until thick and reduced by half.  Stir in dried cherries. Reduce the heat to low, and whisking constantly, add the butter several pieces at a time, adding more butter once the previous pieces have nearly been incorporated, removing the pan from the heat occasionally to prevent the sauce from getting too hot and breaking. Continue until the sauce is emulsified and all the butter has been added.
Adapted from HERE.

*Note:  This is not the time to break out the 20-yr, $100 bottle of Graham's.  I used a bottle of $6.00 Taylor Tawny Port and it was fantastic.
***Caution: The entire preparation for this dish will make your home and surrounding area smell HEAVENLY.   The neighbors may stop by and casually mention their lack of dinner plans for the evening in the hopes of an invitation.

1 comment:

  1. So glad you posted this! I already sent it on to my sister. That was beyond delicious!