Juicy, tender Mediterranean Stuffed Pork Tenderloin covered in a tangy Balsamic and Rosemary sauce.
Poor pork tenderloin. Can you imagine living under the shadow of bacon your whole life? Talk about feeling like the ugly duckling. While bacon has entire websites and Facebook pages dedicated to celebrating its goodness, pork tenderloin has faced a myriad of insults–too dry, too tough, too flavorless.
Guys? Pork tenderloin deserves better. So today I’m joining the Ohio Pork Council to raise awareness about pork loin bullying and educate individuals on how to treat them right.
Here’s the deal. That whole dry, tough, flavorless stuff? It’s not the pork’s fault. Pork was never meant to be cooked to the dull, gray, lifeless color we’ve subjected it to for years. Instead, pork shines brightest when it’s cooked to 145 degrees and left with a gorgeous rosy blush of pink.
When cooked to the right temperature, pork loin takes center stage. It shoves bacon to the side and steps into the role it was destined to play: Stunning dinner party entree, Easter main course, or easy weeknight family meal.
This Mediterranean Stuffed Pork Loin packs a BIG flavor punch. Spinach, feta, garlic, and sundried tomatoes provide a creamy, tangy, subtly sweet center, while balsamic vinegar, lemon zest, rosemary, and oregano lend fresh flavor to the exterior of the pork.
And the pork itself? It’s outrageously tender and juicy. The perfect canvas for all the flavors of the Mediterranean.
There are a few ways to stuff pork loin, but I find the easiest one is to simply slice it in half, spread the filling down the center, then fold it over. You can ask your butcher for some butcher string to tie it up, but I’ve cooked it without the string and it turned out fine that way as well.
If you haven’t picked up a meat thermometer yet, I highly recommend adding it to your wish list. It makes all the difference in cooking juicy pork, exactly medium steaks, and even the perfect Thanksgiving turkey.
Every oven and cut of meat is different, so a thermometer is the most reliable, consistent tool you have to cook your meats. And remember, you can always place a piece of meat back in the oven or the skillet, but you can never bring it back from it’s gray, lifeless grave!
This month the Ohio Hog Farmers are celebrating the donation of over 1,000,000 (that’s 1 million) pork meals to the Ohio Association of Foodbanks. That means more families are getting to enjoy the goodness of juicy pink pork, and they want you to experience it too!
Now through April 20th you can enter the Pin for Pork Contest where you have a chance to win $500 in groceries! (That’s a lot of pork!) We can all use a little extra help on the grocery bill here and there, so head on over to the contest page to enter!
To find out more about the Ohio Hog Farmers, you can like their Facebook page where they post recipes using all your favorite pork products (yes, there’s bacon. Lots of bacon).
I hope you’ll give pork a starring role at your next family gathering and help spread the word about #PinkPork. Together, we can stop pork bullying and be on our way to a juicier, more flavorful future!
This post is sponsored by the Ohio Pork Council and Ohio Soybean Council. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.
Mediterranean Stuffed Balsamic and Herb Pork Loin #PinkPork
- 1 1/2 lb. pork tenderloin
For the filling
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 3 garlic cloves
- Pinch red pepper flakes
- 5 cups packed baby spinach
- Pinch salt
- 1/2 a 7 ounce container sundried tomatoes packed in oil (About 6 tomato pieces), chopped
- 3 ounces feta cheese
For the coating
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 2 teaspoons dijon mustard
- 1 Tablespoon rosemary, chopped
- 1 Tablespoon oregano, chopped
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 3 cloves garlic, grated
- 1 heaping teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
- For the filling:
- Heat the oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Add the pepper flakes and grate the 3 cloves of garlic into the oil. Saute until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the spinach and allow it to wilt, about 2-3 minutes. Sprinkle lightly with salt then remove the mixture from heat. Place the spinach mixture in a paper towel and squeeze gently (be careful, it's hot!) to release any excess moisture. Place the spinach in a small bowl and stir in chopped tomatoes and feta cheese. Set aside.
For the topping:
- Combine balsamic, oil, mustard, herbs, lemon zest, garlic, salt, and pepper in a small bowl and whisk until smooth. Set aside.
- Slice the tenderloin down the middle lengthwise, leaving just about a ½ inch intact on one side. Open the top half and lay it flat. Spread the spinach mixture evenly down the center of the loin. Fold the top half back in place and use butcher's string to tie it together in 3-4 places. Place the pork loin in a roasting pan then smear all sides with the topping.
- Roast the loin for 15 minutes, then reduce heat to 375 degrees and roast an additional 20-30 minutes or until a thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the loin reads at least 145 degrees. Allow the pork to rest for 10 minutes before slicing and serving.
Recipe by Neighborfood