December 25, 2012 by Jason Rice MD
This is one of my favorite combos…so I think it’s an appropriate meal for my first post that includes a side dish. This was our family’s Christmas dinner this year, but it’s a great meal any time of the year. The pork was marinated in a mix of cherry hot sauce and worchestershire sauce and stuffed with a cherry chutney, garlic and onion. The brussels sprouts were roasted with a mix of onion, garlic and bacon.
Now, I know that brussels sprouts don’t get a lot of love from many people, but that’s mostly because people boil them to death, and then boil them a little longer for good measure. For those of you that hear the words “brussels sprouts” and immediately picture mushy grey/green/brown balls of pure vegetable evil are about to have your perspective adjusted with this recipe. Roasting the little sprouts not only makes them extra tasty, but it has converted many people into brussels sprout addicts (myself included). And, for any doubters, there’s photographic proof at the end of this post that even a 1-year-old will eat brussels sprouts when roasted to delicious perfection.
Since I was busy snacking, talking and generally enjoying Christmas Day, I didn’t stage quite as many photos. Notably, no shot of all the ingredients lined up. Regardless, I hope you enjoy this recipe! (Note: For these photos, I made double the quantities listed for our family dinner, but the recipe reflects the base recipe to serve 3-4 people)
- 1 Pork Tenderloin
- Sweet Onion, minced
- Garlic, 1-2 cloves minced
- Cherry Hot Sauce (Courtesy of my parents, found in Door County, WI)
- Cherry Chutney (Courtesy of my parents, found in Door County, WI)
- Worhchestershire Sauce
- Black Pepper
- 1 package of fresh brussels sprouts
- Worchestershire sauce
- Olive Oil
- Bacon, 2 slices chopped
- Kosher Salt
- Black Pepper
At least 1 hour prior to cooking (no more than 24 hours), trim your pork tenderloin of any extra fat and remove the silver skin (tendon) by sliding a knife under it and trimming it off. Place the pork in a gallon ziplock bag and add about 2 tablespoons of worchestershire sauce and 1-2 tablespoons of cherry hot sauce. (In the past, I have used worchestershire sauce with the juice of one lime, and a few dashes of regular hot sauce). Place the bag in the fridge to marinate.
While the pork is marinating, start prepping your veggies. Trim the stems off the brussels sprouts and remove any loose leaves that are easily removed. Slice each sprout in half and place the sprouts into a ziplock bag with some kosher salt and black pepper. Shake vigorously to cover all the sprouts with salt and pepper. Place the sprouts in the fridge until you’re ready to cook them.
Mince up your onion and garlic and set aside for stuffing your pork. If you don’t have cherry chutney on hand (and really, how often does anyone have cherry chutney on hand), I like to chop up mushrooms to go with the onion and garlic as stuffing for the pork. Obviously, you can stuff the pork with anything you like…including…stuffing. You’ll also want to chop up your two slices of bacon for the sprouts and set that aside as well.
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees, and pull the pork out of the bag and onto a cutting board. To stuff the tenderloin, you’ll want to fillet it open. First, make a cut the length of the tenderloin about 3/4 of the way through and spread the meat open. Make two similar cuts into the deepest part of each half so that you can spread the meat open. Place all of your stuffing ingredients and a little black pepper along the open part of the pork and gently fold it back together.
Wrap the pork snugly with slices of bacon. If you wrap it well, you do not need twine or toothpicks to hold the pork together. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper to prevent sticking. The pork will roast for about 30 minutes.
After putting the pork in, you can get to work on the final prep for the sprouts. Open the back and add 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil, 1-2 tablespoons of worchestershire sauce and the chopped bacon. Reseal the bag and shake well to coat the sprouts and distribute the bacon. Place the sprouts on a second baking sheet lined with foil. The sprouts will take about 20-25 minutes to roast, so you can add them after the pork has been in about 10 minutes and they will finish at the same time.
Keep an eye on things as you get towards the end of the roasting time. The sprouts will get a little char on them, which adds to the flavor, but you don’t want them to tip past roasted deliciousness into charcoal. You’re looking for some browning on the top, which is when you know you’ll have just a little bit of char below. If you don’t like the char, you can always pull them out a little sooner.
The bacon won’t completely crisp, but it shouldn’t be raw looking either. Once you start seeing some nice browning of the bacon, you’ll know that the pork underneath is just about perfect. Take it out and let it rest for at least 5 minutes, preferably 10, prior to slicing and serving.
That’s about it. I hope you enjoy this at your next special family event…or just the next time you need a tasty dinner for yourself and your family. And, as promised, a photo of our little guy chowing down on the sprouts. He even had seconds!