Pork, stuffed with pork

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Dinner is planned thusly: browsing at the Farmer’s Market, I buy what looks good. So my friend coming to watch the football game would get pork tenderloin. I also bought some Italian sausage for the freezer, and a variety of fresh vegetables and herbs.

Perusing tenderloin recipes, I kept going back to that one. You know, whatever it is you’re choosing, there’s always “that one” with the siren song, no matter how you pretend to be fair to the others. Whether it’s a house, car, necktie, or pork recipe.

This one was a pork tenderloin stuffed with pork sausage. With the subtlety of Homer Simpson, I drooled a little.  But the recipe looked impossibly complicated, and I wasn’t going to use my good port wine on a pig.

So I streamlined a bit and improvised with what I had on hand. The basic idea was to marinate the pork, then stuff it with cooked sausage and roast it.

The execution was another matter entirely. I’ll walk you through my steps.

2 Italian sausage links (I used mildly hot, or mix hot and sweet)

1 pork tenderloin

olive oil

¾ cup apple cider

2 cloves of garlic

several sprigs of thyme

½ tsp. coriander

½ tsp. cumin

½ TBS fennel seeds

½ tsp. crushed red pepper

kosher salt and pepper

(I may have used other spices and herbs. Don’t worry about it.)


1. Rub the tenderloin with 1 TBS olive oil, 1 clove of garlic, the thyme from 6-8 sprigs, coriander and cumin, and kosher salt, pepper to taste. Marinate in the ‘fridge, a few hours in advance if you can.

2. Preheat the oven to 425°.

3. Peel the casing off the sausage and cook it in the other clove of garlic, with the fennel and red pepper, until just done.

4. Oil a clay ceramic dish and put it directly over low heat. Brown the tenderloin on all sides.

5. Suddenly remember the timer on your dryer doesn’t work and the towels have been in there at least an hour. Run downstairs to take out the towels. The ceramic dish will crack and break, and the smoke alarm will go off. You can skip this step.

6. Salvage the tenderloin, or better yet, brown in on all sides in a regular frying pan. Slice it lengthwise and stuff it with the sausage. Tie it with twine.

7. Place in an ovenproof roasting pan, pour the apple cider around it, and roast about 15-25 minutes, depending on the size of your tenderloin, until the internal temperature reads 145°. Turn off the oven, cover the tenderloin with foil, and leave it in there with the door partially open.

8. Let it rest while you assemble the rest of your dinner. You did prepare the roasted potatoes, cauliflower au gratin with goat cheese and bread crumbs, and green salad, didn’t you?

This stuffed pork tenderloin is quite satisfying, and even better the next day with a poached egg and red curry sauce over rice. You will have to wait until the next installment of “May It Please the Palate” for that one.  I’ve done pleased you enough for one day already.

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Nick Roumel is a principal with Nacht & Roumel, PC, a firm in Ann Arbor specializing in employment and civil right litigation. He also has many years of varied restaurant and catering experience, and writes a food/restaurant column for “Current” magazine in Ann Arbor. Follow him at @nickroumel.

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