Grabbing the Gusto

Deirdre Reid – Freelance Writer & Home Cook

Pork tenderloin stuffed with bacon and mushrooms is a recipe taken to the next level because of porcini powder — dried porcini mushrooms turned to dust in a coffee grinder.


Oh my, this is good. I made it only once but enjoyed it on two different nights. I bought two tenderloins instead of one, but since they were on the small size, I put one — stuffed, dusted and ready for the oven – in the freezer. We had that one last night. It was a “damn, this is good” moment.

The original recipe on Food52 called for pancetta but I already had bacon in the refrigerator so I made that change. It’s worth buying a bottle of Marsala wine to have in the cabinet for moments like these. You really can’t find a substitute for Marsala and have that same flavor. And you’ll have an excuse to make Chicken Marsala.

Now about that porcini powder, yes, it’s worth it. The porcini powder has an earthy deep flavor – a fantastic complement to the stuffing. You should be able to find a small cellophane package of dried porcini mushrooms at your supermarket.

I used an extra coffee grinder to turn the dried mushrooms into powder. An extra coffee grinder is also handy for grinding spices, like fennel seeds, if you don’t have any ground fennel. Fennel (seed or ground) is an MVP spice that  adds a flavor to dishes that’s hard to replicate.

This dish requires more work than a normal weeknigh dish, but the steps are easy in themselves, although I always forget how to tie up the tenderloin. I try to channel Jacques Pepin and that helps, but I think I need another lesson on that from the master.

Bacon and Mushroom Stuffed Pork Tenderloin | Grabbing the Gusto

Bacon and Mushroom Stuffed Pork Tenderloin | Grabbing the Gusto


Bacon and Mushroom Stuffed Pork Tenderloin

You’ll need a large skillet, meat pounder, coffee grinder, butcher string, a roasting pan large enough for the tenderloin and a meat thermometer.

For the stuffing:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 ounces sliced bacon (or pancetta) cut into a fine dice
  • 2 cups diced mushrooms
  • 1 large clove garlic, crushed
  • 1 cup fresh bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup chopped flat leaf parsley
  • 10 fresh basil leaves sliced thin
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 cup Marsala wine

In a large skillet, cook the bacon in oil until almost crisp. Add the mushrooms and garlic and continue to cook until the mushrooms brown a bit.

Stir in the bread crumbs, parsley, basil, salt and pepper until all is combined. Stir in the Marsala and set aside while you prep the tenderloin.

Putting it together:

  • 1 pork tenderloin, about 1 1/2 pounds, butterflied lengthwise and then pounded with a meat mallet to form a rectangle about 6 by 12 inches
  • 1/2 teaspoon porcini powder (ground from dried porcini mushrooms)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground fennel seed
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • Olive oil for rubbing the roast
  • Stuffing (from above)

Preheat oven to 350. Put the empty roasting pan in the oven to preheat. Spread the stuffing mixture lengthwise down the center of the butterflied tenderloin and then roll the roast and tie with butcher string to secure.

Rub the entire roll with olive oil and then combine the porcini powder, ground fennel, salt and pepper and rub that over the roast.

Clean out the skillet, spray or smear it with cooking spray or oil, sear the roast on all sides until well browned. Put it in the preheated roasting pan.

Roast uncovered for 40 to 45 minutes, or until cooked to an internal temperature of 145. Let rest about 10 minutes before removing the string and slicing.

Original recipe: Pancetta and Mushroom Stuffed Pork Tenderloin, Food52

1 year ago on Grabbing the Gusto: Beef and Stout Stew

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