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My family always prepares pork during our end of the year festivities. While pork is the constant, we like trying new recipes each year, and this Stuffed Pork Tenderloin with Apricot-Habanero sauce is my latest creation.
This recipe post was made possible by Smithfield® and DimeMedia. My comments, opinions, and love for holiday dishes are my own.
I love preparing stuffed tenderloin for parties. It always looks so festive and spectacular on the Thanksgiving or Christmas table. The most fun part for me is deciding which flavor combinations to use. The possibilities are endless. For example, once I made a Stuffed Pork Tenderloin with Jerez Cranberry Chiptole Sauce.
This one I stuffed with carrots, bacon, parsley, and dried fruit. The sauce balances the sweetness of apricot with the pungent flavors of habanero and garlic. The habanero is known for heat, but it has a beautiful fruitiness, too, which mixes beautifully with apricot. Having said that, be careful with this chile. The habanero is one of the hottest you can find, so be mindful when working with them and try not to touch the seeds.
It all begins with a beautiful pork tenderloin. The tenderloin is like a fillet of the loin (or filet if you want to give it a French flare). This one, from Smithfield®, was tender, fresh and came in a package with two cuts equal to four servings each. This allows you to either save some for later, double the recipe, or, if you’re feeling adventuresome, to prepare two different recipes. It’s your choice.
Stuffed Tenderloin with Apricot-Habanero Sauce
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Beginning to end: 1 hour and 15 minutes
For the Pork Tenderloin
- 1 Smithfield® Pork Tenderloin
- 1-2 large carrots, peeled and cut lengthwise in quarters to make four long sticks.
- 2-3 slices of bacon, cooked and cut lengthwise in thin strips
- 5 sprigs of fresh parsley, leaves washed and removed
- 1/8 cup raisins of mixed colors
- 2 dried apricots, cut into thin strips
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Garlic salt to taste
- Pepper to taste
For the Apricot-Habanero Sauce
- 1/2 white onion, cut in strips
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled and cut in half lengthwise
- 1-2 Habanero chiles seeded*
- 1 cup apricot preserves
- 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
- 3/4 cup orange juice
- The zest of 1 yellow lemon
* Habanero chiles are very hot. If this is your first time using them, I recommend using just one. Take care when working with them.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. (~220C)
Separate the two cuts of pork tenderloin. If you’d like to do two different recipes, check out my stuffed pork tenderloin with sweet and sour chipotle and sherry recipe.
Rinse off the tenderloin under fresh cold water and lay out on a cutting board. Using an ice pick or knife, depending on the thickness of you tenderloin, carefully make 2-4 holes the entire length of the tenderloin.
With your fingers fill the holes you created with carrots, bacon, parsley, raisins and apricot slices, alternating between ingredients.
Oil the entire surface of the tenderloin with olive oil and season generously with garlic salt and pepper.
In a pan, seer the tenderloin on all sides to brown and transfer to a baking dish, line the tray with aluminum foil, and place in the oven. Save the juices in the pan for later.
Bake for 15 minutes, uncovered. Then lower the temperature to 350 degrees F (175 C). Cover the tenderloin with aluminum foil and bake for 8-10 more minutes or until a thermometer placed in the center of the pork reaches 155 degrees F (68.5 C).
Remove from oven and let rest covered for 10 minutes. It’s important to let it rest so the juices are absorb into the meat and are not lost when you cut into it.
While the tenderloin is baking, make the sauce.
Using the same pan where you browned the meat, add the onion, garlic, habanero(s), apricot preserves and vinegar over high heat. Stir. You will see bits of browned meat that were stuck to the pan coming loose and combining with the other ingredients. Let simmer for 5 minutes.
Add the orange juice and lemon zest, cook for 3 minutes more. Then, add the sauce to the blender and blend for a few seconds until all the ingredients are completely integrated.
Serve on top of the stuffed pork tenderloin.
For generations, Smithfield has proudly offered the highest-quality pork to families. I invite you to visit SaborSmithfield.com (in Spanish) for delicious recipe ideas. And follow #SaborSmithfield on social media to see more delicious dishes for the holidays.
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