Years ago, when Ranger Craig and I lived back East, we had the opportunity to visit Plymouth Plantation in Plymouth, Massachusetts. It was an amazing experience each time we walked through the village. So much fun in fact, that we decided to spend several of our Thanksgiving’s at Plymouth, dining at the plantation for a traditional Thanksgiving dinner.
Our oldest gal Tink, was a tike back then. She had as much fun as I did exploring the old plantation. I still have visions of Tink dressed in her emerald-green wool coat with matching beret and bright red patent leather shoes. Visions of those little red shoes running as fast as she could through the plantation. Chasing chickens. Yep, that’s my little farm girl.
One year however, we decided to give the Plymouth chickens a break from our curious four-year old and dined at a local country Inn. It was one of the most delicious Thanksgiving meals I can remember. A pumpkin soup that I’m still trying to re-create, a succulent stuffed roast turkey and apple cranberry dressing, and of course all sorts of delightful desserts.
I’ve always remembered that exquisite meal. Mostly because at that time I could hardly boil water. But truly, I was amazed by all the combinations of clean fresh seasonal flavors that were so prevalent in the delicious food.
In remembrance of those days gone by, I created this beautifully delicious dish. It reminds me of the first Thanksgiving when new settler’s celebrated harvest. And of course, remembrance of all the chickens Tink chased through the village. (Notice this dish is pork, not chicken)
Roast Pork Tenderloin Stuffed with Apples, Cranberries and Shallots
1 ½ lbs pork tenderloin (usually two loins in a package)
Kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper
1 large apple, peeled and diced
1/3 cup dried cranberries
2 tablespoons chopped shallot
2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley, divided
1 cup apple cider
1 cup white wine (can substitute with 1 cup apple juice/cider or white grape juice)
Pre-heat the oven to 375F.
Mix together ½ cup of the diced apples with the dried cranberries, shallots, 1 tablespoon Italian parsley and chopped thyme. Add a tablespoon of olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Slice each tenderloin lengthwise about ¾ deep to make a long pocket. Season the tenderloins with salt and pepper.
Fill the tenderloins with the apple cranberry mixture and then tie with kitchen twine to hold in the filling.
Place the stuffed tenderloins in a baking dish and drizzle each loin with olive oil. Then drizzle with 1 cup of wine and transfer to the oven. Roast for about 20 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 160F.
Place the leftover filling (if you have some left) with the remaining chopped apples in a small sauce pan. Add one cup of apple cider to the chopped apples and bring it to a simmer. Cover with a lid and simmer on low until the apples are tender and the mixture thickens into a light compote or sauce. Season with a little salt and pepper.
When the pork is done, let it rest for a few minutes. Remove the kitchen twine and slice into 8-10 slices per tenderloin. Transfer onto a platter and sprinkle with remaining Italian parsley. Serve with the apple compote and a wild and brown rice or garlic mashed potatoes.