It’s the holiday season! So it’s time to make some epic eats with our favorite holiday ingredients, including pork, apples, stuffing, and cranberry. The result is this cranberry apple walnut bacon stuffed pork tenderloin recipe. This recipe has so much going on, you can barely say it in one breath! And when you add apple cider vinegar, honey, dijon and herb sauce at the end, you really can’t say it in one breath.
In this recipe, there are a lot of flavors going on – the sweet tartness of your apple, the bitterness of the cranberry, bread crumbs to soak everything up. Also, pork on top of pork… and I even brined my pork first. I kind of went all out lol. I seasoned both sides with original Dan-O’s Seasoning for the perfect herb and spice blend as well.
The hardest part of this recipe is butterfly cutting the pork tenderloin. You might want to watch a few videos on this, but you essentially make half-inch slices in a spiral until your pork is one large flat piece. From there, you use a meat mallet and smash it down flat and trim off the sides to make one large uniform cut.
I’m a little upset at my local butcher today because what I thought was a 3 lb tenderloin was actually 2 smaller ones stuffed into 1 bag! They totally got me, so I made the best of it. One of my pieces of tenderloin I used to make a giant stuffed pork chop, and the other one I rolled up as the stuffed pork tenderloin as planned. I did not have a favorite of the two – meat parents don’t pick favorites. I still will finish this recipe out like I had a 3 lb loin, though.
So why put pork on pork? Well, the oven can totally dry out pork as you cook it, but bacon has so much fat, it will keep the tenderloin moist the whole time. I usually cook my stuffing just a little bit before rolling it into the pork, just because that’s what the USDA would recommend AND I want to make sure it’s cooked all the way.
This could easily be the centerpiece of your holiday meal or some epic thing you cook on a regular day. Serve with a fresh veggie and probably mashed potatoes. Enjoy!