I first encountered piquillo peppers when dining at an asado - a restaurant specializing in roasted meats - outside Sevilla. This asador specialized in 2 things: whole roasted baby lamb and whole roasted baby pig, cooked in giant hearth ovens and served with side dishes of stewed white beans and plates of deep-red piquillo peppers. Catalonioan Romesco sauce is typically served with fish and poultry; I think it really perks up pork. null To toast the almonds, spread them on a baking sheet and roast in a 350 degrees F oven for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned and the nuts give off an aroma. null Piquillo peppers, which come cooked and peeled in jars and cans, are found in the specialty section of some markets and delis, or can be purchased online. If you can't find piquillos, substitute jarred or canned fire-roasted red bell peppers or whole pimientos.
Recipe courtesy of Bruce Aidells
Print
Total:
55 min
Prep:
20 min
Cook:
35 min
Yield:
2 pork tenderloins
Level:
Intermediate

Ingredients

  • 2 pork tenderloins (1 to 1 1/4 pounds each)
Kale Stuffing:
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil plus 1 tablespoon, for skillet
  • 1/2 cup diced red onion
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic 
  • 1 pound kale, rinsed and drained, stems discarded and leaves cut into thin julienne strips
  • 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 4 slices serrano ham or prosciutto
  • 1 (8-ounce) jar piquillo peppers, drained
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Romesco Sauce, for serving, recipe follows
Romesco sauce:
  • 1/2 cup toasted almonds
  • 1/2 fresh bread crumbs
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 8 ounces piquillo peppers or fire roasted red bell peppers or pimentos
  • 1 tablespoon capers, drained
  • Kosher salt
  • Fresh ground pepper

Directions

Kale Stuffing:

To butterfly the tenderloins: make a deep lengthwise cut down the center, being careful not to cut all the way through. Open the tenderloin up like a book. Place the opened tenderloin between 2 pieces of plastic wrap. Pound with a meat mallet until 1/4-inch thick. Repeat with the other tenderloin.

To make the stuffing: heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until lightly golden, about 6 to 8 minutes. Add the garlic and cook 1 minute more. Add the kale, vinegar, honey, and water. Increase the heat to high and continue to cook, stirring constantly, until the kale is wilted, about 2 minutes. Drain and set aside.

Lay 2 slices of ham or prosciutto over each butterflied tenderloin. Top with half of the kale stuffing, leaving a 1/4-inch border. Carefully open the peppers and lay a single layer over the kale. Roll up each tenderloin and tie at 2-inch intervals with butcher's twine.

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

Sprinkle the tenderloins all over with salt and pepper. Heat a heavy ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat and add the olive oil. Place the tenderloins in the pan and brown on all sides for about 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer the pan to the oven and roast. After 15 minutes, begin checking the internal temperature with an instant-read thermometer, checking every 5 minutes, until the pork registers 140 degrees F to 145 degrees F. When done, remove the tenderloins from skillet to a platter, cover loosely with foil, and set aside to rest for 10 minutes. Remove the twine from the tenderloins, cut them into 1/2-inch-thick slices, and serve with Romesco sauce.

Romesco sauce:

For the Romesco sauce: In a food processor fitted with the metal blade, grind the almonds until they form a thick paste. Add the bread crumbs, olive oil, peppers, and capers and process until smooth. Taste for salt and pepper. Transfer to a serving bowl.

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