This Pork Tenderloin is stuffed with an irresistible sage and apple stuffing, then wrapped in bacon and roasted until crisp on the outside and juicy on the inside!
Stuffed pork tenderloin is an absolute show stopper of a dish. It looks fancy, but it’s so easy to make. Plus it’s outrageously delicious. Follow me…
Sage and Apple Stuffing
There’s a number of different things you can stuff pork tenderloin with, but today we’re going with a good old classic sage and apple stuffing. Mainly because sage and apple stuffing is horrendously delicious, but also because sage and apple individually pair so beautifully with pork. This stuffing also gives you a nice soft centre, which compliments the juicy pork and crispy bacon on the outside.
The stuffing itself is actually really simple to make. Just a few tips to ensure you end up with the best result possible:
Tips for the best apple sage stuffing
- Finely Dice – I recommend dicing the onion, celery and apple nice and fine. Larger chunks will make the stuffing more difficult to mould, and as a result will make the tenderloin harder to roll.
- Fresh Herbs – Fresh is best with stuffing. Dried herbs don’t really get the time or consistency needed to infuse the stuffing properly.
- Fresh Breadcrumbs – Fresh breadcrumbs will yield a softer stuffing. Just pulse up a slice of bread in a food processor. Preferably a day or so old.
- Pecans – Pecans not only add gorgeous flavour, but they also add a nice bit of texture. These aren’t a traditional addition, but they work really nicely in the context of this dish.
Process shots: melt butter (photo 1), fry celery and onion (photo 2), fry apple, garlic, sage and thyme (photo 3), stir in dijon mustard (photo 4), add breadcrumbs and pecans (photo 5), stir in with a dash of stock or water (photo 6).
Preparing Pork Tenderloin
If you’re not familiar with pork tenderloin, it’s readily available at most local supermarkets or butchers. It’s essentially a long, narrow cut of pork from near the backbone, which as they name suggests is fairly tender. Don’t confuse this with pork loin!
To stuff the pork tenderloin we want to flatten it so it’s easy to roll. To do that we want to butterfly it.
How do you butterfly pork tenderloin?
Sounds tricky, but it’s incredibly simple. Just slice it lengthways through the centre about half way down, then open out the tenderloin so it’s even thickness. From there you want to flatten it so it’s easy to roll. To do this you can use a rolling pin, mallet or even a heavy pan!
Most pork tenderloins are fairly lean, but if theres an excess of fat just simply trim it off before butterflying.
Process shots: lay tenderloin on chopping board (photo 1), butterfly (photo 2), flip (photo 3), lay over cling film (photo 4), pound (photos 5&6).
Stuffed Pork Tenderloin
Now the tenderloin is flat and slightly larger, you’ve got enough room to add the filling and roll it up. Just one extra step –
Pork Tenderloin Wrapped in Bacon
Wrapping the tenderloin in bacon not only obviously adds more flavour, not only does it give you a gorgeous crispy casing, but it also helps secure the stuffed tenderloin. Without using bacon you run the risk of the tenderloin unwrapping (unless you use toothpicks).
Process shots: add bacon and cling film (photo 1), flip (photo 2), add stuffing (photo 3), roll (photo 4).
Roast Pork Tenderloin
When it comes to roasting the tenderloin make sure you place it in the tray seam-side-down, again just to make sure it doesn’t unwrap as it roasts. You can roast it by itself if you’ve got some other sides on the go. I typically add in any veg I need using up, just so you don’t waste the flavour of the fat that renders down! Here I’ve used potatoes, butternut squash and onions.
Do you cover pork tenderloin when roasting?
Because it’s wrapped in bacon there’s no need. You want the bacon exposed so it can crisp up. You’d typically cover the tenderloin to keep it juicy, but the bacon essentially does that job.
Process shots: add tenderloin and veg to baking tray (photo 1), bake (photo 2).
Stuffed Pork Tenderloin FAQ
What temp should pork reach?
It’s safe to eat once the thickest part of the meat reaches 145F/63C. I highly recommend using a meat thermometer for this recipe!
Can I prep this ahead of time?
Yep! Just make it right up until the point of baking (keep it wrapped in cling film) then rest in the fridge overnight. Bring to room temp then bake as stated.
How do I make sure the bacon crisps up?
Roast it at a high temp (425F/220C) and it should get fairly crispy. If it’s not crisp before the pork cooks, just use the grill and broil the sections that need a little help.
Serving Stuffed Pork Tenderloin
Typically I’ll serve this as a centre piece for a Roast Dinner if we don’t want turkey/chicken/beef. In which case I add all the trimmings alongside it. It does work nice for a regular dinner though with some Gravy, Potatoes and Green Beans.
Alrighty, let’s tuck into the full recipe for this stuffed pork tenderloin shall we?!
How to make Stuffed Pork Tenderloin (Full Recipe & Video)
Stuffed Pork Tenderloin Wrapped in Bacon
- Frying Pan & Wooden Spoon
- Large Baking Tray
- Meat Thermometer
- Cling Film
- Rolling Pin or Mallet
- Food Processor (for breadcrumbs)
- Toothpicks (optional)
Ingredients (check list):
- 1 Red/Sweet Apple, peeled & finely diced
- 1 small White Onion, finely diced
- 1 small rib of Celery, finely diced
- 1 large clove of Garlic, finely diced
- 2 tbsp Butter
- 1-2 tbsp Chicken Stock (can just sub water if you don't have stock)
- 1 tbsp finely diced Fresh Sage
- 1 tsp finely diced Fresh Thyme
- 2 tsp Dijon Mustard
- 1/2 cup Fresh Breadcrumbs
- 1/4 cup finely diced Pecans
- Salt & Pepper, to taste
Bacon Wrapped Tenderloin
- 1x 1.2-1.3lb/550-600g Pork Tenderloin (see notes)
- 12-14 slices of Streaky Bacon, or enough to cover the tenderloin
- Veggies for roasting, i.e potatoes, butternut squash, onion, carrots (optional)
- Gravy, to serve (optional)
- In a pan over medium heat melt 2 tbsp butter, then add in onion and celery. Fry until soft and just about starting to take on colour, then add in apple, garlic, sage and thyme. Continue frying until the apple begins to soften, then stir in 2 tsp dijon mustard.
- Add in breadcrumbs, pecans and a good pinch of salt and pepper. Stir to combine, then stir in 1-2 tbsp stock or water, just until it begins to stick together ever-so-slightly. A little tacky if you will. Place pan to one side.
- Grab your pork tenderloin and lay it on a chopping board. Slice lengthways through the centre around halfway down, then open up the tenderloin so it's even thickness. Flip it over then lay a sheet of cling film over and pound until around 1/2" thick. You want it fairly thin, but not so thin it starts breaking apart. Remove cling film.
- Lay over strips of bacon from one end right to the other, overlapping very slightly as needed. Place fresh cling film back on top, the press down and secure around the edges of the chopping board. Carefully flip it over so the clingfilm is on the work surface and the pork is on top (see video for guidance). Season with a good pinch of salt and pepper.
- Add the stuffing in a row towards the bottom of the tenderloin (side closest to you). Tightly roll just the tenderloin, then bring back to the start of the bacon and tightly wrap the rolled tenderloin in bacon. Secure with toothpicks if the seam looks loose.
- Place seam-side-down in a baking tray and roast at 220C/425F for around 35mins, or until the centre of the meat hits 63C/145F. If the meat cooks before the bacon crisps up, whack on the grill and broil until it crisps. Timings will vary slightly depending on the thickness of the tenderloin so I recommend using a thermometer.
- Rest for 3-5mins, then slice up and enjoy!
Quick 1 min demo!
Your Private Notes:
For another ham centrepiece check out my Coca Cola Ham!
For more bacon wrapped goodness check out my Giant Pigs in Blankets!