Feta Fig Squash stuffed PORK roll

Along with welcoming a new squash breed into my cooking, this particular stuffing turned this rolled Pork tenderloin into a special delicacy.

I created another recipe which honoured the use of...

Recipe in brief: dried figs, Port wine, a cinnamon stick and a little time...that's all. Store into a mason jar for a multitude of uses.

This time, these tasty figs...
found themselves into a...
savoury stuffed meat roll.

The textures and flavours of:
Dijon mustard, dried figs macerated in Port and mild Feta cheese...
 all blended incredibly well with a newly discovered sweet squash.

For those who have never heard of her before...
I am pleased to introduce you to 'Sucrine du Berry'

She's a Heirloom variety originally from the town Berry in the heart of France
With her deep orange, sweet and nutty tasting flesh...
she truly quickly became my gift from nature.

This delicious squash is not only great in desserts...she also proved to be perfect for purées as well.
I can't wait until next year to get a bigger quantity and experiment some more ;o)

Another one of Mother Nature's Autumn gifts...
is a short drive from where I reside.
Rolling cascades murmur and roar throughout this peaceful sanctuary.

The Riviere du Nord Regional Park...
is carefully hidden between the city and countryside of our Laurentian area.

One would never know this gem parallels a very busy highway just a few jaunts away.
Whenever I get a chance, this is an absolute visit when I find myself within proximity.

After taking care of our minds, spirits and souls...
how could I not keep following through with nurturing our health with excellent meat products.
 Our occasional consumption of meat leads us to lean towards free-range meats.

Note: For my usual followers, please bare with me.
This next small portion is an excerpt from my post on 'Thrifty Pork Shank Osso Buco'.  
These were words I thought were worth repeating, especially for my new readers:

Not so long ago, I had almost decided to give up meat altogether.  
The sheer amount of antibiotics and hormones alone were turning me off to one more bite.  
Not to mention the mistreating of these poor beasts before slaughter.
However, I was soon reminded that because I was not alone at the table; I had to find a solution.
The answer was to find organic meat which takes into consideration the animal's welfare.

Here are a few suggested PRECAUTIONS with 'certified organic' meat:
. Make sure it's really ‘FRESH’ meat:  
. Be very careful not to be distracted when selecting a package of what you may think is FRESH meat.
. On several occasions, I noticed very small printed labels stating that the pork was pre-frozen.  
. Always take the meat out of its original packaging and into another freezer sealed bag: 
. Place it into the freezer for at least 2 or more hours before putting it back into the fridge to thaw.  
. I take this precaution to wipe out any worry I would have concerning possible bacteria proliferation.  

Yes, I can certainly agree that any organic meat has an elevated price tag.
We have had to make decisions on different eating habits and therefore consume meat less often.
We have also become more appreciative and less mindless about...
every morsel of meat that has been carefully raised, selected and prepared.

This next recipe was not only enjoyed...
it was devoured with a following promise to make this meal again.

Feta Fig Squash stuffed PORK roll
serves 2 main meals

Click HERE for a PRINTER version

(American / Metric measures)

. 1 big [1 lb (500g)] Pork tenderloin filet
. 2 Tbsps. (30ml) Dijon mustard
. 1/2 cup (125ml) sweet Squash* roasted, puréed
. 1/2 cup (100g) mild Feta cheese, chopped
. 1/2 cup (90g) Port figs**, chopped
. 1 Tbsp. (15ml) each butter and olive oil
. 1/4 cup (60ml) Port wine (or other sweet-type red wine)
Seasoning: (prepared together in a bowl)
. 1/2 tsp. (5ml) each of: sea salt, granulated garlic powder
. dried herbs (a dash of each): basil, marjoram, sage, tarragon

* This 'Sucrine du Berry' squash can be replaced by any number of squash varieties: Butternut, Buttercup, Ambercup, etc.  At the limit, canned Pumpkin purée (not pie filling) can also be used.
** Port figs: can be replaced with fresh figs or dried figs soaked in Port for at least one hour before chopping.  There was a dedicated post on Figs bathing in Port.

Prepare and set aside all the stuffing ingredients in advance.

...Butterfly the filet: (my particular technique)
1. Clean the tenderloin pork by skimming off any excess thin layer of membrane and fat.  
2. On a cutting board, place the long tenderloin vertically at a right angle to your body.
3. With one hand, hold down the meat, while the other hand slices throughout the whole length with a very sharp knife.  Careful to stop the cut at the center point.  Open the filet.
4. Now, flip the filet to the other side as flat as possible.  Afterwards, from the center, carefully slice two other flaps, one out to each side.  Again, be very careful not to cut to the end.  Open these two flaps outward.  You now have your flat tenderloin filet.  If there happens to be small gaps, no need to panic, just slice thin pieces of meat from some other thicker portions in order to share and proceed to patch up the holes.  

...Stuffing the 'butterflied' filet: 
5. Prepare a plastic wrap the length of the filet and set aside and close by.
6. Brush and spread the Dijon mustard throughout the flattened filet.  Sprinkle all the seasoning.
7. In the center of the filet, add and layer the squash, feta cheese and figs.   Leave a good frame (about 1 inch/2.5cm) around the perimeter in order for these ingredients to remain within the roll.
8. Afterwards, the filet can now be shaped into a cylinder (original loin's shape) by flapping the longest side over one long end and rolling tightly but gently.  Transfer the filet onto the plastic and roll very tightly.  Twist both ends of the plastic wrap and tuck under.  
9. In order for the roll to develop a holding structure and for the flavours to penetrate, place the roll onto a plate and into the refrigerator for a minimum of 1 hour (or for up to 24 hours).  
10. Take the roll out 30 minutes before getting it cooked.  The plastic should be taken off only right before placing the meat in the skillet.

...Cooking on stovetop:
11. Use a deep enough large skillet.  Sear the roll of pork loin (fold side down) into the melted butter and oil on medium-high heat.  The browning of the meat will take place within the first 2-3 minutes.   Afterwards, gently turn it over to the other side to complete its cooking.  Pour the Port wine over the roll and let the alcohol deglaze the pan as it evaporates.  Cover the pan with the lid ajar for 5 more minutes.  It should be done.  IMPORTANT NOTE:  This meat can be very tender...only IF it is slightly under-cooked.  Careful not to over cook this safe 'pinkness' stage...or else you will remain disappointed with tougher tasting meat.  Pork tenderloin can not truly be eaten any other way.  

     ...Roasting in the oven - Optional cooking method: 
This filet can also be roasted in the oven, however, it's not my primary choice.  
If you insist...here's how:  Position rack on the bottom third of the oven.  
Pre-heat oven at 400F/ 200C.  
Place the tenderloin (folded side down) on an oiled shallow baking pan and roast it for about 30 minutes.  
Note: Halfway through, gently turn it over and pour the Port wine over top.  Keep roasting.   
To detect when the meat has the 'pinkness stage readiness'...make sure to use a meat thermometer.  
When it reads 150F/66C...take it out immediately and set it on a cutting board to rest with a tented foil.

...Resting before Serving:
12. Transfer the rolled filet onto a shallow pan and let it stand with a tight, foil tent for about 10 more minutes.  The resting period is very important, don't skip this step.  This process will continue to lightly cook the meat.   The juices will re-distribute themselves.
The Port wine reduction remaining in the pan can later be used to drizzle over the meat slices.
. Transfer meat roll onto a cutting board and slice it into 1 inch (2.5cm) thick pieces.  Serve. 

Serve with a side of roasted onions and sweet potatoes or side dish of your choice.

Hope peace and tranquility find a space to nurture you this week ;o)

Buon appetito my friends and flavourful wishes,

Comments or suggestions ... write me :o)
Claudia at:  foodessa [at] gmail [dot] com

Go HERE for more SAVOURY creations.

Please take note on how I bake and cook...
Here’s a 101 of sorts to make sure that there are no disappointments when trying my creations.  
Also...just so you know...feel free to increase the salt and sweet factor since I'm not high on either of them ;o)

. Use DRY cup measurements for...you guessed it...all DRY ingredients.
Anything DRY gets measured by spooning the overfilled ingredient (never shake the cup) and then level off with a flat edged tool.  Exception...Brown sugar should be packed in and leveled.
. Use LIQUID cup measurements for...all LIQUIDS that cannot be leveled like for example butter, yogurt...etc.  Measure the liquids at eye level to avoid overdoing what the recipe truly needs.
OVENS are unfortunately not created equal.  Mine is so old that it has reached many degrees off it's norm.  It's really worth investing a few dollars to test yours with an appropriate oven thermometer.  You'd be surprised how many ovens I've heard about not being where they should have been.  Before you lose any more ingredients and much time preparing a new recipe...run to the store...you'll thank me later. 

Other related recipes that may be of interest: