Pastry-Wrapped Pork With Brandy-Cider Reduction
If you are looking for a recipe with a perfect blend of rich flavor and elegant presentation for a special dinner party, you may want to give this one a try. It is surprisingly easy to prepare, and with a little planning in advance, it really doesn't require a lot of last-minute fuss.
- For the filling:
- 3 ounces cream cheese
- 1/3 cup dried apples, chopped
- 1 tablespoon brandy
- 1 small clove garlic, finely chopped
- 2 teaspoons fresh sage, finely chopped
- For the pork:
- 3 or 4 thin slices prosciutto
- 1 lb pork tenderloin
- 1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed
- 1 egg, beaten with 1 tablespoon water
- For the sauce:
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 shallot, minced
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1-1/2 cups apple cider
- 1/4 cup brandy
- 1 tablespoon fresh sage, finely chopped
In a small bowl, combine the cream cheese, dried apples, brandy, garlic and sage.
Trim any fat and silver skin from the pork, then cut a slit down the length of the tenderloin, about 3/4-inch deep, for the filling. Spread the cream cheese mixture inside the slit and push the tenderloin back together gently. Lay the prosciutto slices side by side on a flat surface. Place the pork, filling side down, on top of them and wrap the slices around the tenderloin until they overlap.
Preheat the oven to 400°F.
Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium-high heat in a skillet large enough to hold the pork. Sear the tenderloin on all sides, turning frequently with tongs, until the prosciutto is lightly browned, 4 to 5 minutes. Remove from the skillet and refrigerate for about 10 minutes.
Trim a strip about 1-1/2-inches wide from one side of the pastry sheet and reserve for decoration. Roll the balance out to a 12 x 15-inch rectangle. Place the pork on the pastry and fold the long sides up over the tenderloin. Press the edges to seal, crimp the ends and fold them under to make rounded ends.
If desired, use the reserved pastry to make some decorative cutouts for the top of the pork.
Place the tenderloin, seam side down, on a parchment lined baking sheet. Brush the pastry with the egg wash. Gently press the pastry cutouts on top of the pork and brush the entire tenderloin with the egg wash again.
Bake the pork for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Allow it to rest for at least 5 minutes before slicing.
While the tenderloin bakes, melt the butter in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the shallot and garlic and cook until soft and fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the apple cider and brandy. Turn up the heat and boil for for 12 to 15 minutes, or until the liquid is reduced by about half and it reaches a syrup-like thickness. Stir in the chopped sage and transfer to a serving dish.
Makes 3 to 4 servings
If your pork tenderloin tapers a lot at one end, try to fold that under a bit prior to wrapping with the prosciutto. Also, when carving the finished tenderloin, make your slices fairly thick ~ about 3/4-inch. I've had the best luck using an electric carving knife, but a sharp bread knife works well too. This will help to keep the pastry intact and give the nicest presentation.