This dish wins major points for presentation, as well as for meaty goodness. It is a great main course for when company comes over; it can serve quite a few hungry guests, and even though it looks impressive, the preparation is not difficult at all. I served my pinwheels with baked sweet potatoes topped with coconut oil for a well-rounded dinner, and still had plenty of leftovers for lunch the next day.
1 2-3lb pork tenderloin
1 lb sausage
1 medium onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 10oz package frozen spinach, thawed with the water squeezed out
1 tsp sage
Salt and pepper to taste
Begin by browning your sausage in a large skillet. Remove the sausage to a large mixing bowl, and leave the fat in the skillet to sauté your onion and garlic. Once the onion has begun to caramelize remove it to the mixing bowl and add in your spinach, sage, salt, and pepper. Mix until everything is well combined. Now would also be a good time to preheat your oven to 250.
Now you will need to butterfly your pork tenderloin. Cut it lengthwise, cutting almost, but not completely, through the meat. Flatten the roast, then perform the same cut on each of the two sides. Bring your knife back to the center crease and start cutting outward, parallel to the cutting board, being sure not to cut completely through the meat. Unfold your meat, which should now resemble a relatively flat rectangle. If you wish, you can flatten the meat out even more using a meat mallet, but I found this step to be entirely unnecessary.
Evenly spread the stuffing over the top of your pork. Now you need to roll your roast. You want the roast to be as long as possible, so select the longest side and beging tightly roling the pork onto itself. Place your roll seam side down and tightly tie with kitchen twine in three or four locations to make sure that it stays together. Season with salt and pepper and spread a little bit of olive oil evenly over the top, then place in your roasting pan.
Cooking time can vary. I prefer to cook the roast for a good 3 hours and then bump up the heat at the end. The lower heat and longer cooking time creates a super moist roast. A higher temperature will cook the roast much more quickly, but will also dry it out. The only important thing to remember is that the internal temperature must reach 160 – a good thermometer will tell you exactly when your pork is done. When it reaches 160 immediately remove it from the oven and allow it to rest for about 10 minutes. This is a very important step; if the pork does not get the chance to rest the juices will run out, and you will miss a lot of the flavor and moisture.
When you are ready to serve, cut the pork in sections with a sharp knife. Allowing the pork sufficient time to cool will also facilitate this beautiful roll effect. If you cut it too soon the roast will not hold together. And of course be sure to remove all the pieces of twine before serving – nobody wants a surprise mouthful of string.
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