I’ve been taking it slow this week: my office is closed for the holiday longer than other offices (it’s amazing!) and so I have time to relax. It’s just me — most everyone else is back to their regular routine. A week an a half with nothing to worry about except binge watching Reign, adding some stitches to my knitting project, and concocting interesting lunches. It may get old after a few days, but for now I’m just basking in the glory of laziness.
Lots of free time = time to make those dishes I never get to. Things that require attention, extra effort, or a long roasting time. Things like this pork roast, which is first butterflied, and then filled with some of my favorite ingredients: dried figs, freshly picked rosemary from our small tree-shaped rosemary bush, sautéed onions, garlic, and golden colored butternut squash. The entire roast is rolled, tied, and seasoned, and finally roasted in the oven until all of the ingredients are ripe with sweet & savory aromas.
This recipe is for the slower days, when life gifts you a bit of extra time. It really doesn’t take that long to make, but it fits well with a slow-paced day.
Serves: 6-8 | Total Time:
- 1 (2 pound) pork tenderloin
- 1/2 yellow onion
- 1 teaspoon coconut oil
- 2 cloves garlic
- 4 sprigs of rosemary, plus more for garnish
- 1 small butternut squash
- 1/4 cup dried figs
- Salt & Pepper
- Baker’s twine or string Optional - Mustard Creamy Sauce:
- 1 tablespoon butter or coconut oil
- 1 teaspoon arrowroot powder
- 1 heaping tablespoon dijon mustard
- 1/2 cup milk, or milk alternative (like almond milk)
- Salt & Pepper to taste
- First, butterfly the pork. Set aside. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
- With a clean knife, slice the onion. Heat the coconut oil over medium heat in a skillet. Once the oil is hot, add the onion. Mince the garlic, and add it to the pan. Sprinkle with salt to get the onions to soften faster. Mince the rosemary, and stir it into the onion/garlic mixture. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are golden
- While the onions cook, prepare the squash and figs: Peel the skin from the squash, and remove the stem. Cut in half, and remove the seeds. Use a large knife to cut the squash into 1/4 inch match sticks (like french fries). Place the cut squash in a steam basket in a pot with 1 inch of water. Cover, and place over medium heat, bringing water to a simmer. Steam squash until it’s softened through. Slice the figs horizontally into very thin pieces. Discard stems, and set sliced pieces aside.
- Cut four pieces of twine, long enough to be tied around the tenderloin. Assemble the pork loin: lay the butterflied tenderloin out on a cutting board in front of you, so that it lies flat. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Arrange the filling ingredients in three rows, the long way: onions, squash, figs (I did not use all of the squash, and served leftovers as a side dish). Now, as if you were rolling sushi, firmly roll the tenderloin back up. Tie the roll closed with the reserved twine, and season with salt & pepper. Place tenderloin on baking pan and bake in over for 40-55 minutes— until a meat thermometer reads 160°F when inserted into the thicket part of the meat (time will vary depending on oven and thickness of tenderloin). Remove from oven, and allow to set 10 minutes before slicing. Serve warm, drizzled with mustard cream sauce.
- If you are making the sauce, right as the pork comes out of the oven — by the time the pork has set on the counter for 10 minutes, the sauce will be ready. Heat butter in a small pan until bubbling. Turn down the heat to low, add arrowroot powder, and use a wooden spoon to stir into the butter. A paste should form. Once arrowroot is mixed in well, add milk and mustard to the pan. Stir until fully incorporated, then bring to a light simmer. Cook until sauce is just thick enough to coat the back of your spoon. Remove from heat (sauce will continue to thicken as it cools — if it becomes too thick, stir in milk, 1 teaspoon at a time, until desired consistency is reached). Season with salt & pepper to taste.