Fresh From Nancy's Garden

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Stuffed Pork Tenderloin…To Feed Your Inner Firefighter

When you live in a small town like Laguna Beach you just never know who you’ll run into, especially if you’re sitting at the “communal table” on the patio at 230 Forest. 

My friend Denny and I were there the other night and met Keith and Patti Marshall. Their kids had surprised them with an evening out to celebrate their 26th wedding anniversary. When I found out Keith worked as a fire inspector for the City of Orange, the conversation immediately turned to cooking and food. Let’s face it, firemen are some of the best cooks in the world!

He told me about the stuffed pork chops he makes which led me to tell him about my stuffed pork tenderloin. When I first made my “pork and bean” dish I called Denny and asked him to come over to act as my official taster–a roll he’s filled on more than one occasion, as you may recall. Well, he loved it! I pictured the headline–feed your inner cowboy, but after meeting Keith and Patti I know this dish will satisfy your inner firefighter!

So Keith (and Patti)…this one’s for you and all your fellow fire fighters…and happy anniversary!


1 pork tenderloin
1/2 small onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
12 cherry tomatoes, cut in half
2 large basil leaves, chiffonade
1 TBS olive oil
a splash of vermouth
3/4 can of garbanzo beans
pesto–I use Buitoni if I don’t make it
2 basil leaves, for garnish
handful of toasted pine nuts
small handful of crumbled blue cheese

For the au jus:
1/4 cup vermouth 
1/2 cup chicken broth

Preheat oven to 400.

Saute onion in large skillet until golden and translucent.

Add garlic, tomatoes and cook until tender. Then add the basil.

Stir in garbanzo beans, heat until warm and remove from heat to cool.

Now for the tricky part–butterflying the tenderloin. I just gently slid my knife down the middle a few times, careful not to cut through. Do it slowly and you’ll be fine.

First spread a layer of pesto on the meat and some of the basil.

Next sprinkle the pine nuts and blue cheese.

Add the onion/bean mixture. Place twine under the meat and roll up. It helps if you have an extra set of hands at this point.
Place in baking dish and bake for about 20-35 minutes depending on the size of your tenderloin. Check with a meat thermometer. 

When it’s done, transfer to a cast iron skillet to brown if necessary.

I cooked this a few different ways and found it’s best to bake in the oven and then transfer so it doesn’t dry out. 

Scrape the pan drippings from the roasting pan into the cast iron skillet and deglaze with vermouth. Add chicken broth and heat until it reduces slightly.

Slice, spoon au jus over meat, serve and enjoy.

Whether you’re feeding your inner cowboy or satisfying the firefighter in you, I think you’ll really like this!

And lastly, welcome to my new readers in the Dominican Republic. I’ve been to your country and loved it–best beaches in the world. You can always read all about Laguna Beach at Stu News.

Categories: Main Dishes, Pork


1 reply

  1. What are you doing working in an office? And how do you handle the food highs your guests receive after partaking one of you meals?"You go girl"

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