My choice for an elegant holiday dinner? It’s hard to beat a roast, and more often than not my pick is a lean and moist pork tenderloin.
But, as much as we want to be healthy, a roast can be too lean. A lack of fat often means a lack of flavor.
So how to make up this deficit? With plenty of high-flavor ingredients, like prosciutto, fresh herbs, mushrooms and wine.
Prosciutto packs a ton of flavor, and the slight amount of fat it adds is well worth it. As for the herbs, I took a tip from the Italians, who often top off a grilled steak with fresh herbs and a drizzle of olive oil.
I tested out several herbs in this recipe, both alone and in combinations. Though I was rooting for fresh sage — a classic match with prosciutto — my tasting panel (the family) overruled me in favor of rosemary and thyme.
To stuff these pork roasts, you need to butterfly them. It’s easy. See directions in the recipe.
Double Pork Roast With Mushroom Marsala Sauce
Serves 6. Recipe by Sara Moulton.
2 pork tenderloin roasts (3/4 to 1 pound each), trimmed of all fat
2 tbls. packed fresh rosemary leaves, chopped
2 tbls. packed fresh thyme leaves, chopped
4 ozs. thinly sliced prosciutto
3 tbls. extra-virgin olive oil, divided
Kosher salt and ground black pepper
1/2 cup finely chopped shallots or onion
1/2 lb. mushrooms (cremini, white button, shiitake, oyster or a mix), trimmed and sliced
1/2 cup dry Marsala wine
1 1/4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 tbl. all-purpose flour
1. Heat the oven to 350 F.
2. Cut down through each tenderloin lengthwise so that it opens like a book, but do not cut all the way through. Sprinkle water on the cutting board under the tenderloin and on top of the tenderloin (this helps prevent it from sticking or tearing when you pound it). Cover the tenderloin with plastic wrap and pound the meat using a meat mallet or rolling pin until it is about 1/2-inch thick.
3. Sprinkle half the rosemary and thyme leaves on the inside of each butterflied and pounded pork tenderloin and spread the prosciutto evenly in one layer over the herbs. Beginning with the long end, roll up the tenderloin tightly, tucking in the ends (as you would a burrito). Use kitchen twine to tie the roll in a bundle, tying it every 2 inches.
4. In a large nonstick skillet over medium-high, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil. Season the pork lightly on all sides with salt and pepper, then add it to the skillet. Sear until golden brown on all sides. Transfer the pork to a shallow baking pan, then roast on the oven’s middle shelf until the center reaches 145 F, about 20 to 25 minutes. Remove the pork from the oven and cover loosely with foil.
5. Meanwhile, make the sauce. Return the skillet to medium heat. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil and the shallots and cook, stirring, until the shallots are golden. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring often, until the mushrooms give off all their liquid and are lightly browned.
6. Add the Marsala and simmer until almost all of it is reduced. Add 1 cup of the chicken broth and bring back to a boil. In a small bowl whisk the remaining 1/4 cup of chicken broth with the flour. Add the flour mixture to the skillet in a stream while whisking and simmer for 2 minutes. Add any juices that have accumulated from the resting pork to the sauce.
7. Slice the pork crosswise into 1-inch-thick slices. Transfer several slices to each of 6 serving plates. Spoon mushroom sauce over each serving.
Nutrition information per serving: 330 calories; 110 calories from fat (33 percent of total calories); 13 g fat (3 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 115 mg cholesterol; 9 g carbohydrate; 1 g fiber; 3 g sugar; 39 g protein; 770 mg sodium.