Spinach and Mushroom-Stuffed Pork Roulade with Parslied Purple Potatoes

pork roulade

A roulade is one of the most elegant preparations for a tenderloin of beef or pork. Popular in European cuisine, a roulade is a meal reserved for special occasions such as a Sunday dinner. The French word "roulade" refers to the action of rolling up a thin meat with a filling of fruits, vegetables, cheeses, or minced meats. Even though a roulade may look daunting to create, it is rather uncomplicated. Pork roulade is a particular favorite of mine as it is lean, flavorful, and inexpensive. With an earthy stuffing of spinach, mushrooms, and sage, this pork tenderloin makes a great family dinner.

Nothing makes a better accompaniment to a roast than potatoes. For a side that's very quick and easy to prepare, boiled potatoes tossed in garlic, parsley, and olive oil is a simple solution. I use some beautiful and colorful purple potatoes purchased at the Union Square Greenmarket. Also known as blue potatoes, this variety originates from Peru, but up until now has rarely been seen outside of the country. Many shapes and sizes of blue/purple potatoes are now readily available in the U.S. marketplace. They are a unique stand-in for the everyday white potato, making this dinner a much more special affair.

Spinach and Mushroom-Stuffed Pork Roulade

1 pork tenderloin (about 1 pound)
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 large shallots, finely chopped
1 large portobello mushroom, finely chopped
7 ounces spinach
fine sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons finely shopped fresh sage
1/4 cup breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons canola oil

Lay pork loin on a work surface. Using a very sharp knife, slice along the length of the loin and keep slicing through while unrolling the inside of the meat. The loin should now be a large rectangle about 1/2 inches thick. Cover with plastic wrap and pound any thick spots with a smooth mallet.

Warm olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add garlic and shallots; sauté until fragrant and translucent, about 2 minutes. Add mushroom and cook until its liquid releases and evaporates, about 8 minutes. Add spinach and cook until wilted and liquid evaporates, about 8 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add sage and breadcrumbs just before turning off heat. Let mixture cool. Turn out onto a cutting board and finely chop. Check seasoning.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Salt and pepper both sides of the butterflied tenderloin. Spread with the spinach-mushroom mixture, starting from the inner part of the loin and stopping within 1-inch of the outer end. Roll up the loin tightly ending with the seam side down. Truss the loin every 2 inches with butcher's twine. Tuck in the ends of the loin and tie over tightly with string.

Warm canola oil a skillet or large sauté pan on medium-high to high heat. Sear the tenderloin until golden brown all around, about 10 minutes. Place pan into oven and roast for 30 minutes or until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of the meat reads 150 degrees F. Allow the pork to rest for 10 minutes covered with aluminum foil. Remove the string and slice diagonally. Yield: 4 servings.

Parslied Purple Potatoes

1 pound small purple potatoes
fine sea salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1/3 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
freshly ground black pepper

Add potatoes to a pot and cover with water. Add a tablespoon of salt. Bring to a boil and reduce to a medium simmer. Cook until potatoes are tender, about 10 minutes. Drain and let cool slightly. Slice potatoes in half.

Warm olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add garlic and parsley; cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Add potatoes cut side down and sear until a skin develops, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Yield: 4 servings.