This cranberry walnut bacon stuffed pork roll with brandy sauce is as delicious as it sounds and it’s also pretty!
The pork is stuffed and rolled with a blend of cranberries, walnuts, bacon bits and herbs. A simple brandy sauce gives it a finishing touch.
The fresh rosemary and cranberry garnish give this such a festive wintery vibe!
I love how elegant yet easy of a main dish this stuffed pork is. It’s great for a dinner party, to serve for Christmas dinner or another holiday party. Honestly though, it’s easy enough you could pull this off on a weeknight!
Have you ever tried to stuff pork or another type of meat?
It’s kind of my new favorite thing. It’s not hard!
It’s oddly fun and the possibilities are endless!
I’m not even a big meat-eater and I’ll be honest, that’s because I had never really been that good at making it. But before you get up and leave in search of other recipes, I’ll just reassure you that this stuffed pork recipe is worth sticking around for. The Mr. made this, not me. See, we’re pretty traditional I guess when it comes to the guy being in charge of the meat but I’m learning.
There’s a science to baking stuffed pork and most any meat for that matter.
The meat has typically been the Mr.’s domain because it’s something he enjoys doing and let’s be honest, it’s one less thing for me to do! But he truly does a better job because he knows the science behind it. Even more-so than with baking, science plays a large part of properly cooking meat.
Plus the stakes are higher. If you don’t bake a cookie properly, worst case, you get a burnt or gooey cookie. Overcook meat and you get a super tough-to-chew, waste of money or heaven forbid you undercook it, you can end up with food poisoning. (Real great thing to be talking about while I’m trying to get you hungry for this stuffed pork…)
Tips for cooking pork successfully
Point is, meat is hard to cook so don’t feel bad if you screw it up. Having tried and failed a lot, let me give you some advice. Your best bet for cooking pork to a safe temperature is to get a meat thermometer. It takes the guesswork out of learning to cook meat.
I particularly like the old-fashion kind of meat thermometer that is NOT digital because 1.) You don’t need batteries. 2.) Typically the temperatures are labeled. So if you don’t know the proper temperature to cook pork, chicken, beef, etc., it’s marked right on the thermometer. Totally worth $10.
Use a food processor to get your cranberry walnut bacon stuffing just right
One other thing you’re going to want for this recipe is a food processor.
You can chop everything by hand however, a food processor will safe you a bunch of time and will make sure you get everything chopped finely enough so that your stuffed pork rolls nicely and stays tightly rolled.
If you don’t already have one, check out this slick and affordable KitchenAid food processor.
So that’s it. Once you have your meat thermometer and food processor all ready to go, you should be able to handle stuffing this pork with no problems.
Other recipes you’ll love
If you’re loving stuffed meat as much as me, check out my Jalapeño Popper Stuffed Chicken.
Making this for Christmas or holiday dinner? Check out my other Christmasy recipes for both dinner and dessert:
- White Christmas Cocktail
- Creamed Spinach
- Easy Yule Log
- My favorite Christmas cookies: Easy Shortbread Cookies, Chocolate Dipped Macaroons, and Christmas Cut Out Cookies
- Christmas Santa Pancakes
Cranberry Walnut Bacon Stuffed Pork Roll with Brandy Sauce
- 1 lb unseasoned pork tenderloin
- 4 tbsp butter
- ¼ cup dried cranberries or cherries
- ¼ cup real bacon bits
- ¼ cup walnuts chopped
- 1 small shallot chopped
- 1 cup brandy
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 1-2 tbsp corn starch plus water
- salt and pepper to taste
- Fresh rosemary and cranberries for garnish
- Finely chop cranberries, walnuts, bacon, and shallot using a food process or a knife.
- Melt butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add rosemary, chopped cranberries, walnuts, bacon, and shallots. Stir and cook for about 2-3 minutes until you can smell the nuts then add brandy and bring to a boil. Boil for 1 minute the turn down to a simmer.
- Scoop out all solids into a bowl and set aside. Add chicken broth to remaining sauce in skillet, cover and keep at a simmer.
- In a small bowl, mix corn starch with a small amount of water and then add to sauce to thicken. Season with salt and pepper to taste and keep warm.
- Take the pork loin and you're going to make two cuts. First cut will be lengthwise, 1/3 up from the bottom of the loin, from right to left. Stop when you get about 1/2" away from the left side. The flatten out the loin. The left side will be twice as thick as the right so for the second cut, you will again go lengthwise from right to left, slicing that thicker side until you reach 1/2" from the edge of the loin. From there you should be able to "unroll" the loin into a flat, rectangular piece of pork. If you nee a visual on this, check out this short YouTube video: How to Prep Meat for Stuffed Pork Loin
- Now that you have a nice flat piece of pork, you want to sprinkle it with salt and pepper evenly on one side. Then grab the cherry-walnut solids you set aside earlier, squeeze out any remaining liquid back into your simmering skillet, and then layer the stuffing on top of your pork, leaving about 1" of an edge all the way around to allow the stuffing to spread out when rolled.
- Roll the pork gently, not too tight, and then either tie the roll closed with cotton cooking twine or wrap it in greased foil so it holds together while you cook it. You can add a sprig of rosemary on top if you'd like before putting in oven. Save some other fresh rosemary for garnish.
- Bake at 350˚ until pork is 160˚ about 35-45 mins. Remove from oven when done, let cool for about 5-10 minutes then gently slice and top with sauce to serve. Garnish with fresh cranberries and rosemary sprigs.