Whenever you think of a Napoleon, instantly your mind envisions wonderful layers of thin puff pastry, vanilla, cream, and custard, ever so sweet, every bite begging another. Mille-Feuilles in French, this dessert goes back to the 17 Th Century, some having it go back hundreds of years earlier.
Well, now you can wake up and take those visions out of your head. Think savory! This Napoleon is like no other and sugar is no closer than the sun is to the earth. Furthermore, as opposed to the final course, Pork Tenderloin Napoleon sneaks in at the beginning. No less pleasing to the eyes, this wonderful dish will impress your guests from the aromas coming out of your kitchen to the last bite.
Elegant as it looks, Pork Tenderloin Napoleon is very easy to make and assemble. If you've been following this blog, you've already prepared each of the components in the past. Each serving consists of slices of Pork Tenderloin, puff pastry, and a wonderful Port or Madeira wine sauce with sauteed shallots, garlic, and thinly sliced Portabella mushrooms.
Begin by preparing the puff pastry. Spread a bit of flour over a large cutting board and rolling pin. Place the pastry sheet on the cutting board and begin to roll the sheet until you have a 12 by 12 inch square. The pastry sheet should end up being about 1/8 inch thick.
Using a 3 inch diameter cookie cutter, begin to cut out 2 rounds per serving. Brush a very light coat of melted butter on the top side of each pastry disk. Be sure not to saturate the disks. Sprinkle tiny amounts of salt over each and place them in a non stick cookie sheet and poke each of them several times with a fork so that pastry will not rise much at all. Four pokes of a fork for each disk should be fine. Bake at 400 until pastry is a light golden color, about 8 to 10 minutes. Since oven temperatures vary, please pay very close attention as the pastry can quickly over bake. Once baked, remove them from the oven, allow to cool for 5 minutes and then place them in a dish and set aside.
Reduce oven temperature to 375 (185c).
In a large frying pan, heat a few tablespoons of olive oil over medium high heat. Lightly salt all sides of your pork loin (do not pepper as pepper burns). Sear the pork over medium high heat until all sides are nicely browned, usually 2 minutes per side (8 minutes total). Transfer pork to a baking dish and bake at 375 uncovered for about 25 minutes.
While pork is baking, using the large frying pan with the drippings from the seared pork, add a couple tablespoons of olive oil and saute the shallots over medium heat until translucent. Now add the garlic and continue to cook, stirring frequently so as not to burn the garlic. Add the peppercorns and capers, then the wine. Stir and scrape the bottom of the pan to deglaze. Reduce heat to medium low and continue to cook until liquid has reduced by half. Add some of the beef stock and continue to cook.
While sauce is reducing, prepare another frying pan and lightly saute the Portabella slices in olive oil but do not season (no salt). Adding salt while cooking mushrooms will draw out the moisture and make your mushrooms soggy. Don't over populate the pan with the mushrooms, you may have to saute two batches. Placed sauteed mushrooms slices on a paper towel.
When sauce has been reduced, it will look a bit thicker. You may still have some of the beef stock that you didn't use, that's OK. Reduce heat to low and allow to simmer. Add the chopped parsley and stir.
By now, the pork tenderloin should be ready. Remove from the oven and set the roast on a cutting board, allowing it to set for about 8 to 10 minutes. During this time, turn off the oven and use the residual heat to warm your dinner plates. Be sure to leave the oven door cracked. When your remove the plates, remember they will be hot, so use caution.
Your sauce should also be ready. Shut the heat off, add the remainder of the butter and stir until well mixed. Taste for flavor and salt or pepper to your taste.
The final step is to assemble your Napoleons. Remove the plates from the oven. Slice the pork into 1/4 inch slices. Begin by placing one pastry disk in the middle of each plate. Next, add a slice of pork (or two), several slices of mushrooms, and a tablespoon of the sauce. Repeat the process for the top layer. Top it off with a final spoon of sauce with a drizzling around the dish. You may add a couple of spears of steamed Asparagus if you want to garnish. Serve immediately while hot and pastry is still crispy.
This recipe is wonderful as a first course; however, it will work great as your main course as well. Just add a few steamed or roasted baby Yukon Gold potatoes for a main course. Enjoy, remembering that all feedback on your results is greatly appreciated!