I want to apologize in advance for not having pictures of the key parts, sometimes I just get lost in my cooking and forget that I’m going to be blogging later.
There’s not a lot of things that will draw me outdoors when the temperature is a balmy -10°F. Normally when the temperature gets down into the negative category I give up grilling. Oh that doesn’t mean we extinguish the coals, it just means we switch from grilling to more smoking. That way we’re not running in and out like a bunch of kids with my wife yelling “CLOSE THE DOOR!” and “IN OR OUT, MAKE UP YOUR MIND!” Ok, she doesn’t do that, but you get the idea. Long cold winter days call for long slow smokes that require a limited number of trips in and out.
HOWEVER, when you come across pork tenderloin at a ridiculously low price, a little frostbite can be tolerated. When I saw them the wheels started turning and there was no stopping them.
What to expect: Tender moist pork, with a faint but not overpowering taste of cherry smoke. The stuffing will be moist and flavorful, with the carrots giving it a slightly sweet taste. The cornbread will give it a pleasant texture without becoming soggy.
Yeild: 4-6 servings.
What you’ll need:
2 or so hours of time.
2 pork tenderloins (most come 2 to a pack)
1 cup cornbread crumbled. (I really do recommend making the cornbread. I’m not sure what will happen if you use store bought, it may throw the ratios off.)
6-8 slices of bacon cooked aldente’ cut into small dice. (More if you have a hungry helper or a dog keeping you company, I had both.)
1/4 cup carrots small dice
1/4 cup celery small dice
1/4 cup onion small dice
3 cloves garlic minced
1 Tbls fresh sage finely chopped
1 tsp fresh rosemary finely chopped
1 tsp fresh thyme finely chopped
2-3 Tbls chicken stock
Butcher string or twine soaked
How we did it:
Begin by having all of your vegetables chopped and your garlic minced and ready.
Crumble the cornbread in a medium to large bowl.
Fry the bacon until aldente’ and set aside.
Add your carrots, celery, and onion to the hot fat left from the bacon.
After the the carrots, celery, and onion begin to soften add the garlic.
Cook until the garlic becomes fragrant and starts to brown. Do not over cook the garlic.
Dump the cooked vegetables along with any remaining fat into the bowl with the cornbread.
Add your chopped sage, thyme, and rosemary, salt, and pepper.
Mix and taste. Adjust the seasoning to your liking by add more of any or all the spices.
IF it is too dry add chicken broth a little at a time stirring after each addition. You want it loose, but to hold together when squeezed.
Set aside to cool.
Rinse and dry your tenderloins well.
Square off the ends so that you have nice flush ends to work with. Don’t panic about cutting the meat off, you’ll be able to find a use for it later in the week.
Butterfly the loins by making an incision the length of the loin cutting to within a half an inch of cutting through it.
Once you have it butterflied, it’s time to beat the fire out of it.
Place a sheet of plastic wrap over the loin and begin pounding until it’s about 1/4 inch thick.
I usually start with my large heavy cast iron pan. Once I get close then I use my hand to finish it up.
When finished flattening, season both sides well with salt and pepper.
Place 1/2 of the stuffing along the lead edge of the loin, leaving a 1/4 inch space on the sides and along the lead edge.
Roll the loin up and tie off with butcher string or twine.
Set your grill up for DIRECT grilling, add a couple of nice wood chunks of your choosing.
Grill direct turning about every 7 minutes until done. Remember you want the stuffing to register 145°F to be certain all bacteria is dead.
*Ours took about 40 minutes and we turned every 10 minutes but remember it was -10°F out, so this will affect your cooking times.
The foil pack next to the loins were rosemary infused potatoes and pearl onions for our side dish.
When done let rest 10 minutes, slice, and serve.
Remember what you cook isn’t nearly as important as who you cook it with, have fun.