Monday, March 15, 2010

Stuffed Pork Tenderlicious

Pork tenderloins are amazing. They work with almost any flavor profile and can be cooked in many different ways. One of my favorite ways is to stuff 'em and grill 'em.

One of the standards I have come to use when grilling any pork tenderloin is 6-7 minutes per side over medium high heat. To me, a tenderloin has a flat side and two round sides so that is a total of 18-21 minutes.

This is the second time we made this version that we came up with and both times it was a huge hit with everyone in the house. But basically using this process (butterfly, stuff, grill 21 min) works with any flavors you like for the stuffing.
Stuffed Pork Tenderlicious

1 ea pork tenderloin (not a pork loin, it's a pork tenderloin, about 1 lb)
3 Tablespoons pesto
1/4 cup Boursin cheese, crumbled
Salt and Pepper to taste

Butterfly the pork tenderloin (see step by step below) and pound with a meat mallet to an even 1/4" thickness.

Spread pesto evenly over the flattened meat. Top with the crumbled Boursin cheese.

Roll up, jelly roll style and tie with kitchen twine. Season liberally with salt and pepper, a lot will fall off on the grill.

Grill for 7 minutes per side (21 minutes total) over medium high heat.

Let rest for 10 minutes, snip off twine, and slice on a bias.

Start with a well thawed pork tenderloin. If it's still partially frozen when you start pounding it with a mallet, the meat fibers will break and tear instead of flattening. Lay it so the "flat side" is on the bottom. That makes it a lot easier to cut.

Using a very sharp knife, slice lengthwise carefully down to about 1/4 inch. Be careful not to cut all of the way through. I start with an initial slice at the thicker end of the loin and pull the cut open with my free hand as I keep slicing as shown. It is not one slice, it's a series of slices. Think of it as "opening it up".

Cover the top of the meat with plastic wrap and then pound the entire piece down to an even thickness.

Top with the pesto and cheese.

Rolled, tied and seasoned! (In respect to Steph and her Auburn Tigers, that last statement should not be misconstrued to mean Roll Tide.)

When it is time to grill, I like to move the coals into two banks like this and then position the tenderloin above the gap at a height of about 5 inches. That way it's getting direct heat but not directly OVER the heat. In my opinion, this gives a more even "direct heat".

Tonight we served it up with some skillet roasted potatoes and green beans. (Sorry no plated pics but it was Alexis' first dinner back home and it was 8pm on a school night at this point. Hell, I didn't even throw any garnish on the platter shot. I was hungry!)

Even though the green beans weren't in this pic, I had to mention them because they were Trevor's (10 y/0) contribution (one slice of bacon, sliced, browned and then just added a can of green beans). Simple, yes, but he is always proud to help feed the family. Plus it really helps me when I was busy finishing the other two dishes.

The drool worthy flavor let me know that the first time we made this it wasn't a fluke.

Quick Game:
You have a butterflied pork tenderloin in front of you right now and I am going to grill it for you, you just have to pick the ingredients (like an omelet station). What do you want in yours?