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?


  1. This looks so delicious! Love the pesto and cheese stuffing. It's great that your son pitched in with the meal - I've made those exact same beans.

    Random answer, I might pick bleu cheese with something sweet like slivers of fresh pineapple or raspberry salsa.

  2. Yum! You are the meat master! This sounds amazing- my hubby will dye of happiness if I make this for him- definitely bookmarking this!

  3. Cornbread stuffing. I like the two banks of coals. Great idea!

  4. Looking good Chris. I have a tenderloin in the frig for tonight that I'm trying to decide how to serve.

  5. Well Chris I'd like that Borsin Cheese and Pesto on my tenderloin please. After seeing this post, I can't even think of any other ingredients for your game. This looks wonderful and thanks for the grilling time tips. I've never grilled a tenderloin. And, those potatoes along side - heaven. GREAT post.

  6. That's how I "prepare" green beans too! Bacon makes everything better!

  7. I'll have mine exactly like you made it. I can't think of any better way - no really, it sounds like a plate of perfection to me! Who needs garnish with food like that by the way. Terrific as always! Welcome home Alexis :-)

  8. Good thing you clarified that statement!! We never say "RT" (I can't even write it). The only exception is when you are mocking them.

    The pork looks awesome. I am going to buy some pork tenderloin this weekend and make this next week. I love pesto and boursin. I bet this tasted amazing!

  9. Great idea! I've just started to use the big roll of butchers twine I bought a year ago! Photo looked great!

  10. I'm intriged by the pesto/pork combo. It's got my tastebuds thinkin' :)

    As for your question, hmmm. How about roasted garlic, fresh oregano, some feta and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice?

  11. I want some garlic and mozzarella please!

  12. I would add pesto and boursin cheese ;). This recipe is killer Chris and the pork looks perfect.

  13. Chris, I just bought a HUGE pork tenderloin, had it cut into 4 pieces, so you will be seeing mine posted pretty soon...

    Mango/pineapple/spinach and chorizo sausage and feta cheese in a spiral cut... Am trying to decide how to get some rum in there

  14. Oh man, you're killing me. I haven't lived anywhere that I can grill in years. Looks wicked good!

  15. You really showed that pork who's boss;D It looks delicious! Love that your son helps you to throw together a side dish, very sweet.

    Hmmm...pork tenderloin fillings...that's a good question. You already did spinach once, I think. Have you done mushrooms? What about peppers? Or maybe a Spanish version with Romesco sauce? I like Dave's idea of chorizo, love that stuff. I'm also thinking maybe one marinated in soy sauce and stuffed with Asian type veggies would be nice. Darn it all....I'll be thinking about this one and off for days now;D

  16. Actually, this is a favorite method of mine. Right down to the boursin cheese! It also great with marinated flank steak, sliced thinly. Place on a fresh baguette and top with boursin and pesto! (a sprinkling of arugula is also good!)

  17. Pork tenderloin is so versatile - and up here goes on sale frequently!

    I love grilling it, and next time I'm totally following your flaying/coal shifting methods.

    As for my tenderloin, could you put in a chicken wing? Bacon and mozzerella would be fine too.

  18. Wow, nice.

    As for mine - maybe some oil cured sun dried tomatoes, fresh basil and toasted garlic.

  19. Oooh! How easy and yummy! Do you really wear a glove when cutting meat? I'm impressed.

    I think I would like some caramelized onions and a stinky bleu cheese on top of my pork tenderloin.

  20. Oh wow that looks delicious! I was never a really big pork fan but I am now :) thanks for posting the recipe!

  21. This stuffing sounds awesome. Can you go wrong with pesto? Ever? No. So cute that your son likes to help out!

    My ideal stuffing? Butternut squash and blue cheese/gorgonzola. I have been meaning to try it out for, oh, a lifetime or so. I'll get to it. Eventually.

  22. OK Chris, I posted my version of your pork loin challenge. This is a great idea

  23. Chris,
    Thanks for visiting and the heads up on the eating machines that are teenage boys. Crazy!

  24. Welcome home Alexis. What a bunch of pork love to show you how much your boys missed you! GREG

  25. Oh Chris after a few passing's of the photos I thought maybe you had taken a class on dissecting human, well really this is really nice looking, and how lucky Alexis is to have you at the helm of that green egg!

  26. Like you said this isn’t delicious is tenderlicious - the pork left me breathless......



  27. You had me at pesto!! looks incredible!


Comments are moderated and won't appear immediately.