One of the things I love about pork is that it fits into even the tightest of budgets, and cuts such as the pork tenderloin deliver a great five-star restaurant-style taste and experience.
The key is proper temperature control on the grill and knowing when to pull it off before it becomes overcooked and dry, which are dangers of lean meats.
This dish uses the tenderloin as compared to the larger loin. The tenderloin is quicker to cook and easily serves five to six people. As you unpack the tenderloin, you will see that it comes in two
individual pieces. Slice each piece lengthwise in the middle, cutting it 75 percent through.
You then want to spread each piece out flatly, in essence creating two pieces that are now thinner but offer more surface area.
Spread the cheese and herb mixture over one of the pieces, covering it from one end to the other. Place
the second piece on top, and tie the pieces together with cotton twine. Three pieces of twine will do fine.
Don't tie too snugly as the meat will expand while it cooks on the grill. Salt and pepper both sides of the the tenderloin. Take a piece of uncooked bacon and fasten it to the end of the tenderloin
with a toothpick, wrapping it around the roast at a 45-degree angle. Take the second piece and slightly overlap the end of the first piece of bacon and fasten both to the roast. Do the same thing with a third piece of bacon.
Set up your grill with indirect heat, which means 25 or so briquets are stacked at one end of the grill. Once the briquets are 75 percent ashen, sprinkle with a handful of hickory chips.
Place the tenderloin on the opposite side of the grill and put the lid on, all vents open. Once the roast
reaches 145 degrees Fahrenheit, place directly over the coals for a moment or two. This will add texture. Be careful, as it could flame.
Don't walk away! It took me about 30 minutes to get the
roast up to the proper temperature before grilling, but remember, every fire has its own personality.
Take off the grill and allow to rest for five to seven minutes under a piece of aluminum foil. The roast
will rise another 7 to 10 degrees while resting. It also allows the juices to quit pulsating through the meat. If you carve it too soon, a lot of the moisture will spill out, leaving you with a piece
that isn't as moist as it could have been.
Snip the strings and carve into pieces roughly an inch thick. You should notice a pink smoke ring around the inside of the tenderloin.
Feta and herb stuffing
• 1 cup feta cheese (you could also use bleu cheese)
• Juice of ½ lemon
• ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
• 2 Tbs of minced garlic
• 2 tsp rosemary (crush it in your hand)
• 2 tsp dried oregano
If you happen to have fresh Rosemary and/or oregano, feel free to use it, but you'll need to double the
amounts of herbs you use.
Dave Lobeck is a barbecue chef from Sellersburg, Ind., who writes a column for CNHI News Service. Visit his website at www.BBQMyWay.com.