Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Stuff It!

Stuff it is the theme I chose for a BBQ Brethren throwdown. You win one and you get to choose the following theme. I won "That's a Wrap" and chose this. I decided to realize this theme with a stuffed tenderloin when I found whole tenderloins on sale for $1.99/lb.

The stuffing will be made from wild rice and mushrooms.

Weather was chilly at about 20°F with snow coming down. Wind was light.

I trimmed and split the meat.

I pounded it as flat as I could get it which was not very much.

The stuffing was made with rosemary, sage, cumin, pepper and crushed garlic. I added some bread crumbs (processed commercial stuffing) and a handful of dried cherries (which actually include cranberries and currants as well.) I mixed in a couple eggs to hold it together and some milk so it wasn't too dry. I didn't want it pulling moisture from the meat.

After spreading the stuffing on the meat, I rolled the whole assembly in parchment paper and stuck it in the car trunk (where it would be safe from neighborhood canines) to firm up for a couple hours. Then the task was to tie it up. On the outside I had to decide between a bacon wrap and a rub. I decided on a wet rub with crushed garlic, cumin, sage, black pepper and a little crushed red pepper in a peanut oil slurry.

The cook was done on the 26" kettle to handle the length of the roll. I used an indirect fire held back by a couple fire bricks. Fire was using some Royal Oak and Stubbs briquettes. I dropped a hickory stick on the lit coals to add some additional smoke flavor. The bottom vent was closed to about 1/3 open and the top to about 2/3. Part way through the cook the top was opened fully. This resulted in a temperature on the lid thermometer of about 350° measured half way between the fire and lid vent. (In other words, the lid vent was positioned opposite the coals when I remembered to do so.) I also wrapped a couple spuds in foil and put them over the coals until done. Here it is ready to come off.

timetemp comment
4:30°Closed up the cooker
4:40350° (lid)Meat on!
5:17400° (right over charcoal)Meat probes at about 70°.
6:00320° (opposite charcoal)Meat probes about 110°.
6:30350°/130° (lid/meat)
7:10350°/153°Meat off!

The meat and stuffing had good flavor. I could have used a few more cherries and a little less cumin. The pork was neither dry nor overly moist.

What to do differently next time: I can think of several things. First, I could slice the meat thinner doing a spiral butterfly rather than just one cut. I might also take it to a lower temperature. With the middle at 153° the pork was well past the required 140°. I could also cut the tenderloin in half and do two different treatments, trying out different fillings and/or bacon vs. wet rub.

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