Here is a winner I did on the Weber Jumbo Joe; Bacon wrapped pork tenderloin stuffed with cream cheese and jalapenos.This was deceptively easy to make, tasted incredible and looked fantastic. The deep penetration of the smoke ring surprised me and leads me to think I may have just figured out a little trick. More on that later.
I started by using a brined pork tenderloin. In order to get the bacon the way I wanted I knew I was going to cook the tenderloin up to about 160F. The brine prevented the pork from drying out when cooked that high.
I always remove the silverskin from the tenderloin; it just takes a second to slice that chewy thing out of there.Open up the tenderloin by slicing, lengthwise, about halfway through the muscle. Once you make the butterfly cut place the meat between two sheets of wax paper and pound until flattened.Spread a thin layer of cream cheese onto the flattened tenderloin then add some pickled jalapenos.Roll the tenderloin back up and then wrap it with bacon. I was very liberal with the bacon and ended up using about two-thirds of a pound.The stuffed pork tenderloin was coated with a rub mixture of 2 parts turbinado sugar, 1 part chili powder. I wrapped the guy in Saran wrap and stuck in the fridge overnight.The next day I broke out the Weber Jumbo Joe and set it up with a single charcoal basket of Kingsford. I placed the tenderloin about two inches from the edge of the charcoal basket and grilled it with the lid closed.Every twenty minutes I used a pair of metal tongs to rotate the tenderloin. This helped make sure the bacon was getting fully cooked on both sides. Here is what it looked like when it first went on, at twenty minutes and at 40 minutes.At the 40 minute mark I painted the tenderloin with a little Sweet Baby Ray barbecue sauce, closed the lid and let the sauce set for the final twenty minutes. Here it is finished and pulled off the grill. Pretty!!If you slice this while it is hot you will need to make your slices about three quarters of an inch thick. If you try to slice any thinner it just won’t stay together. If you wrap it in Saran wrap and refrigerate the tenderloin then once it is cooled you can slice as thin as a quarter inch with no problem. I believe wrapping in Saran wrap while it cools helps intensify the smoke flavor.
So…about that deep penetrating smoke ring….I don’t think it is real! I didn’t add any smoke wood to the charcoal and even if I had I don’t see how the smoke could have penetrated that deeply in an hour. This is especially true since the smoke would have had to have passed through a bacon barrier to get to the tenderloin!
I suspect that the residual nitrite in the bacon worked its way into the tenderloin as it sat wrapped in the refrigerator overnight. This is the same principle as faking a smoke ring with Morton Tender Quick. I think that’s pretty cool!
By the way..my favorite way of eating this was cooled with a side of pretzels. Pretzels and cream cheese are a winning combination. Combine that with pork, peppers and a little smokiness and you have yourself a great little snack!
If you decide the Jumbo Joe would be a good addition to your backyard you can pick one up here at Amazon. I highly recommend eventually getting the hinged grate as well. It comes in handy on long cooks and can be used to drastically increase capacity.