Wednesday, 11 April 2012

028 - Sausage-Stuffed Pork Tenderloin

A friend recently asked whether pork was the meat I cooked most frequently on the BBQ. I replied in the affirmative! After all, the pig is the tastiest of all the animals... Being constructed of pork tenderloin (aka. fillet) stuffed with smoked pork sausage, this recipe is beaten only by the infamous Bacon Explosion on the porkiness-scale :-)

Number 28 in the list of 100 things to BBQ is a Myron Mixon recipe. If you haven't heard of Myron before, you really should check him out. He's a BBQ competition legend and the author of Smokin!, the book that this recipe was taken from. He can also be found on twitter.

The first step is to prep the tenderloin by removing any pieces of silverskin, and by creating a small hole along its length (ready for the smoked sausage to be fed through). To make the hole I used a very long, but narrow sharp carving knife and fed it through the length of the pork, before slightly twisting the blade round to open a large enough hole. You don't want the hole as wide as the sausage, since it needs to be a snug fit - just large enough to force it inside and feed it all the way through. I used a pre-cooked pre-smoked sausage for simplicity, but if you wanted to smoke your own sausage, I'm sure it would make this recipe even better.

Once the sausage is in position, the ends are trimmed to make it tidy and a rub is added to the outside of the tenderloin. I chose to use California Rancher's rubs and BBQ sauce for this recipe. At this point I left it in the fridge for a couple of hours for the rub to do its work.

This recipe required smoke and I chose to use apple wood chunks to complement the pork. Wood chunks give a longer smoke time than wood chips, which tend to release all their smoke very quickly. To turn my kettle BBQ into a smoker I simply piled all of the coals up against 1 wall, added some soaked wood chunks on top and placed a disposable foil tray directly above the coals to create steam. I also ensured the top air vent was positioned on the opposite side to the coals, to ensure the smoke was drawn across the cooking area. Piling the coals up against the wall limits the amount of oxygen to the coals, which controlls the temperature and lengthens burn times.

After about 45 minutes cooking time, it's time to add the sauce, giving it time to go nice and sticky. By this time the smoke was starting to fade, so I added a couple more wood chunks to the coals. 15 minutes before the end of cooking I added another coating of sauce.

The recipe itself talks about "showing off", and it certainly ticks that box, it's a great centre piece to a meal :-) Pork tenderloin is really easy to cook as well, so the hardest part of the entire recipe is creating the hole and stuffing the sausage through, and it's pretty much plain sailing from there. We enjoyed it with whiskey BBQ beans, baked potatoes and a few bacon wrapped peppadews.