Picked up some pork tenderloins the other day at Sams’s. 3 went in the freezer and one took a 24 hour bath in this stuff.
First time trying it out, sounded interesting. For this cook, I decided to use the Mini since it’s been sitting dormant for a while. Went and ahead and hooked up the new Flame Boss 100 to see how it would work on the Mini and a direct cook. Set it for 400.
Tenderloins sure do take up a lot of room on the Mini. Almost done.
Took about 30 minutes or so to hit 145, I was shooting for 140. Don’t tell anybody.
You noticed the tooth picks sticking out of one end? I like to fold over the skinny end of a tenderloin and secure it in place. I find that if left alone, that skinny end will end up being way overdone. I’ve tried using butcher’s twine, but the skinny end tends to slip out when the tenderloin is flipped. Toothpicks just seem to work better for me.
As always with large proteins, I let it rest about 10 minutes before slicing.
Look at all that juice!! We served it up on a bed of rice and drizzled on some of the reserved marinade. When using marinade that has touched raw meat, I boil it for 10 minutes and then let simmer until it reduced and thickened up a bit. I don’t know if that is technically “safe” and might not be restaurant approved, so do it at your own risk. I’ve never gotten sick, nor has anybody I’ve ever served, but I’m throwing out a little warning there for you to heed or not.
I was actually a bit surprised. It came out really good. Not really like your average teriyaki at all. Not overly salty, but had a sweetness to it that was very interesting. Even though I overshot the temp I was gonna pull it at by 5 degrees, it was still plenty juicy and oh so tender. The leftovers are gonna make some great sliders served up on some King’s Hawaiian rolls. 😀 I just wish I had made some kind of slaw and/or caramelized onions to go along with it. Will definitely use this marinade again in the future.
This past weekend, I headed down to our family’s ranch, The Dos Locos, outside of Goliad, Texas for our annual Guy’s Dove Hunting Trip. Although this post does not really contain a recipe, I thought I’d share some pictures anyway (there is a link to the recipe for the Smokey Pork Tenderloin Slider’s that I got from NibbleMeThis. You should really check out his blog.).
You may or may not know that I went to Baylor and am a huge fan. Hard to snap a picture while flying down I-35, but here’s the new stadium they are building right on the Brazos river. It will be sad to see Floyd Casey Stadium go, but its way past time that we got a new one. It should be ready for the 2014 season.
The wife asked me to stop and get her a new Baylor shirt for the upcoming Homecoming game. While I was there, I spotted this. If anybody is looking for ideas for a Christmas present for me…
After hunting Thursday night (I got 2 dove, they weren’t really flying), it was time to pull out Old Faithful, my offset that retired down to the ranch after getting the Egg. On the menu was just some simple wings.
It felt odd using charcoal briquettes. I haven’t used them since…ummm…I guess since the last time I was at the ranch. Felt good to fire the old lady up once again, though.
Maybe it was the ambiance, being down at the ranch all by myself, no distractions, just a cold bourbon and coke in one hand and a book (actually a Kindle) in the other, or maybe I did something right, but these were the best wings I have put out in a long time. It wasn’t the recipe as I did them the way I always do. Just plain ole Buffalo Wings. The skin came out extra crispy, yet they were till moist and tender on the inside. Might sound sacrilegious, but better than any I’ve done on the Egg in a long time. I really don’t have any excuse as to why I forgot to take a final picture. You’ve seen wings before, though, so I’m sure you will forgive me. Regardless, it was a good, quiet first night before everybody was scheduled to come in on Friday.
Fast forward to Saturday afternoon. I wanted to cook up something for lunch that would hold us through the evening hunt until we could get back, start a fire and grill steaks for dinner. Awhile back, I saw Chris of NibbleMeThis do some Smokey Pork Tenderloin Sliders on his blog and I knew it would be perfect (check out his blog for the full recipe).
I started off with 4 yellow onions (he used Vidalia, but I couldn’t find them), sliced thin for carmelized onions. He did his on the grill and I was planning to as well, but at the last minute, just did them on the stove.
Next up was the tenderloins.
I added in an extra step that was not on the original recipe. A quick brine. Bring 2 cups of water to a boil, add in 1/2 cup of salt, 1/8 cup of suagar, 8-10 peppercorns, a tsp or two of the rub you will using, a dash of sriracha and a few by leaves. Stir until the salt and sugar have dissolved. Add two cups of cold water and allow to cool. Place your tenderloins in a gallon Zip-lock bag and pour the brine in. Place in the refrigerator for 2 to 5 hours. Before smoking the tenderloins, drain the brine and rinse the tenderloins, before adding the rub. I used Salt Lick rub in lieu of what the orifginal recipe called for. Good, but it was a bit peppery. Would probably use a different rub next time.
He glazed his with a bacon honey mustard sauce. I was planning on doing that, but there was no honey to be found at the ranch, so mine got a glaze of bacon mustard sauce right at the end. Pulled at 140F. Sliced super thin, as thin as you can get it. Either use a really sharp knife, an electric knife or a kitchen slicer if you have access to one.
My plate up picture wasn’t the best, because I wasn’t sure I was even going to post anything about it, but at the last minute I figured what the hell. Served up on King’s Hawaiian Roll sliders, pork tenderloin, coleslaw, carmelized onions and bacon mustard sauce. This stuff was the bomb. Off the hook and the chain both. No, seriously…it was really freakin’ good.
So good, I’ll probably serve it at the next Eggfest I attend. Or tailgate party. Heck, there’s still a bit leftover and I’m having it for lunch today and I’m still excited about it.
And just in case you wanted some proof that we did do some hunting, here’s a few I got. Ended up only getting 8 total. I’m telling you, they really weren’t flying, but I did take my oldest and best friend and saw him shoot his first dove. He was super excited and now I think he is hooked so it was all worth it. That about wraps it up for another successful Annual Guy’s Dove Hunting trip.
If you haven’t noticed yet, I’m a huge fan of Dizzy Pig. If you looked in my spice cabinet, you would find a whole shelf almost completely devoted to them. The all purpose Dizzy Dust (both fine and coarse), Swamp Venom, Cow Lick, Red Eye Express and the list goes on. In fact, the only ones I have not tried are Shakin’ the Tree and Pineapple Head, which I have heard great things about.
So when I went to check my mail Saturday, it was a pleasant surprise to find a sample packet of their newest offering Mediterraneanish, a blend that captures the essence of Italy and Greece. Unfortunately, Mrs. G had just returned home from the store with fixings to make chili. 😦 I love chili, but I really wanted to try this new rub. Alas, it was not to be.
Fast forward to last night. We had a pork tenderloin that we had to use and use quick before it went bad. I had been planning on saving the Mediterraneanish to try first on something like lamb or fish, but why not a pork tenderloin? Dizzy Pig said in their note that they tried it on pork. Good enough for me.
The pork tenderloin got a quick brine for two hours (recipe at end of post) before being rinsed, dried and rubbed with DP’s newest spice. Then, it went on the Mini Big Green Egg because it seems to light faster, uses less charcoal and really just because I feel like it’s been neglected recently. The Egg was set up at 400F. I thought about using some wood chips for smoke, but in the end, decided that I didn’t want anything competing with the flavors of the new rub. I wanted to taste it by itself to get a feel for it.
I didn’t really pay attention to how long the tenderloin took to cook. Honestly, I wasn’t planning on doing a blog about it, but let me tell you…the aroma wafting out the top of the Egg and tantalizing our taste buds was making my mouth water. This stuff smelled amazing and it was all I could do to keep from licking the tongs after turning the tenderloin. That would not have been very sanitary, now would it? The tenderloin cooked somewhere between 15-20 minutes, but remember, time is not important, temperature is! I will continue to stress that. And if you haven’t heard, the USDA did lower the safe temperature of pork to 145F…way back in May of 2011!! So we pulled the pork from the grill at about 138-140ish and let it rest for 10 minutes knowing that the internal temperature would continue to cruise on up to 145F.
I’ve got to hand it to Dizzy Pig, they’ve done it again. Another winner for sure. I don’t know what all is in this rub, but it was fantastic. Very herbaceous, definitely tones of rosemary and oregano. Just the right amount of salt for my tastes. Perfectly balanced and it does make you think of the Mediterranean. I think this could be added to any Greek or Italian dish and really give it a boost of flavor. I’ve not attempted lamb yet on the blog, but upon taking the first bite or two, I know I am going to have to try this on lamb for sure.
The day I discovered Dizzy Pig’s Swamp Venom was the day I quit buying Tony Chachere’s or any other Cajun/Creole seasoning. I won’t go so far as to say that I will stop buying Italian Seasoning as Mrs. G uses it in quite a few recipes, but I will add some of this spice to see how it works for sure. And that Cavender’s Greek Seasoning? Yeah…won’t be buying that anymore. Mediterraneanish for me from now on. That’s how good this stuff is. I can’t wait to try it on something else. I’m not sure on when their planned release date is to the public, but keep your eyes and ears open and I’ll try and let you know if I hear something. I’ll be waiting because I know that this small sample I have won’t last long.
Brine Recipe: Bring two cups of water to a boil along with 1/4 cup kosher salt, 1/8 cup of sugar, 2-3 bay leaves, 8-10 peppercorns and a pinch of cumin and Mediterraneanish. Stir until salt and sugar are dissolved. Remove from heat and add two cups of cold water and allow to cool before adding to pork. Allow to brine for 2-4 hours in refrigerator. Rinse pork, pat dry and apply Mediterraneanish rub and then grill.
***And just so you know, I am in no way affiliated, paid by or endorsed by Dizzy Pig. I have no ties with the company and no money has switched hands. I, along with many other Eggheads, grillers and barbecuers were offered a free sample and asked our opinions of the product. I do not receive free bottles of rubs from them except for the free small sample bags when they released Mediterraneanish, Fajita-ish and Bombay Curry-ish and this ends my disclaimer.
I think of pork tenderloins as the often overlooked portion of the pig. Which when you think about it is really a shame. It’s the same cut that is used to make filet mignon, just from a pig, not a cow. It’s a very lean cut of meat and since it is not weight bearing, it contains less connective tissue and is extremely tender when cooked right. In the barbecue world, however, most of the attention goes to ribs and butts and even pork belly. Granted, you do not want to cook a tenderloin low and slow, but it’s still a wonderful cut of meat when grilled over high heat.
Last night, I wanted to do something other than just grill a whole tenderloin. I looked for recipes, but most contain fruit of some kind. Nothing wrong with that, but if you’ve ever met Mrs. G, you would know that wouldn’t fly in our house. Somewhere along the line, my ADHD kicked in and I found myself looking up compound butters, don’t ask me how that happened. Then it hit me…why not treat the tenderloin like individual steaks and top it with a compound butter? And since a pork tenderloin is the same cut as a beef tenderloin, why not wrap it in bacon and treat it like a filet mignon? (I know this isn’t rocket science and it’s not something new under the sun, I’m just explaining how my thought process works)
one pork tenderloin (Yes, I know they usually come two to a bag. I need to figure out what to do with the other one)
7 or 8 slices of bacon
1/2 stick of butter, softened
2 tsp Dijon mustard
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 tsp of your favorite BBQ rub + more to season the medallions (we used Salt Lick)
Combine butter, mustard, garlic and 1 tsp BBQ rub in a small bowl. Spoon the mixture onto a piece of plastic wrap and roll tightly into a cylinder. Refrigerate until ready to use.
Lay one slice of bacon on a cutting board. Using the bacon as a guide, slice your tenderloin into 7 or 8 medallions the same width as the strip of bacon. (The amount will vary depending on the size of the tenderloin and you may not even want to bother with the 8th one as one size of the tenderloin will taper down on the end. You can see at the top left of the picture above, that my 7th and 8th one are much smaller)
Wrap each medallion with a slice of bacon until it just overlaps and then cut off the remainder of the bacon (save remaining bacon for some later use. You’re smart, I know you’ll figure something out). Use a toothpick to secure the bacon.
Lightly dust your medallions with your favorite BBQ rub and place in the refrigerator until ready to grill.
Set up your grill for a direct cook and pre-heat to 400F.
Grill medallions for 3 minutes per side, then stand on end to crisp up the bacon. “Roll” the medallions every minute or two to crisp up each side. Cook until 135-140 depending on how rare you like your pork, about 10-12 minutes.
Remove from grill and allow to rest for 5 minutes loosely tented with foil. Remove compound butter from refrigerator at this time.
After 5 minutes, top each pork medallion with a slice of the compound butter.
I really like how the above picture turned out. Shooting pictures of fire is not an easy task, especially when it’s dark out (we got a really late start on dinner) and you have minimal outdoor lighting. Not the best pic in the world, but I still like it.
Resting your meat after cooking it allows the muscle fibers in the meat to relax and the juices to redistribute throughout the meat. If you slice into your meat right after it comes off the grill, you will end up with a puddle of juice and a dry hunk of meat. That is no bueno. By allowing the meat to cool, the muscle fibers will relax and when you slice into it, the juices will stay right where you want them, in the meat and not on your plate. Five to ten minutes is good for a steak, longer is better for a roast or large piece of meat. So endeth today’s science lesson.
Tonight’s dinner was served up with a simple salad and roasted cauliflower. As you can see from the above picture, when the pork was sliced on the plate, we did not end up with a puddle of juices. Although that piece might have cooked a bit more than I would have liked, it was still tender and juicy. The bacon added a salty flavor while the Salt Lick rub added a bit of peppery heat. The garlic mustard compound butter placed on top and allowed to melt down onto the pork added a rich depth to the tenderloins. It might not be healthy, but it sure tasted good and was a step up from grilling a plain, whole tenderloin. One last thing before I let you go…don’t forget to remove those toothpicks. 😉
My brother (who from now on will be called GM), came over last night to exchange cars with my wife as she was going to need a truck for work today. Since he was nice enough to let her borrow his truck, I decided I’d go ahead and feed him some dinner. A quick run to the fridge and I saw that I had a pork tenderloin defrosted. Perfect! Quick and healthy cook. More digging around in the fridge and pantry resulted in some sides and I didn’t need to go to the store…even better!
After rummaging around my spice rack, I came across Dizzy’s Red Eye Express, a coffee-infused BBQ rub. The label says, “While this rub has quite a bit of pepper, coffee is the theme. Aromatic spices, herbs and a variety of chilies round out the final result…a rich rub that works nicely with beef, lamb, poultry and pork.” I’ve tried this rub on steaks before and really loved the results, but I’ve never tried it on pork before. Seeing as how my brother had bought this rub for me as a present and had never tasted it, it seemed like the perfect rub for tonight. So I rubbed the tenderloin down and went out to fire up the Egg and get it ready for a 400F direct cook.
While the tenderloin went on to cook for about 20 minutes, my wife sliced up some zucchini and squash, seasoned them up and skewered them on a Fire Wire (which is a flexible skewer). I let the vegetables cook for about 10 minutes, just enough to get heated up and a little char, but not overdone or mushy. As for the pork, always cook to temp, not time. USDA now recommends cooking pork to 145F with a 3 minute rest afterwards. How pink you can stand your pork is up to you…. we pulled at 145F tonight and thought it was much better than the previous tenderloin cook where we pulled it at 140F.
Tonight’s dinner was plated up with some grilled zucchini and squash, stuffing and a salad. The flavors and textures complimented each other and the pork nicely (as did the Turkey 😉 ), but I knew I had nailed it when there was not a voice to be heard as we all dug into our meal. I do believe I heard my brother say that was the best pork tenderloin he had ever eaten.
Now its got me thinking…..how would this work on a pork butt or maybe some ribs? Hmmm….think I might just have to experiment.
Thanks for looking and please feel free to leave a comment or a suggestion.