Grilled Pork Tenderloin, stuffed with Pesto and Cheddar

I’ve been playing with stuff this summer.

Or rather playing with stuffing stuff this summer.

I stuffed and smoked this Pork Tenderloin in June.

Stuffed, Smoked Pork Tenderloin

It was delicious.

But I wanted spirals.

So I tried it using turkey cutlets with these Grilled Turkey Rolls in July.

Grilled, Pesto Turkey Rolls

Nice spirals….

So I thought I’d give the pork another try.

First I had to figure out how to cut it.

Pork Tenderloin Sliced Raw

A pork tenderloin is more oval than round.  Lay it flat on a cutting board and slice, 1/3 of the way up from and parallel to the cutting board, dividing the pork 1/3 – 2/3 and cutting almost all the way through, leaving about 1/3 inch.

Open it up and laying the knife flat on the 1/3 portion, slice the 2/3 portion in half, cutting almost all the way through as well.

Open up the other section.

Next time I try this I may do a bit of pounding at this point to flatten it.  But, as usual, I was in a hurry, so couldn’t be bothered.

I put a layer of Cheddar cheese on the left side and folded it over.

Pork Tenderloin stuffed with pesto

Then I spread pesto on the center portion

Pork stuffed with pesto

and folded it over again.

I tied it securely (but not as well as a proper French butcher) and mon mari put in on the grill…. With a few wood chips, of course.

We basted it with a 50/50 mixture of Balsamic vinegar and olive oil and cooked / smoked it for 30 minutes.

Pesto Stuffed Pork Tenderloin

Well – I almost had spirals….

It was fantastic, but I think I need a bit of work on the technique.

For one thing, the cheese, not being in the center of the meat, mostly disappeared before the pork was done….. leaving only the flavor essence.

The pesto stayed where it belonged.

I removed all the string before slicing and they didn’t stay together well.  I’ll blame the cheese for that, too.


(Undaunted, she silently vows to try again…. stay tuned)

As to the usual Monday update…. Mon mari is back at work (light stuff of course) so there should be progress to report next week.  Yay!!!!!

11 thoughts on “Grilled Pork Tenderloin, stuffed with Pesto and Cheddar”

  1. Pounding will help alot… needs to be an even thickness to get the spiral look. And with the ends open, has to be a hard cheese. If you are using Parmesan in the pesto, that should be enough cheese taste.
    I use cooking bands, which are like rubber bands to hold the meat together. Works better than the string, and makes a tighter seal on the ends so less cheese and stuffing runs out

  2. The stuffing in this sounds divine! I have never successfully spiraled anything so if you ever figure out a secret, let me know!

  3. You need to open up the pork more so you can roll it tighter. As things stand, you just cut a pocket into the tenderloin, which definitely isn’t enough to keep the filling inside or to form a spiral.
    Tenderloin isn’t really the right cut. It’s too small – you can pound it thinner, as @year on the grill says, but with a super lean cut like tenderloin, this tends to destroy the meat. Try it with a shoulder, and open it up by following the muscle seams with a knife (connective tissue and membranes between the muscles). Spread your herb rub in between. Roll tightly and tie.
    I wouldn’t recommend cheese, which only really stays in a sealed piece of meat (such as chicken cordon bleu, which is breaded and fried). Even with a well-tied roll, most of the cheese will leak out. The exception is a very hard aged cheese, grated into the stuffing.
    Here’s an example of what a well-tied roll should look like (I did this with leg of lamb last night)

    Good luck!

  4. From the looks of all the advice you’re getting, you don’t need me to say anything other than it all sounds delicious. And I know you will keep at it ’til it’s perfect!

  5. You’ve got so many wonderful suggestions as to how to do this again, it seems obvious that you’ll do it – again. And the worst that can happen? You’ll be eating some fabulous pork. Maybe not photographing and posting – but maybe yes. And we’ll all be reading it and salivating – again. 😉

  6. Mmmm, this is a favourite here at CookSister HQ! We often stuff the tenderloin with pears, sage and sweet wine. Or mirabelles and gorgonzla! And hubby is a dab hand at smoking 😉 Must try this recipe – looks divine!

  7. Poor you to have to make this over and over in order to get the spirals. 🙂
    I’m quite fond of stuffed pork tenderloin too and I NEVER remember about it. When we do remember, we usually stuff it with bread stuffing (corn bread and apricots or something like that).
    Jeanne’s mirabelles and gorgonzola sounds as wonderful as a stuffing of pesto and cheddar.
    Congratulations to votre marie for a quick recovery.

  8. Year on the Grill – I did tie the ends…. and I knew I should have pounded. Just always one to take the shortcut first. Never read directions, either.
    Elle, woman after my own heart! We’re happy with the small things!
    Joanne, when I figure it out the world will know!
    Kitchengirl – very pretty! I know that the tendeloin is small – but we are only 2 so it’s the perfect size. Turkey cutlets work well,but I wanted pork. I did have more than just a pocket…. but not much more LOL
    Ina, taste was good!
    Thanks, Penny, I’ll watch for it!
    Christine, I am getting some rather good pointers, aren’t I? I’ll keep at it.
    Toni, there you have it – it’s about the taste, not the photo (but I want good photos, too )
    Jeanne, isn’t nice to have hand men around the barby!? Sweet wine and pears….. Yum!
    Elizabeth, I know, poor, poor pitiful me….. (Mon mari dit merci!)

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