Apple Stuffed Pork Tenderloin
Apple Stuffed Pork Tenderloin? I realize this is a little early for a great Fall recipe, but with the NFL and College Football seasons right around the corner and the baseball playoffs right behind them, it sort of feels like Fall. That and the ridiculously great weather here in St. Louis it’s hard not picturing the leaves changing and putting on the biggest display of color the world has ever known. So I decided to do a grilling recipe that will be even better when the local orchards are producing those ripe apples in a month or so. Same weekend College football kicks off, I’ll be picking honey crisp apples and doing this recipe again. On Sunday of course!
Apple Stuffed Pork Tenderloin Ingredients:
1 stick salted butter
1/4 cup white wine
juice of one lemon
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp ground clove
2 pinches of salt, divided
1/2 onion, sliced thin
2 cloves garlic, sliced razor thin
1.5 apples, sliced thin
1 cup walnuts, chopped
2 pork tenderloins
white pepper to taste
Full disclosure, when I was planning on making this recipe, I was thinking of adding some heat to it so there is a bottle of Sriracha in the ingredients picture, but as the recipe evolved, I decided that was pretty stupid and didn’t use it. So forget about that bottle of liquid, red hot deliciousness in the picture above. Doesn’t really fit the theme.
Start by putting the butter, wine, lemon juice, cinnamon, clove, and salt in a pan over medium heat. While the butter is melting, slice the onions and garlic and toss them in the pan:
Then slice the apples:
Once the onions have softened a bit (2-3 minutes) add the apples and the walnuts:
Work the ingredients around with a spatula to get them softened up, but not completely cooked. Remember, this stuffing is going inside a couple pork tenderloins and going on the grill. Here they are ready to go, the apples still have a little firmness and the walnuts still have most of their crunch:
Now over to the meat. Here we have two pork tenderloins, place fat end to skinny and vice versa:
Now we want to butterfly each pork tenderloin by cutting a slit down the center but not all the way through:
Here we have a nice trough for all that glorious stuffing:
But first, flip them over to hit them with some seasoning:
That seasoning consists of salt and a rub. First the salt:
The rub is a simple combination of sweet and savory.
1 tbsp granulated garlic
1 tbsp tubinado sugar (sugar in the raw)
1 tbsp Chinese five spice
Give the bottoms of each pork tenderloin a dusting of the rub as liberal as you want:
Don’t forget the last ingredient from the first list above and give the pork tenderloins a few turns from the white pepper mill.
Now flip each pork tenderloin over and hit them with another layer of salt and then fill the trenches with the filling:
Now get some cooking twine and tie each one off to keep the stuffing from falling out. Bonus points if you can do it with one piece of string for each pork tenderloin:
I stopped buying my cooking twine locally because it is so expensive for the most pitiful little rolls. I got mine on Amazon with a stainless holder that I can refill again and again for the cheap. If you just want the ball of cooking twine, they have that too.
Then dust them with the rub and some more white pepper:
And a close up of the rub, simply because I love shots like this:
Then tie the two pork tenderloins together which will result in the two pieces of very low fat (and thus easily dried out cuts) insulating each other and allowing for longer grilling times before turning into shoe leather which means more smoke flavor:
If you didn’t notice that rather large addition to the picture above, you need your vision checked. There are two ways to get those apple stuffed pork tenderloins to the grill, the easy way and the messy way. The easy way involves the a brontosaurus size spatula, perfect for something like this or grilled pizzas.
Now off to the grill. The goal here is to smoke indirect at 300 degrees for about 45 minutes. So prepare the grill for indirect/two zone grilling. For most grills that means charcoal and smoke wood on one side and these apple stuffed pork tenderloins on the other. Or in my case, with a kamado style grill (the Char-Griller Akorn), I put the Rockwood charcoal in, get it lit, toss in the smoke wood (in this case pear), and then put the place setter down, the grate on and put the meat on the grates:
The grilling time is short despite the two tenderloins insulating each other. At 45 minutes we had an internal temperature of about 150. Some more daring souls think that is too done for pork with the new USDA guidelines, but remember, we have a filling of apples, onions, garlic and butter basting the tenderloins from the trough on top.
Here it is ready to come off the grill:
Remove from the grill and allow to rest on a cutting board and pour yourself a glass of of the wine you used at the beginning. Please tell me you didn’t use cooking wine. If it’s not good enough to drink, it’s not good enough to cook with:
This was is the Grillin’ Fools version of apple pie. None of that pesky crust to deal with which actually makes it gluten free! Basically it’s a meat apple pie with a pork tenderloin as the crust! Sort of like the entree and dessert all rolled up in pork deliciousness!
If you have any questions, feel free to shoot me an email or leave them below in the comments section.
- 1 stick salted butter
- ¼ cup white wine
- juice of one lemon
- ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
- ⅛ tsp ground clove
- 2 pinches of salt, divided
- ½ onion, sliced thin
- 2 cloves garlic, sliced razor thin
- 1.5 apples, sliced thin
- 1 cup walnuts, chopped
- 2 pork tenderloins
- white pepper to taste
- 1 tbsp granulated garlic
- 1 tbsp turbinado sugar (or sugar in the raw)
- 1 tbsp Chinese 5 spice
- Place the butter, wine, lemon juice, cinnamon, clove and half the salt in a sauce pan over medium heat
- While the butter melts, slice the onions and garlic and add to the pan
- While the onion and garlic soften, slice the apples and add to the pan along with the walnuts
- When the apples have softened, but not cooked through, remove from the heat and prepare the pork
- Slice the tenderloins lengthwise to butterfly them, being careful not to cut all the way through
- Mix together the rub ingredients
- Flip the over and apply salt to the bottom side as well as the rub
- Flip back over, coat the inside of the trenches created by the slice with salt as well as the top
- Spoon in the apple/onion mixture and then dust the top with both the rub and a few turns of white pepper
- Now tie each apple stuffed pork tenderloin up with cooking twine and then tie them to each other
- Now prepare the grill for two zone/indirect grilling. For conventional grills, place the coals and smoke wood on one side and the meat on the other with a target temperature of the grill at about 275-325
- For kamado style grills, place the smoke wood on the lit charcoal and then drop in the place setter to deflect the heat. Set the grill grate on and then close the lid.
- Transport the trussed apple stuffed pork tenderloins to the grill with a ginormous spatula
- Smoke until the meat reaches an internal temperature of 140-150 or about 45 minutes
- Remove from the grill and allow to rest
- Cut the twine off and slice into medallions.