Thursday, July 12, 2012

Grilled Stuffed Pork Tenderloin with IPA Mashed Potatoes

Since I made the potatoes, they get center stage (or plate as the case would be).
Something rare occurred in the kitchen the other day. I found myself lost and not sure of what I was doing. For the first time in months, I was helping making an actual meal and not something sugar filled that I will lament the next time I visit a dentist. After a long delay due to competing work schedules and silly things called social lives, we were finally making another family dinner to bring joy to the denizens of our townhouse (but sadly not celebratory dancing since it would leave us far too stuffed). Kevin as usual handled grillmaster/ chief meatman duties by cooking a beautiful stuffed pork tenderloin, while I did what I do best- played with butter and beer for some creamy IPA mashed potatoes.

Grilled Stuffed Pork Tenderloin
Adapted from BikeMrown
Servings: 6-8
Time: 60 minutes

2 lbs pork tenderloin
1/2 cup shallots, chopped
1/2 cup crumbled goat cheese
1/4 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped
1 tbsp fresh rosemary, chopped
2 tsp fresh thyme, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp salt
2 tsp pepper
1 tbsp olive oil
Much prettier in their sliced state

  1. Combine the shallots, feta cheese, walnuts, garlic, rosemary and thyme and set aside.
  2. Slice the tenderloins lengthwise so that you cut to but not through the other side.
  3. Lay the tenderloin flat by opening the halves then pound to 1/2 inch thick with a mallet or skillet (get highly grossed out when your roommate hits it too hard and some goes flying in the kitchen).
  4. Season the tenderloin with salt and pepper.
  5. Distribute the filling evenly down the length of each tenderloin. Roll each up tightly and secure with twine or toothpicks (I'm shocked those are used for things other than checking if cupcakes are ready.).
  6. Baste each with the olive oil then grill over medium heat for 25 minutes (or until the internal temp reaches 155) turning once halfway through.
  7. Remove from the grill and cover tightly with foil for 10 minutes. 
  8. Cut and serve.
And with that, the hugely unsuccessful idea for the pork jelly roll popped into my head.
Somehow, this pork almost gave bacon a run for its money as the greatest thing to come from a pig (ok, they still both lose to comical uses of "That'll do, pig" from Babe). This fantastic entree consisted of three truly mesmerizing aspects: the crispy outside, the tender pork inside and the powerful feta and shallot filling. Kevin will be allowed to maintain his grillmaster status following the rolled perfection achieved that night. 

IPA Mashed Potatoes
Servings: 6-8
Time: 30 minutes

4 lbs Yukon Gold potatoes, roughly peeled and diced
3 tbsp salt
3 cloves garlic, minced
4 tbsp butter
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup India Pale Ale (We used Endeavour by Saint Arnold)
9 leaves basil, chopped
The award winning secret to quality mashed potatoes (and the usual answer to the question "why does my head hurt"). Since it's highly likely Dennis brewed this, we all contributed significantly to family night cooking.
  1. Add the potatoes and salt to a large pot of cold water. Bring to a boil and let simmer for 20 minutes or until they are easily mashed by a fork.
  2. Drain the potatoes.
  3. Sauté the garlic in olive oil until it begins to brown.
  4. Stir in the butter, milk and IPA and cook until warm. 
  5. Add the beer mixture in with the potatoes and mash them.
  6. Mix in the basil and season to taste.
Despite it costing Kevin and I in the Pasta Throwdown, I continue to assert that basil leaves equal killer presentation.
Tender delightful meat needs a quality side for a full fledged meal of awesome, and our tenderloin found a worthy ally in these creamy, boozy mashed potatoes. Despite the presence of the silver medal winning Endeavour (with as much as Dennis brings home you'd think we'd get sick of it by now, but it's just too good), the basil truly highlighted this dish with a powerful punch that gave it the strength to stand up to the feta packed pork. In the future, I would probably make one and a half times the beer mixture to further enhance the creaminess and IPA flavor, but, as it stood, this side passed the ultimate companion test when I found myself mixing it with the tenderloin for each bite.

Overall, the return of family night and non-baking culinary adventures made for a welcome evening of fun and waistband stretchery. I just hope the oven didn't get too jealous that I was cheating on it.

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