There is so much going on with this dish I couldn’t fit all the elements in the title of the column. What’s missing? Well, this delicious pork loin was also wrapped in bacon and served with a pineapple and mango salsa. The dish can be prepared on a gas grill or a charcoal grill using the indirect heat method, but in my case I used my pellet grill.
One quick point to make is I used a pork loin as opposed to a pork tenderloin. The pork tenderloin is much smaller, where the pork loin is a larger cut from where pork chops originate. They are also very reasonably priced, and the thing I love about pork loin is it’s a blank culinary canvas, ready to take on any flavor you prefer. As I said, we complemented the dish with a mango and pineapple salsa.
The main thing about this dish is carving the raw loin in a way that it can be rolled up with the stuffing inside it. You may want to search online for videos on how to do this, as it’s hard to explain in writing. First, you’ll need a sharp filet knife. In terms of the technique, think of a cinnamon roll and how they are assembled. Our goal is to take the segment of the pork loin you are smoking and carve it lengthwise in a way that results in a thinner, flatter piece of meat, kind of like a canvas. You do this by starting the first lengthwise cut about 3/4 of an inch, and keep rolling out the loin as you cut it. You should really go online and watch a video on how to do this if you have never done it.
Once the loin is flattened out, you spread your stuffing evenly on the pork, leaving about an inch or so around the border bare. If you spread the stuffing all the way to the edges, you end up with stuffing coming out as you roll it. You then roll it back up like a cinnamon roll and tie it with cotton twine about every 2 to 3 inches to keep it together while it’s being smoked. We then wrapped bacon and affixed it to the loin with toothpicks in the areas between the twine. Before we attached the bacon we liberally seasoned the outside of the loin with pork rub. The stuffing recipe below is approximate based on how large your pork loin is.
1 block Neufchâtel cream cheese, room temperature
2 cups shredded Gruyère cheese
1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped
3 to 4 cups fresh spinach, chopped
1 to 2 teaspoons granulated garlic
1 to 2 teaspoons red pepper flakes
1 to 2 teaspoons of black pepper
Mix up all these ingredients in a bowl. Spread on your pork loin as directed above. Roll up, tie with the twine, season with the rub and wrap in the bacon. I smoked the loin at 250 degrees Fahrenheit until the internal temperature of the loin was 130 degrees. Make sure your thermometer is in meat and not in the stuffing. I then turned the grill up to 350 degrees to finish it. I pulled it at 140 degrees and let it rest for 10 minutes or so and then carved it up, serving it with a mango and pineapple salsa. I’ve run out of room for the salsa recipe, but there are some great recipes online. If you have never cut a fresh mango you may want to watch an instructional video on how to do that as well. This smoked loin was awesome. Give it a try!