Monday, April 03, 2006

Grilled Rosemary Pork Tenderloin

Whenever we have parties, my husband likes to make his now famous grilled pork tenderloin. He grills it indirectly for 1-1/2 to 2 hours and uses hickory wood chips to give it a smoky flavor. We bought huge tenderloin, about 5 lbs, that we cut into thirds. The following recipe is for a 1-1/2 to 2 lb. pork tenderloin. You can use either fresh Rosemary or fresh Thyme, either one works wonderfully and this will probably be the best grilled pork loin you've ever had.

First, make the paste. For this you will need:

  • 1-1/2 to 2 lb. pork tenderloin
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1/3 to 1/2 cup fresh Rosemary leaves, woody stem removed
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons ground black pepper
  • 2 to 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • Butcher string
  • Hickory wood chips, soaked in water for 30 minutes
In a food processor add the garlic cloves, the fresh Rosemary, 2 tablespoons kosher salt, 2 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper and 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Process it until it forms a paste, similar to pesto. If it's too thick, add one or two more tablespoons of olive oil to the mixture and process it again. Add it to a small bowl and set aside.

**You can replace the Rosemary with fresh Thyme, if you prefer. Both are terrific with pork.

Second, butterfly the pork tenderloin:
  1. With a sharp knife, slice the pork tenderloin in half, lengthwise, about 3/4 of the way through. Do not cut all the way through.
  2. Slice the two sides in half again making sure not to go all the way through.
  3. Slather about 1/2 of the Rosemary paste inside the tenderloin. Then fold it back into shape.
  4. Tie the tenderloin with butcher string then cover the outside of the pork tenderloin with the remaining rosemary paste.
Setting up the grill:

Set up your grill for indirect grilling. Make sure you preheat the grill for 15 minutes first. You want it to be at medium-high heat, about 350 degrees (F).

In the meantime, make a smoker pouch with heavy-duty aluminum foil and your drained wood chips. Prick several holes in the pouch and set it directly over the fire on the grill.

Place the pork tenderloin on the grill. Place an aluminum drip pan or aluminum foil under the pork tenderloin to catch the fat drippings. Grill for 1-1/2 to 2 hours or until the meat thermometer reaches 160 degrees. Turn the tenderloin frequently to evenly cook it and caramelize it. Let it rest for 5 minutes before slicing it. Serve immediately!

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