This Stuffed Pork Tenderloin packs the flavor from the spicy hatch chiles, creamy cheese, and sweet BBQ rub. Rolled up and slowly smoked, this juicy meal will impress anyone.
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Flavor Inside and Out
Pork tenderloin recipes just don’t get enough love. Smaller cousins to the massive pork loin, these cook quickly and are so simple to prepare. I’m going to show you my method for making a smoked pork tenderloin using delicious, seasonal hatch chiles.
Two dishes come to mind when I think of pork and hatch chiles: Chile Rellenos and Pork Chile Verde. The natural sweetness of pork happens to be a perfect match for the roasted, buttery spice of hatch chiles. Twisting a chile relleno inside-out by wrapping the chile with pork, and we have this delicious smoked pork tenderloin. The sweetness of the pork is reinforced using a simple, sweet BBQ blend.
These chiles are not available year-round, and my closest recommendation would be to use either Anaheim chiles or Poblano chiles.
How to Prepare Stuffed Pork Tenderloin
Making a stuffed pork tenderloin takes a little extra effort, but the results speak for themselves. Mastering this process will open up all new ideas for you!
Smithfield® Fresh Pork prepares incredible quality when it comes to pork tenderloin and other cuts of pork. Consistency happens to be one of the most important buying decisions for me; I need to buy what I expect. Meaty, generous portions, and widely available through Walmart.
1. Remove the Fat.
Trim off any excess fat or silverskin on the outside. Usually, there isn’t much but this will allow for more even cooking and a better presentation.
2. Butterfly the Tenderloin.
Using a sharp knife, slice carefully along one side of the pork, lengthwise. Try to keep your knife about 1/2″ above the bottom side of the tenderloin, slicing in the middle. Go slow and steady, making sure you do not slice completely through.
3. Flatten the Tenderloin.
This extra step evens out the pork by pounding it with a mallet or meat tenderizer. We’re not trying to smash the pork, just to even out thicker areas to make sure it’s about 1/4″ thickness all around. You’ll have more surface area for the stuffing, also allowing the pork to cook more evenly.
4. Stuff the Tenderloin.
Each piece is long enough for 2 whole-roasted hatch chiles (seeds/stems removed) and a generous pile of melting cheese, Monterrey jack recommended. Place the chiles on the side you will roll from, and the cheese in the middle. This will make rolling it together much simpler.
5. Roll, Season, and Secure.
Starting on the side of the pork with the chiles, roll towards the other side, tucking in the cheese as you go. Make sure the chiles and cheese are all tucked in, you should have an overlap of pork. Season generously with the sweet BBQ rub (recipe below) and secure with butcher’s twine. No expert skills are needed, if you don’t know how to truss meat just tie some very tight loops around and snip off the excess string.
Smoked with Sweet BBQ Rub
Hatch chiles can be spicy, and you probably know that varies between chiles. Smoked pork tenderloin doesn’t need a complicated rub, just a simple combination of ingredients to bring out the flavors of the pork, tie in the flavors of the hatch chiles, and also counteract the spicy profile.
Recipe for Sweet BBQ Rub:
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1 tbsp paprika
- 1/2 tbsp black pepper
- 1/2 tbsp kosher salt
- 1/2 tbsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tbsp Mexican oregano
- 1/2 tsp coriander
- 1/2 tsp cumin, ground
Taste and adjust, as I always say. This is the right amount of salt for my taste, given that we’re making 2 tenderloins. That’s right 2, because they come in pairs when you buy them at the store! Didn’t know that? Well, get ready to make a lot more food than you planned.
The brown sugar might seem like a lot, but spread out over almost 3lb of pork, it’s not near as much as you think. I mean, you’ll eat a bunch of fresh-baked cookies, right?
You can choose to smoke the pork loins low and slow at 250F, which will give you a nice layer of flavor and tenderness. The alternative is to grill them hot and fast directly over the coals at 400-450F, giving you a crispy crust and a juicy inside. Personally, I like the lazy and flavorful way of smoking slowly. My recipe below will walk you through that process but regardless your target temp for pork should be at least 145F internally before you pull it off. Rest for 10 minutes before slicing and serving.
Can I Cook Stuffed Pork Tenderloin in the Oven?
You sure can! Prepare the pork in the same way but use the oven at a higher temperature. I recommend preheating to 375F, cooking the pork in an oven-safe dish or baking sheet, and cook for 30-35 minutes until the internal temp is 145F. The meat should be an even thickness if you pounded it out, so check in a few places to be sure.