A butterflied pork tenderloin is stuffed with sautéed mushrooms, pear, shallots and sage, then grilled both indirectly and directly.
We’re experiencing the season’s first real bout of don’t-heat-up-the-kitchen weather here in Chicago. So this weekend, I fired up the grill. For my inaugural grilled meat meal of the year, I turned to a recipe inspired by one of our favorite vegetarians. You may remember the recent vegetarian pasta dish based on a side served by our friend Laura. Well, even though she doesn’t eat meat, she knows how to cook it.
Two elemental flavors come together beautifully in this recipe. With two cups of chopped mushrooms, the filling delivers a delicious, earthy taste. And a combination of indirect and direct grilling adds plenty of smokiness to the pork tenderloin.
The pear adds a slightly sweet note that plays nicely with pork. And sage and pork? What’s not to like? Laura didn’t grill her wonderful stuffed tenderloin; she pan seared it, then roasted it in the oven. Many recipes call for this approach – in fact, that had been my plan until temperatures started rising. Either method produces delicious results, but I’m happy with what the smoke brought to the party.
Grilled pork tenderloin stuffed with mushrooms and pear
6 ounces mushrooms (I used cremini – buttons are also fine)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large shallot, chopped (or 1 medium onion and a minced clove of garlic)
1 pear, peeled and diced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 generous tablespoon chopped fresh sage (or 1 teaspoon dried)
1 pork tenderloin, 1-1/4 to 1-1/2 pounds
Special equipment: pieces of kitchen twine, soaked in water
1. Slice and/or chop the mushrooms (I bought sliced mushrooms and chopped the larger slices into smaller pieces). You should have a generous two cups of mushrooms when finished.
2. Heat the butter and olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium flame.
3. Add mushrooms, shallot, and pear to skillet and toss to coat with butter and oil. Season with salt and pepper and cook for 12 to 15 minutes, stirring frequently to avoid overly browning the shallot.