When making this recipe from Garces Group chef Jose Garces, don't overstuff the tenderloin. You don't want all those ingredients to fall out from the side when you're grilling. And let the meat rest! Slice it too early, and you'll lose all those juices.
To learn more, read "Puerco's Revenge."
"Pamplona de Puerco" (Stuffed Pork Tenderloin with Peppers, Olives and Provolone)
Recipe adapted from Jose Garces, Rural Society, Chicago and Washington, D.C.
Yield: 6 to 8 servings
Prep Time: 1 hour and 20 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour and 35 minutes
For the Pamplona de Puerco:
4 pieces pork tenderloin
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
4 ounces provolone cheese, cut into ¼-inch wide strips
2 roasted red peppers, cut into ¼-inch wide strips
⅓ cup green olives, cut into thin slivers
3 tablespoons olive oil
For the Salsa Criolla:
2 tablespoons Spanish onions, finely diced
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
Kosher salt, to taste
¼ cup finely diced green bell pepper
¼ cup finely diced red bell pepper
½ cup Roma tomatoes, seeds removed and finely diced
¼ cup olive oil
1 teaspoon whole cumin seeds, toasted and ground
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
For the Chimichurri:
¼ cup white wine vinegar
1 garlic clove, minced
½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
3 cups parsley, finely chopped
½ cup oregano, finely chopped
½ cup olive oil
Kosher salt, to taste
1. Make the pamplona de puerco: Place the meat flat on a work surface. Using a sharp knife, butterfly the meat along its long side. Continue cutting inward so that the meat unrolls like a carpet, until it reaches a ¼-inch thickness. It should measure around 9-inches by 4-inches. Season the pork liberally on both sides with salt and black pepper. Note: You can also ask your butcher to butterfly the meat for you.
2. In the bottom ⅓ of the tenderloin, place a few strips of the provolone cheese, red peppers and green olives.
3. Gently roll the pork tenderloin into a cylinder, making sure to keep the filling in the center. Using butcher's twine, carefully tie the pork tenderloin in even intervals. Repeat with remaining tenderloin pieces. Place the tenderloin in the fridge, uncovered, for at least 2 hours, or preferably overnight.
4. Meanwhile, make the salsa criolla: In a mixing bowl, combine the onions with the red wine vinegar and a pinch of salt. Let the mixture sit at room temperature for 20 to 30 minutes for the onions to macerate. Add the green and red peppers, Roma tomatoes, olive oil, cumin and red pepper flakes. Stir the mixture and set it aside at room temperature until ready to serve; makes 2 cups.
5. Make the chimichurri: In a separate bowl, combine the vinegar, garlic and red pepper flakes and let sit for 20 to 30 minutes. Stir in the parsley, oregano, olive oil. Season with salt and set aside until ready to serve.; makes 1 cup.
6. Remove the tenderloin from the fridge 30 minutes before cooking. Meanwhile, prepare a charcoal or gas grill for indirect grilling. Brush the tenderloin pieces with olive oil and place them on the hot side of the grill. Cook the meat, turning often, until it's brown all over, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove it and place on the cool side of the grill, then cover and it allow the meat to cook until the internal temperature reaches 140°, about another 6 to 8 minutes. Remove the pork from the grill and allow it to rest for 10 minutes before slicing.
7. Remove the butcher's twine and slice carefully into ½-inch medallions. Arrange the meat on a platter and serve with the salsa criolla and chimichurri.