With Father’s Day coming up we all have one thing on our minds: grilling. But just because most dudes enjoy food cooked over an open flame doesn’t mean it has to be something a caveman would recognize. Let’s ditch the gargantuan steaks this year for something a little fancier. Let’s show all the Dad’s in our lives that they deserve something special, something, I don’t know… stuffed with cheese and wrapped in bacon?
This pork tenderloin looks complicated but is actually pretty simple to pull-off. I used a mixture of Cacique® Ranchero® Queso Fresco for it’s mellow buttery flavor and Cotija cheese to add a briny bite. The nice thing about these cheeses are that they hold their shape to create clean, beautiful slices after the pork has been cooked, not to mention the loads of fresh, creamy flavor.
The cheeses are combined with snipped fresh chives and some ground black pepper then you place the stuffing right down the middle of pounded-flat pork tenderloin. The whole thing gets rolled up and then wrapped in bacon, which gives it a smoky flavor and ups the wow-appeal.
This is one of those recipes that is worthy of inclusion in the Repeat Forever File. It is impressive and simple— a double whammy in the world of home cooking. Plus once you’ve got this one down you could repeat with a whole host of stuffings. Any number of Cacique’s cheeses would be wonderful here: Queso Blanco, Queso Ranchero, or even Manchego cheese would be good as well as any number of fresh herbs or spices.
This recipe is sure to get you through many a barbecue or patio party this summer not to mention the one that’s coming up this weekend, so let’s step away from the predictable this Father’s Day and surprise those dedicated Papa’s with something as unique and special as they are.
WHAT YOU NEED
- 1 (2-pound) pork tenderloin
- 1/2 cup crumbled Cacique® Cotija cheese (about 2 1/2 ounces)
- 1/2 cup crumbled Ranchero® Queso Fresco (about 2 1/2 ounces)
- 1/3 cup chopped chives
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 8-9 slices thick-cut bacon
- Dijon mustard, for serving (optional)
- Kitchen twine
HOW TO MAKE IT
- Prepare a charcoal or gas grill to medium-low heat.
- While grill is heating, place the pork tenderloin on a cutting board vertically in front of you. Make a vertical cut from top to bottom of the tenderloin, cutting a little more than halfway through, making sure to not cut all the way through the tenderloin.
- Open tenderloin up like a book and press down on each side to flatten. Cover tenderloin with a piece of plastic wrap then using a meat mallet or rolling pin, pound tenderloin until it is about ½-inch thick all over.
- In a medium bowl, combine both cheeses, chives, salt, and pepper. Place cheese mixture down the middle of the tenderloin, then lift one side of the tenderloin over to cover the cheese. Continue rolling the tenderloin until it is completely rolled up.
- Stretch out each piece of bacon to make it a bit longer, without breaking it. Wrap each slice of bacon around the tenderloin until covered. Cut about 8 pieces of kitchen twine about 6-inches long each. Slide each piece underneath the tenderloin at 1-inch intervals; tie each piece around the tenderloin to secure.
- Grill tenderloin, covered, turning every 5 minutes or so until the internal temperature is at 140°F, about 20-30 minutes. Let rest about 10 minutes before slicing. Serve with Dijon mustard, if desired.