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Episode 306: Barbecue on a Budget

Pamplona of Pork (Pork Tenderloin Stuffed with Peppers, Ham, and Boursin Cheese)

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Pamplona is the name Argentineans and Uruguayans give to a cylindrical roast stuffed with bell peppers, ham, and cheese. This version starts with what may be the best luxury cut for the money: pork tenderloin. I stuff it with fire-roasted bell peppers, smoked ham, and creamy Boursin cheese. Then I smoke-roast it with hickory chunks to add an irresistible smoke flavor. Did I mention bacon? Lots of bacon? The latter looks great, adds flavor, and helps keep the lean pork moist during smoking.

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Other Recipes from Episode 306: Barbecue on a Budget


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Pamplona of Pork (Pork Tenderloin Stuffed with Peppers, Ham, and Boursin Cheese)

Recipe Notes

  • Yield: Serves 4
  • Method: Indirect Grilling

Ingredients

  • 2 pork tenderloins, each 1 to 1 1/4 pounds
  • Coarse salt (sea or kosher) and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 roasted red bell pepper, stemmed, peeled, seeded, and sliced into 1/4-inch strips (see Note below)
  • 3 ounces thinly sliced smoked ham, slivered
  • 1 5.2-ounce package Boursin cheese, or other soft garlic and herb cheese, crumbled
  • 4 strips thin-cut bacon
  • 1 Vegetable oil, for oiling the grate
  • Roasted Bell Pepper Vinaigrette
  • Zucchini Burnt End

You'll also need

  • Butcher’s string
  • 1 or 2 hardwood chunks
  • or 1 1/2 cups hardwood smoking chips (if using the latter, soak in water to cover for 30 minutes, then drain)

Recipe Steps

1: Set up your grill for indirect grilling and heat to medium-high (400 degrees).

2: Meanwhile, cut a deep pocket in the side of each pork tenderloin. Season the inside of the pocket with salt and pepper and paint with mustard. Stuff the peppers, ham, and cheese into the pocket. Season the outside of the tenderloins with salt and pepper.

3: Lay 4 10-inch pieces of kitchen string on and parallel to your work surface. Lay a strip of bacon on and perpendicular to the strings. Top with one of the tenderloins. Lay a second strip of bacon on top of the tenderloin. Bring up the ends of the strings and tie. Trim the ends close to the knots. Repeat with the remaining tenderloin.

4: Brush or scrape the grill grate clean and oil it well with vegetable oil. If using a charcoal grill, add the wood chunks or chips to the coals. On a gas grill, place in the smoker box or under the grate directly over the burners.

5: Indirect grill the tenderloins until nicely browned and the meat is cooked through (145 to 155 degrees), 40 minutes, or as needed.

6: Let the meat rest for 5 minutes. Remove the strings, then using a sharp knife (preferably with a serrated blade), slice the tenderloin crosswise into 1/2-inch medallions. Transfer to a platter or plates.

Note: The pepper can be prepared at a previous grill session: Heat the grill to high, then roast the pepper until the skin is blackened and charred, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Alternatively, roast the pepper over an open flame on your gas stove or the side burner of your grill. Cover and refrigerate for up to a day if not using immediately.

Recipe Tips

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Steven Raichlen’s Project Fire is a production of Maryland Public Television, Barbacoa, Inc., and Resolution Pictures. © 2021 Barbacoa, Inc. Photos by Chris Bierlein

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