Whole Hog Pork Tenderloin Medallions
Most people have a love/hate relationship with pork tenderloin. I don't know what your experience has been, but generally unless we are going to a white-tablecloth restaurant there's a better than average chance it will be tough and dry, but when it's done well, it can be a serious contender for favorite comfort foods (particularly when it's served with creamy polenta and some asparagus or Brussels sprouts on the side). The key to getting it right is two-stage cooking; smoke first to get some flavor into the pork, then sear to caramelize and form the bark. Our Whole Hog® is the perfect complement to pork tenderloin. When it smokes, the rub melts and coats the outer surface of the whole tenderloin beautifully, then when it is seared, the added rub as well as the rub on the sides of the medallions caramelizes and the flavor will be something your friends and family will crave.
If you have time to let the salted and seasoned tenderloin "rest" before smoking to let the salt distribute into the tenderloin, it can be seasoned up to 6 hours before (and stored in the refrigerator) smoking as a "dry brine" method. Liberal use of Whole Hog® on the whole tenderloin is recommended. It will thicken in the smoker and form a lovely bark on the outside of the tenderloin which will translate to a great bark on the outer edge of each medallion after cutting. Searing at high temp after cutting the medallions and dusting them with more Whole Hog® yields each individual medallion with a great, thick bark around the outside and tasty caramelized flavor on the top and bottom of the individual medallions.
As always, from our table to yours... #SpiceConfidently #EssenceOfFlavor #ChemistryInTheKitchen #CasaMSpice
— Mike Hernandez
For the Tenderloin:
- 1 whole pork tenderloin
- Casa M Spice Co® Whole Hog® or Uncontrolled Whole Hog®
- salt (1/4 teaspoon per pound of tenderloin
The key to getting it right is two-stage cooking; smoke first to get some flavor into the pork, then sear to caramelize and form the bark.- Mike Hernandez
LET’S GET COOKING
Preheat your smoker to 175°F
Place the tenderloin on a sheet pan. Apply salt first and then dust the tenderloin evenly and generously with Whole Hog® or Uncontrolled Whole Hog®. Pat it with your hand gently to ensure good and even coverage of the rub on the tenderloin.
Move the tenderloin into the smoker and let it smoke until the internal temperature of the tenderloin reaches 140°F. The time needed for this will depend on how big your tenderloin is. Ours took about 2 hour and it was just over 2 pounds.
Pull the tenderloin out of the smoker when it reaches 140°F and let it rest for 10 minutes.
Cut the tenderloin into individual medallions about 1" thick and re-season the two sides of each medallion with Whole Hog® or Uncontrolled Whole Hog® (both sides).
Sear the medallions over VERY HIGH HEAT. The Whole Hog® (or Uncontrolled Whole Hog®) will caramelize on the surface of both sides of the medallions and final internal temperature will be 145-150°F.
These can be served as appetizers if sliced into bite-sized pieces or served as a main course, maybe on top of a bed of creamy polenta or along side some Brussels sprouts.