This is a decadent little dish that uses a fillet of pork or pork tenderloin, and is almost a more refined version of the barbecue classic, bacon explosion. The bacon weave still makes an appearance, mainly because the more reasons you have to make a mat out of bacon in your life, frankly, the better.
You really can just wrap the tenderloin in bacon, but where’s the fun in that? The apple and chorizo make a rich, flavourful stuffing.
Serves: 4 hungry folk, Wood: Apple, Maple, Cherry
Weave the bacon on a large sheet of cling film. Transfer to a flat baking tray and put in the fridge until ready to use. Next, let’s get the stuffing ready.
Melt the butter in a large frying pan over medium heat and add the apple. Cook for 4–5 minutes, then add the sugar. Continue to cook, tossing for 4–5 minutes, until the apple starts to caramelise. Remove from the pan and set aside.Slice open the skins of the chorizo sausages and put the chorizo meat into the same pan you fried the apples in. Fry for 3–4 minutes over medium-high heat, breaking up the chorizo a little and letting it brown. Add the onion, garlic and thyme and gently fry with the chorizo for 10 minutes, until the onion is soft, and the chorizo is cooked and has released its oils. Season with salt and pepper. Remove the pan from the heat, drain the chorizo fat away, and discard from the pan. Add the caramelised apple back into the pan with the onion and chorizo, and set aside to cool for 30 minutes.
3. Prepare Pork
Now prepare the tenderloin and the stuffing pocket. Using a sharp knife, make an incision in the side of the tenderloin, and down the length, being careful not to go all the way through to the other side. Start the incision 1cm from the thick end and stop before the loin tapers too thinly. Pack the tenderloin with the stuffing. Remove the bacon weave from the fridge, and place the stuffed tenderloin in the centre, then fold the tapered end on to itself. Start by folding the ends of the bacon weave onto the ends of the tenderloin – it’ll be a bit tricky and won’t look totally perfect, but it’ll turn out looking great. Use a little pressure to fold the bacon weave around the loin, take one side of the cling film and fold over, same with the other side so the bacon overlaps itself. Wrap the cling film around and flip it over so that the seam of the bacon weave is underneath.Rub the oil on the weave and sprinkle with the rub.
Set up your smoker and regulate the temperature to 108°C/225°F. Put the loin in the smoker, add in the wood (apple, maple or cherry wood are all good), and smoke for 3–4 hours, or until the internal temperature of the loin meat (not the stuffing) reaches 74°C/165°F on your instant-read thermometer. Just before the tenderloin is ready, in a bowl, mix the maple syrup and cracked black pepper and brush it all over the top of the bacon weave. Allow this to set for 20 minutes in the grill.
Carefully remove the loin, wrap loosely in foil and let rest for at least 15 minutes before cutting and serving.
Now that the long summer has beat a hasty retreat and roast dinner season is firmly upon us, why not use this recipe as an excuse to invite the family round for Sunday lunch? Whether you’re impressing the in-laws or having fun with your little relatives, this recipe is a sure-fire winner with all ages. Braise some seasonal greens, rustle up some taters and tuck on in, saving the best crispy bacon bits for whoever set the table!