When You Just Gotta Have Some ‘Cue

When You Just Gotta Have Some ‘Cue

The absolute best thing about living in the South is the barbecue. Slow-roasted, smoked, seasoned, sauced it’s all just delicious! Just riding down the road you spy place after place after place, touting their version of the best barbecue in town. You can’t possibly eat at every mom and pop, checkered table-clothed, pass-the-pickles restaurant that there is, but if you are like me, you just might try!

Sometimes, you have a barbecue craving that just can’t wait. It’s a desperation kinda thing! You long for the twang of the sauce, whether it be molasses-thick, or vinegary tart. The meat has to be sliced thin enough, or perhaps just thick enough with crispy brown edges that snap in your mouth. The bun is soft, the cole slaw piled on top and yes…. you might just have a side or two of hush puppies to go along with your cue.

Want to know how to get that slow-roasted, barbecue flavor at home, in just under an hour? I have a secret. Please don’t give me away to any of the locals, because this just ain’t a bit authentic, and we know how important traditions are in these parts. But, it will work just fine – especially if you are in another part of the country, and just can’t go on down the road to satisfy your hankerin’ for Southern-style barbecue.

Slow Roasted Pork Tenderloin

A video of making this magic is coming to Youtube soon! A video of making this magic is coming to Youtube soon!

Serves 6 to 8

60 Minute Cuisine

3 tablespoons bacon fat (substitute with a combination of butter and olive oil)

2 (1-pound) pork tenderloins

1 tablespoon prepared steak seasoning (substitute with a combination of garlic salt and onion salt)

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon coarse black pepper

1 cup barbecue sauce

For Sammies:

6 to 8 soft hamburger buns

Cole slaw


More sauce!

Preheat the oven to 300°. Heat the bacon fat in a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Season the tenderloins with steak seasoning, salt and pepper. Place the tenderloins into the hot fat (it will spit back at you so be careful). Brown the pork on all sides, about 5 minutes. Use a pot holder to place the skillet into the oven. Roast the pork for 45 minutes. Carefully remove the skillet from the oven. Pour 1 cup (or more) barbecue sauce over the pork. Return the skillet to the oven and cook for 15 minutes more.

Remove the skillet from the oven. DO NOT forget to use your pot holder! Cover the meat with aluminum foil and rest for 10 minutes. Transfer the pork to your work surface and slice. Pile sliced pork onto the buns. Top the meat with extra sauce, cole-slaw and pickles. Yee haw!!

On Mother’s Day, Let’s Rock n’ Roll

On Mother’s Day, Let’s Rock n’ Roll

Mmm…bacon wrapped pork tenderloins with a cheesy, veggie laden center…That’s how I roll on Mother’s Day!

Nanas will remember Donny Osmond’s song about being a little bit country, and a little bit rock n’ roll. Well, I’m a Baby Boomer, who thinks this recipe is kind of like that; so versatile you can pack it with anything – from farm stand veggies to jarred Italian goodies from an urban market. My recipe for juicy, cheesy, veggie laden pork tenderloin serves 6, but keeps well if you decide to use it in a Panini sandwich the next day. It’s so easy to make, that whoever’s cooking dinner on your special day (even if it’s you), has plenty of time to enjoy a glass of wine before and after meal prep.

This dish is also highly portable. You can tune into Skype, your swivel chair picnic in hand, and visit with your grandkids while you eat. Just recently, I was treated to my three grandkids (ages 9, 7 and 6, respectively) lip synching their version of Pitbull’s “Timber”. They actually fell down yelling TIMBER!! – I was laughing so hard. By the way, I recommend Cupcake Vineyards Red Velvet to go with your pork roll – this way, if you skip dessert, you won’t feel cheated.

If you’re more of a beer person, like my youngest son who dabbles in making his own craft brews, this pork dish is excellent with any of these English stouts from the Beer Advocate. You’ll see a lot of love and chocolate imparted in the taste descriptions. I hope Jon is reading this, and brings over a batch of something yummy soon. Hint, hint…

For those of you who don’t already know, I have three wonderful sons: Trey, Chris and Jon. My middle son, Chris and his wife, like to cook (gee, how did that happen?), and buy and prep ingredients in advance. They made me so proud once, when they opened their freezer, and revealed a stash of make ahead meals. Ideal for busy people, the food Chris and Colleen made looked a lot like these freezer pleasers – all excellent Mother’s Day gifts by the way. Hint, hint…

Maybe they knew what I was thinking. They quickly shut the fridge before I managed to see any pork pinwheels. Pictured here, is a rock n’ roll pork tenderloin, made in a sauté pan rather than an oven. Hey, I told you this recipe was versatile!

Even though I won’t be with my kids and grandkids this holiday, I still have plenty of things to occupy me…

With three grown boys, it’s safe to say I’ll be on my own this Mother’s Day. Not to worry. I can Youtube the latest lip synch sensation, shop lifestyle websites (my favorite right now is IndiaHicks.com), and simultaneously play around in the kitchen – because you can do all these things WHILE YOU COOK in the year 2016. This is what I have to say to Moms of every generation: after breakfast in bed and your well-deserved afternoon at the spa, keep in mind that “DAD” is still on the hook. Show him this recipe, and you’ll do just fine. Happy Mother’s Day everyone!

Rock and Roll Pork Tenderloin

Serves 6 with Extras

75 Minute Cuisine

Let’s fancy up the everyday pork dish by rolling it around farm fresh veggies – just about any kind you choose for this dish are delicious. Then let’s make it even better by rolling bacon around all of it.

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 (1-pound) pork tenderloins

12 slices bacon

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon coarse ground pepper

9 slices Swiss cheese

1 (6-ounce jar) julienned sundried tomatoes packed in oil, drained

1 pound asparagus, trimmed and blanched

½ cup ketchup

¼ cup Balsamic vinegar

Preheat the oven to 375°. Drizzle the olive oil into a large baking dish. Place the tenderloins onto your work surface. Cut each lengthwise three-fourths of the way through. Do not cut all the way through. Open each one as you would a book. Place the tenderloins between sheets of parchment paper or plastic wrap. Use a meat mallet to pound the tenderloins to less than ½-inch thickness.

            Lay out the bacon strips on a piece of parchment or waxed paper. You can cut some of the strips to make the bacon layer match the size of the pork tenderloins. Lay each tenderloin side by side on top of the bacon. Season with salt and pepper.

            Lay the cheese slices over the tenderloin. Cover with sun-dried tomatoes and asparagus. Roll the bacon and tenderloins around the filling, jelly-roll style. Place the roll into a baking pan.

            Stir together the ketchup and balsamic vinegar. Brush the sauce over the roll. Bake until a thermometer inserted into the center reads 145° for medium rare, about 45 minutes to an hour. Let the tenderloin roll sit for 5 minutes. Cut into 1-inch slices and serve!!

Farmer’s Market Tip

Stuff it up! This dish screams for your creativity. Substitute the filling ingredients with whatever you find in the market. Use goat cheese, mozzarella, smoked Gouda and/or brie. In place of asparagus, use sautéed spinach, chopped zucchini, peppers and/or onions. No sun-dried tomatoes? Feel free to use chopped artichoke hearts, olives and/or hearts of palm. You can even theme your stuffed roll. How about mozzarella, pepperoni and marinara sauce! Now you have a pizza stuffed pork tenderloin!