smoked pork tenderloin

Hacking Cubanos

by Anne Maxfield on June 5, 2014

Accidental Locavore Cubano MakingsInspired by (or just made really hungry by) the Cuban sandwiches in the movie Chef, the Accidental Locavore crossed a few cultural barriers and came up with her own version of a Cubano, with help from a husband who couldn’t stop tweaking. This makes one sandwich and I’ve been known to make an untoasted version in under two minutes:

  • 1 ciabatta roll
  • 1-2 slices deli ham
  • 4-6 slices smoked pork tenderloin (or roast pork)
  • 1-2 slices provolone
  • 5-6 dill pickle slices
  • Dijon mustard

Untoasted: Cut the ciabatta rolls open and liberally spread the mustard on both sides. Layer the ham, smoked pork, cheese and pickles. Serve and enjoy!

Frank’s toasted version:

Cut the roll in half and slather mustard on one side. Put the cheese on that side, and the ham and smoked pork on the other side. Warm it in the toaster oven until the cheese is melted. Remove from the oven and add the pickles on top of the cheese. Quickly slap the halves together and press down hard on the sandwich. Slice in half and enjoy!

My verdict: Before you start telling me it’s not authentic, I know that! I saw the movie and I’ve eaten Cubanos in Manhattan. Since we’ve been loving the smoked pork tenderloin so much, I thought it would be interesting to try it in a sandwich. Let me tell you, toasted or even plain, it’s delicious! We don’t have a panini press (and no, that’s not a request for one), so I’m going to try it on a griddle (getting more authentic) and/or our waffle iron. If I do it on the plancha (griddle), I’ll grill the ham and butter the outside of the roll before grilling it. Not sure what the waffle iron will do, but it would act more like a press than the griddle. Either way, it’s time for the third batch of smoked tenderloin.

 

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Making Smoked Pork Tenderloin

by Anne Maxfield on April 24, 2014

Accidental Locavore French CharcutrerieWhile the Accidental Locavore and her husband were in Nice, we had to taste almost every piece of cheese or charcuterie that we saw. One of the highlights from Lou Froumaï, a great new shop, was a piece of what they called smoked pork filet mignon. It was unbelievably good! My husband gave me a week to recreate it at home, so I went right to work. I used my electric smoker for this.

 

For the brine:

  • 1 gallon water
  • 1 cup kosher salt
  • ½ cup sugar
  • Chopped garlic (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon herbs de Provence (optional)
  • 2 pork tenderloins (about 1 ½ pounds)

In a large pot (tall and deep is good), add the water, salt, sugar, garlic and herbs. Bring to a simmer and stir to make sure all the salt and sugar are dissolved. Let cool to room temperature. Put the pork tenderloins in the cooled brine, weigh down with a plate, and refrigerate overnight.

Remove the pork from the brine, and rinse it off really well (otherwise it will be salty). Pat dry with paper towels. Place on the lower rack of an electric smoker and smoke for 4 hours. Remove from the smoker, let cool, serve thinly sliced and enjoy!

Accidental Locavore Smoked PorkMy verdict: For a (jet-lagged) first attempt, this was pretty good! Of course, I suspect the French have better pigs, so it’s probably time to go hunting for some heritage hogs. I used hickory to smoke the tenderloins and it seemed to work well; next time I might try it with some apple. We’ve just been eating it sliced thinly, occasionally with a bit of coarse mustard and some cornichons. I brought it to a party the other night and it was a big hit! Don’t you think that it would make great sandwiches, eggs Benedict, pasta carbonara – acting like a cross between bacon and ham. Use your imagination and give it a try!

 

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