The cook off started at 3 pm, so when they gave us the shout we started coals and started the food prep. Well, Mother Nature must have heard the shout as well and felt she needed to contribute something to the cook off, because at 3 pm she sent a down pour. When I say down pour, I mean down pour! It rained cats and dogs and little children with lightening and thunder added in for good measure. It rained until there were little lakes everywhere. At first we groaned and moaned a little but once we realized that its all just part of the cook off fun we were laughing about it. And I dare say we enjoyed it a little. I can tell you that I've never been so glad to be cooking in a dugout. I'm also glad that it wasn't my first time cooking in the rain/wind/bad weather in general. As all of you know, I've been there, done that, got the t-shirt. : ) With that much rain you can imagine how hard it was to start coals. God bless the man cooking 2 dozen pots of potatoes next to us for having a big propane torch. The rain put everyone at least 30 minutes behind schedule.
The baseball field behind our dugout.
Kind of a runny mess! : )Next was the pork tenderloin. When I made the filling I forgot to add the chicken broth and the mozzarella cheese. But those were minor compared to the fact that as it cooked the whole thing opened up to reveal the filling instead of staying in a nice roll. But never fear. We had some nice leafy kale leaves to use as a garnish so we just put the open side down on the leaves so no one would ever know! Pretty tricky, huh?
Next was the cornbread. It turned out well, except that I forgot to run a knife around the edges to loosen it from the pan so the edges didn't look as nice as I wanted.
Now for the moment you've all been waiting for! I know your thinking "this is all very interesting, but how did you do?" Well, we did GREAT! We came expecting to have a great time, but not to win. But we ended up taking Second place in the main dish category and FIRST PLACE in the bread category!!!! We were so surprised! You should have seen the dishes the other teams cooked! They were beautiful and delicious! Some of them were worthy of the world championships, and I know because I got to help with the world championships last spring!
All in all, it was a great experience. I hope I can go back and do it again next year. It was very well organized and I met some really amazing people. I've said it before, dutch oven cooks are some of the greatest people I've ever met. I have to say thanks to Kris, my partner! She is a great cook and a lot of fun to be around! We are looking forward to competing at the state fair next month!
So today's recipe is our second place pork tenderloin recipe.
Stuffed Pork Tenderloin Wrapped with Prosciutto
12" dutch oven
1 Tablespoon neutral oil such as canola or safflower
1 small onion, finely diced
1 clove garlic, finely minced
3 slices white bread, crusts trimmed and cut into ½” cubes
1teaspoon finely chopped rosemary
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh thyme
1 1/2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh sage
¼ cup chicken stock
1 Tablespoon white wine (optional)
5 Swiss chard leaves, chopped (I used chopped spinach)
1 slice prosciutto, cut into small dice
¼ cup (packed) shredded mozzarella or smoked mozzarella
1 lb. whole pork tenderloin
4 to 5 slices prosciutto, sliced paper-thin
1 piece dry spaghetti
1-1/2 Tablespoons oil
2 large pieces of plastic wrap
To make stuffing: In a 12" dutch oven, heat 1 Tablespoon of oil over a full spread of coals. Add onion and garlic and sauté until they begin to soften, about 2 minutes. Add bread cubes and toast for 1 minute. Add herbs and cook for another minute.
Pour in chicken stock and wine. Add Swiss chard and cook until the chard goes limp, about 2 minutes. Stir mixture and continue to cook for a couple of minutes, until all liquid has been absorbed.
Remove stuffing from the heat. Stir in diced prosciutto and mozzarella. Set mixture aside until ready to stuff the pork (stuffing can be made in advance and refrigerated up to 24 hours).
To Prepare Pork: Slice open and pound out pork between sheets of plastic wrap.
Lay the prepared pork flat and spoon the stuffing in a line down the middle. Roll up the tenderloin and secure with pieces of dry spaghetti or toothpicks.
Wrap the entire tenderloin with prosciutto slices. Pour 1-1/2 Tablespoons oil on the bottom of your 12" dutch oven and place the tenderloin inside.
Roast pork for about 30 minutes at 425° or until the meat is just faintly pink when sliced into. Use 2 rings on top and 1 ring on the bottom. Let cool slightly and slice. Serves 6-8.
The Finished Product
As you can tell by the fact that it won second place, this was fabulous!! The pork was tender and moist, the filling was perfectly spiced, and the prosciutto was browned and crispy. This is also really easy to make. Even in the rain I made it in just over an hour start to finish. It would be a perfect meal to serve to company or for a nice Sunday meal. This is definitely an A recipe.