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First Try At Popper Stuffed Pork Loin

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    First Try At Popper Stuffed Pork Loin

    It seems like the Atomic Buffalo Turds, along with Meathead's popper recipe here, are extremely popular. On Super Bowl weekend, I lost track of the number of folks planning one or the other. And I just love the things. But how do we turn that into an entree that is something a little more than just eating a huge plate of ABT's (not that there's anything wrong with that)?

    I'd been thinking for a month or so about doing a stuffed pork loin with the stuffing recreating much of what's in an ABT. And since I'm pretty much fully withdrawn from going out of the house for now, today was a great opportunity to try for the first time. When I filled my freezer with provisions, I included a 5.2 lb pork loin that I cut in half before freezing since I'm only cooking for two right now. The piece flattened a bit in the freezer before freezing, so it was oblong before I cut into it. I haven't opened up a loin for stuffing before, so I think this cut went about as well as I could have hoped for:

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    Dry brining went about 7 hours.

    For the filling, I pan roasted a seeded poblano, four seeded red chiles and the last poor jalapeno my grocery store had on my last shopping trip (maybe it was Tuesday and then cases of the virus popped up here in Gainesville) with its seeds still intact.

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    I chopped the peppers and mixed with 8 slices of bacon roughly chopped, some green onions and fresh parsley into two 8 oz packages of cream cheese and a 2 cup bag of grated colby jack. I added a little dried basil, coriander powder and some freshly ground pepper. The filling was substantial and relatively stiff to work with:

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    So I put a light dusting of Memphis Dust Rub on the inside layer and then slathered on the filling:

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    I have to admit that I was really shocked it would roll back up to look so much like a pork loin. I used short water-soaked bamboo skewers to hold it together:

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    I cooked at 350 with a couple of huge chunks of hickory and pulled at an internal temperature of 140. I had been planning to go on as high as 160 if needed with a sear if I didn't like the bark, but I loved the look at 140:

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    There was very good bark on the underside and reasonable on the top. There's a hint of a smoke ring, which isn't bad since the cook went barely over an hour.

    The filling, though, clearly got too soft. The amount that oozed out while cooking didn't bother me, but it stayed too soft for too long, so that my plating picture, once again, falls short:

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    The flavor was outstanding. We'll have several more meals of this, and there's even some of the cilantro lime rice and Brussels sprouts (cooked in the saved bacon fat, of course) to go with it. I definitely want to keep working on this recipe to turn it into a fun dish for entertaining when that sort of thing is possible again.

    So, how do I fix the soft filling issue? Do I just wait a good 30 minutes before serving, and serve close to room temperature? The filling had gotten to a perfect consistency on the parts left on the cutting board after we ate.

    Or do I mix in some kind of binder? Bread crumbs? Masa? I'm sure someone here will have the perfect fix.

    This should fix yer problem...
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    • Jim White
      Jim White commented
      Editing a comment
      Well, eating that might also address the toilet paper shortage.

    • smokin fool
      smokin fool commented
      Editing a comment
      You eat that toilet paper is the least of your worries

    Now that sounds like great flavors! Cool. I like the combo. As for suggestions, I've done a few fillings by now, here's what I would do:

    1. Use a thinner layer of filling. As you see it becomes quite thick when rolling it up. No need to go so heavy.
    2. Cut the cream cheese in half (at least). The cream cheese becomes very runny when heated up (as you noticed), so using less to begin with helps.

    If you want more 'sauce', mix up some cream cheese with a bit of Memphis dust and some honey and serve cold on the side. Just my 2 cents.

    Anyway, fun idea, I might just try this one!


      Thanks so much, Henrik. Cutting back the cream cheese and less filling will be very easy fixes.

      And the idea for extra "sauce" is great. I was also thinking a chipotle crema might go with it. Maybe Memphis dust bumped up with chipotle in crema would be the answer.
      Last edited by Jim White; March 14, 2020, 06:39 AM.


        Keep playing with this, great idea and excellent write up Jim


        • Jim White
          Jim White commented
          Editing a comment
          Thanks. Let me know if you have any suggestions.

        This looks outstanding! Great idea!


          Okay, second try on this today. This was a 3 pound piece of a pork loin. Opened and dry brined for about 6 hours or so. Then some MMD on both sides.

          In trying for a less runny filling, I went with only 4 ounces cream cheese, 8 ounces shredded Mexican blend cheese and a bunch of different peppers that were lightly roasted. There was a poblano and a half, three seeded jalapenos and several small sweet peppers. There was also about half a small can of Hatch chopped hot green chiles and a couple of chipotles with about a teaspoon of the adobo from the can. I also added about half a small Vidalia onion that was chopped and soaked a while in ice water. Of course, there were three slices of very thick Nueskes applewood smoked bacon (ten slices to the pound). The filling wasn't nearly as spicy as it sounds.

          I did finally make the jump to using cooking twine and made my try at butcher's knots after watching a YouTube on how to tie them. I probably pulled a little too tight on the knots, but I like shape I got after filling and rolling:

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          Cooked at 350 to an internal of 140. Looked great coming off:

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          I hadn't managed my time well and we were hungry when it came off the grill, so I didn't have time to let it rest before opening it up. Filling was pretty runny:

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          It was still very good eating.

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          I think I'm really close to getting this thing worked out, but will do some more thinking on how to firm up the stuffing. I'm wondering about putting in some masa. Also, I suspect I would have had less of a problem if I had let it rest 15 minutes before cutting it open.

          Further suggestions are welcome.


          • BFlynn
            BFlynn commented
            Editing a comment
            Maybe mix in a cheese that doesn't melt as well - like cojita.

            Whenever we do stuffed pork loins the cheese gets runny and we're just ok with that.

          • Sweaty Paul
            Sweaty Paul commented
            Editing a comment
            Looks good. I bet with a bit of rest the cheese would have thickened a bit. That said I believe I’d have eaten a chunk and I don’t mind the runny cheese.

          Both look an sound really delicious, Jim!
          I'm very much enjoyin learnin along.


            tasty. I need to try that. I think you'd want to let it rest for maybe 15 or so if you can. But cheese is melty and runs. And tastes GREAT


              How bout using a shredded or chopped grilling cheese in lieu of the cream cheese or a combination of the 2 to mix in with the goodies.
              I heard of this cheese on this site somewhere and gave it ago and it’s gets soft but not overly runny and it tastes good. It has a firm texture
              there is an article in Fine Cooking called the Science of Melting Cheese
              might give you some insight for an alternative to cream cheese
              Last edited by Greygoose; July 15, 2020, 05:09 AM.


                Great job! I have this on my long list of to tries, but I haven't gotten around to it.
                Last edited by klflowers; July 15, 2020, 08:00 AM. Reason: Corrected typo


                  This looks great! I tried making a stuffed loin recently and also used too much stuffing. But your second attempt looks great! Like others said, maybe a different type of cheese, mozzarella or something like that. I know cream cheese does ok with you make jalapeño poppers, but it’s not under the heat for as long.

                  but great second try! I need to go at my green chile stuffed pork loin roast again with the tips you have posted here. Thanks!


                    So I can get shredded 'Mexican' cheese (it's a mix of a few common cheese like jack and cheddar not real Mexican stuff like cotija) and I think that might work nicely. Off to the store. Again. Sigh.


                      Chill it in the fridge for a few hours after cooking to let everything firm up.
                      Now you've got chicken fried, popper stuffed pork loin.


                      • Jim White
                        Jim White commented
                        Editing a comment
                        Next level!

                      Fantastic looking pork loins.
                      The cheese problem, I can only suggest older cheddars may stand up to the heat a little better but not much.
                      Out on a very thin limb with this suggestion, smoke the pork loin solo about 1/4 to 1/3 done then add your filling and tie with butchers string, then finish
                      PITA but may save your filling....kill your sense of touch for awhile too so wear gloves....



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