Grilled Pork Tenderloin

20141010-pork-tenderloin
A nice 1 lb pork tenderloin is great on the grill. Even if you’re not a huge fan of pork, I would urge you to try pork tenderloin. When it is cooked properly it is beautifully tender and juicy. If you’re cooking it on the grill (which is really all I ever do) it develops that great charred chewy crust. This recipe is a modification of an Alton Brown recipe. I wasn’t too sure how I was going to like it but I ended up absolutely adoring this marinade.

1 whole pork tenderloin, approximately 1 lb.
lime zest, (2 limes)
1/2 cup freshly squeezed lime zest
1/4 agave syrup (or honey, I really like using a blue agave syrup as an alternative to many sweeteners or honey. The agave sweetener is a low glycemic index sweetener)
1 & 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
2 tbsp. diced chipotle peppers with sauce
cilantro for garnish

Make sure to trim your tenderloin of any excess fat or silver skin. Combine the lime zest, lime juice, agave syrup, salt, and garlic powder in a container with a lid and shake well. Pour half of the mixture into a bag with your pork and add the chipotle pepper. This dish isn’t really that spicy but it does have some very mild heat. If you are afraid of the chipotle peppers adding too much spice I would urge you to at least add some. They provide a great smoky flavor. Marinate the pork in the refrigerator for 4 to 24 hours.

Now its time to grill! Grill your pork on a medium high heat and rotate it slightly every couple of minutes covering it in between rotations. It’s internal temperature should reach 140 degrees F. For boneless cuts of meat I never use a thermometer, I just poke it with my finger. It should feel more firm than it did raw of course but it should not be firm all the way through. It should still have a softness in the core. I realize that this method might be the opposite of helpful when I’m trying to describe how to cook pork but I realized when I started writing down my recipes that I do a lot of things instinctually. Back to the pork, once its done, put it on a large piece of foil and add the marinade that you reserved (the half that never touched the raw pork just to be clear). Next, seal the foil so the pork is completely enclosed and let it rest for 10 min. before slicing. The pork should be pink in the center. I realized that when you look at the picture of my pork, you can’t really tell that its pink but it was and I devoured it. This dish has an amazing sweet/salty/smoky balance, I will eat it over and over again.

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