I'm a sucker for grilled pork tenderloin. Lean and chewy, it will take on whatever delicious flavor you give it. This versatile kitchen wonder also makes some of the best leftovers you'll find. One half hour of grilling will yield you sandwich and salad fixings (and okay, nibblings from the fridge) for a week. This one's great for a crowd, especially if you're on a budget.
For this preparation, a marinade imparts sweet and tart undertones, while a BBQ spice rub starts each bite with a spicy, smokey punch.
With leaner cuts, like tenderloin, the meat itself won't be as flavorful -- not as much fat to entice your taste buds -- but marinating can make a world of difference.
These friends provide sweet, tart, tangy flavors. The oil and the sugar from the honey will ensure lovely caramelization and crunch too.
Combine marinade ingredients and pour over your pork in sturdy plastic bag.
Let these guys hang out in the fridge for awhile. At least four hours. Overnight is better. Turn over and moosh around if you get the chance.
After a good long soak in the marinade, the pork will be ready for a solid seasoning. Here I've used a spice mix we picked up on our last trip to Kansas City (home of the world's BEST BBQ and some of our dearest friends). Based on my best guess, it's a combination of chili powder, black peper, cumin, garlic and smoked paprika.
After a rub-down with spice, let your tenderloins come up to room temperature for 20ish minutes. You never want to put fridge-cold meat on the grill.
Start your meat on direct heat to build color and those lovely grill marks. Once you've achieved a bit of char, move over to medium indirect heat. This whole process will take about 30 minutes, or until your tenderloin is barely pink in the middle (internal temp should be 155).
LET THE MEAT REST! It's had a hard day. Don't lose all of the tasty juice on your cutting board. And take moment to look at how friggin' gorgeous rubs will make your meat. Also, think about all the inappropriate "meat" and "rub" jokes you can make with the husband.
This time we served with grilled corn and sauteed green beans. For more veggies and extra flavor, I topped with my homemade pico de gallo.
BBQ Spiced Pork Tenderloin
2 pork tenderloins, about 1lb each
3-4 tablespoons of your favorite BBQ spice (look out for ones that have sugar or salt in the first few ingredients...they're up to no good)
For the marinade
1/3 cup orange juice
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon minced garlic
Whisk together marinade ingredients and pour over tenderloins in a study plastic bag. Allow meat to marinate for at least four hours. Remove tenderloins from bag and get ride of marinade. Rub down meat with spice mix. Allow meat to come up to room temperature -- about 20 minutes. Grill over direct medium heat until char is achieved, then move to indirect heat. Grill meat for about 30 minutes, or until the center is barely pink and 155 degrees. Allow meat to stand for at least five minutes, before thinly slicing.
Serve with alone or with pico de gallo. Also excellent topping for salads.