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Grilled Chile-Spiced Pork Tenderloins


Serves 4 to 6

  • by from Fine Cooking
    Issue 146

Butterflied and pounded thin, pork tenderloins can be cooked quickly over a hot grill. Serve sliced with some rice and beans or lime-accented coleslaw, or cut the meat into strips and use as a taco filling.

  • 2 Tbs. ground chile powder, such as ancho, California, or New Mexico
  • 2 tsp. finely grated lime zest
  • 2 Tbs. fresh lime juice
  • 1 Tbs. olive oil; more for the grill
  • 1 Tbs. finely chopped jalapeño
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 pork tenderloins (2 to 2-1/2 lb. total)
  • Chopped fresh cilantro, for serving
  • Lime wedges, for serving

In a small bowl, combine the chile powder, lime zest and juice, oil, jalapeño, garlic, cumin, oregano, and 1 tsp. salt to form a paste.

Butterfly the tenderloins by making a lengthwise slit down each, taking care not to cut all the way through to the opposite side. Open each tenderloin, cover with a sheet of plastic wrap, and gently pound the meat with a meat pounder to an even thickness of about 1/2 inch.

Generously rub the chile paste all over, and let sit at room temperature for 1 hour (or refrigerate, wrapped in plastic, for up to 1 day).

Meanwhile, prepare a medium (350°F to 375°F) gas or charcoal grill fire. Lightly oil the grate and grill the tenderloins, flipping once, until just firm to the touch, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Transfer to a warm platter, cover loosely with foil, and let rest for 5 minutes. Slice and serve with the cilantro and lime wedges.

nutrition information (per serving):
Calories (kcal): 210, Fat Calories (kcal): 70, Fat (g): 8, Saturated Fat (g): 2, Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 1, Monounsaturated Fat (g): 4.5, Cholesterol (mg): 80, Sodium (mg): 330, Carbohydrates (g): 2, Fiber (g): 1, Sugar (g): 0, Protein (g): 30

Photo: Scott Phillips

Made this tonight. Amazing and easy. I used Ancho chili powder ground from dried whole ones. The only thing I would change is to make it a tad spicier. It didn't have much kick. I fully recommend this one with the Mexican Rice. Yummy

This is a great recipe that is full of flavor. I made it a day in advance and it turned out perfectly.

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