I chose these flavor-packed pork tenderloin cutlets to serve with Mexican-style roasted broccoli and cauliflower steaks. The dishes complemented each other very nicely.
The dish was based on a Mexican dish called cecina enchilada, thinly sliced pork marinated in a chili sauce. This recipe was adapted from Milk Street, contributed by Diane Unger. I modified the proportions. Serving rice on the side was essential to soak up every drop of the wonderful sauce. Simple and delicious.
The grilled pork could also be sliced and used as a taco filling with chopped white onion and fresh cilantro. Rice and refried beans would make this a complete meal as well. Next time!
Yield: Serves 8
- 2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 T ground cumin
- 2 T sweet paprika
- 4 tsp ground coriander
- 4 tsp packed brown sugar
- 8 medium to large garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 2 pork tenderloins, about 1 1/4 pound each, trimmed of silver skin
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 chipotle chilies in adobo, chopped, plus 2 tablespoons adobo sauce (can use more, to taste)
- 2/3 cup lime juice
- 1/2 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
- In a microwave-safe bowl, combine the oil, cumin, paprika, coriander, sugar and garlic. Microwave on high until the garlic is softened, about 1 minute.
- Measure out 6 tablespoons of the seasoned oil, including some of the solids, into a large baking dish.
- Cut each tenderloin in half crosswise, then cut each piece in half lengthwise.
- Between sheets of plastic wrap, use a meat pounder to pound each piece to an even 1/8-inch thickness.
- Place the meat in the baking dish, turning to coat on all sides with the oil mixture. Cover and refrigerate while you make the sauce and prepare the grill.
- Into the remaining oil mixture, whisk 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, 1 teaspoon pepper, the chipotle chilies, adobo sauce, lime juice and cilantro. Set aside.
- Prepare a charcoal or gas grill. For a charcoal grill, ignite a large chimney of coals, let burn until lightly ashed over, then distribute evenly over one side of the grill bed; open the bottom grill vents. For a gas grill, turn all burners to high. Cover and heat the grill for 5 to 10 minutes for charcoal or about 15 minutes for gas, then clean and oil the cooking grate. (I used a gas grill.)
- Place the pork in a single layer on the grill (on the hot side if using charcoal) and cook until well browned, about 2 minutes.
- Using tongs, flip each piece and cook for 1 minute. Transfer browned side up to a platter. (See Tip)
- Stir the sauce to recombine, then drizzle 1 tablespoon over each cutlet. Tent with foil and let rest for 5 minutes. Serve with the remaining sauce on the side.
Tip: Don’t grill the second sides of the cutlets for more than about 1 minute or they will overcook. Aim to get charring on only the first sides, then serve the pork charred side up.