Hello hello, and happy Monday! I have been wanting to post this meal forever. Forever as in like, last summer (and in blogger-years that’s a long time!) It’s my favorite favorite favorite grilled summer meal. And that’s saying a LOT if you know how many grill recipes I post! I think pork tenderloin is really under used in most kitchens. If you don’t use it much, you really should start. It’s inexpensive, versatile, quick cooking, and incredibly lean and healthy. And you can cook it so many ways- on the grill, pan fried, oven roasted, stuffed, and more. I use it so much that it’s really strange that I haven’t posted any recipes yet highlighting it here. You can usually find it in sealed packages like this:
Make sure you’re not buying a pre-marinated one. I buy mine at Costco or Sam’s where you can usually find 2 packs of 2- so 4 total for about 10 bucks. It’s a steal seeing as one will feed my small family. Note that this is pork tenderloin, not a pork loin roast which is much much bigger. The tenderloin is about the size of your forearm- well, if you’re a medium framed woman, not a huge muscular man 🙂 It’s the same cut of meat used for this sweet and sour pork dish.
And chimichurri. Oh sweet, wonderful chimichurri. Chimichurri is a sauce that originated in Argentina and it’s used on all types of meat. It seems to be like salsas in latin America- where each country/region/family has their own special combination of ingredients. So you’re getting the Sara Special here. I have been perfecting my own chimi for a while now and finally got the proportions that I love. And although I’m using pork here, the chimichurri is equally delicious on chicken, steak (especially steak) and fish. Well I’m assuming it would be good on fish. You’d have to marinate a fish in hundred dollar bills to convince me it was worth eating, but I’m betting it’s pretty darn good.
You’ll need a bunch of fresh green stuff and all of this which you probably have already:
2-3lb pork tenderloin (2 small-med pork loins)
1 1/2 C chopped parsley
1 1/2 C chopped cilantro
1/2 C loosely packed oregano leaves*
2 T fresh lime juice
1 T red wine vinegar
3 T chopped garlic (6-7 cloves)
1/4 t red pepper flakes
1 t kosher salt
1/4 t black pepper
1/2 C extra virgin olive oil
*Fresh is best, but if you don’t have access to fresh oregano, you could use fresh cilantro and parsley and add in 1 Tbs plus 1 tea dried oregano leaves.
Everyone has their preference as to what herb mixture to use in chimichurri. The ultimate combo for me is equal parts cilantro and flat leaf parsley and a little oregano but you could certainly mix that up depending on what you’ve got around.
We get a lot of questions about the right way to cut herbs. With soft stemmed herbs like cilantro and parsley, just bunch them up and hold tight with one hand and slice with the other. With this type of herb, slice up the stems too. I’m always surprised how many people waste time plucking off every little leaf. The stems have just as much (if not more) flavor then the leaves, so just slice everything up! Start with the leafy ends and cut down until the main bulk of leaves stop and you start to see more stems than leaves.
Now that the herbs are out of the way, let’s get cookin‘…
Place parsley, cilantro, oregano, lime juice, vinegar, garlic, salt, and pepper in a food processor. Pulse several times until finely chopped.
Take about 1/2-3/4 C chimichurri and place in a ziplock bag with the pork. Cover the remaining chimichurri and set both aside for about an hour. More if you need to. but don’t eat it right away. It’s a million times better after it sits. If you’re in a hurry, do 30 minutes at least.
When ready to cook, preheat grill (or indoor grill pan). Remove tenderloins from bag and let excess marinade drip off. Place on grill and cook for about 5-8 minutes before flipping to the other side. You want the internal temp to be about 160 degrees, so check with a thermometer and take it off the grill when it reaches 155-158 since it will continue to cook a bit as it sits.
For the easy side dish pictured, quarter some bell peppers, drizzle with olive oil and salt and pepper and grill for a few minutes on each side. Slice and toss with chopped cilantro, grape tomatoes, and red pepper flakes.
Chimichurri is fantastic drizzled over just about anything. I basically pour it all over everything on my plate. I love it over hot rice or veggies, oh- and try it mixed with homemade ranch for one of the best salad dressings you’ve ever tasted.
Or just cook one of the pork tenderloins and save the other for this Sweet and Sour Cashew Pork!
Either way, give it a shot. And if you have picky kids, tell them it’s chicken. They’ll never know 🙂
Question of the day- talk to me folks!
How often to you use pork tenderloin?
Does it make regular appearances on your menu?
See it at the store but not quite sure what to do with it?
Love it? Hate it? Don’t have a clue?