Versatile pork tenderloin has a number of admirable attributes—it’s easy to prepare (just don’t overcook it), it plays well with endless global flavors (from lemongrass to Creole mustard), and feeds a crowd without blowing your budget. But let’s be honest: pork tenderloin will never make your heart race the way a well-marbled rib eye or glistening red snapper does.That is, unless you partner it with a hot grill, wood-fueled fire, and a seductive ally. The lean, mild-tasting meat is made for punchy sidekicks. In this recipe, grilled pork tenderloin is paired with one of my favorite supporting players: a tangy green salsa made from blistered tomatillos, onion, garlic, and serranos, which takes on a complex, caramelized depth from all of the charred and blackened bits. Finishing the sauce with a splash of thickened cream isn’t essential, but it makes everything better, bringing the tart, bitter, and spicy flavors together beautifully.This green salsa can be made up to five days in advance, so it’s a great opportunity to make the most of a lingering fire (from, say, last night’s dinner) and cook ahead—a time-efficient practice that I encourage in my books. Or, you can char the vegetables in a grill basket first, toss them in a food processor, and then puree them into a sauce while the meat rests.Another reason to direct pork tenderloin to the grill? You can use your tongs to roll the meat over the grates for even browning. That means more crispy, delicious exterior—and no panic about flipping, say, a fish fillet or chicken breast without tearing the skin.Serve thinly sliced rounds of pork over a pool of the tomatillo sauce, or pour the salsa over the top. When it’s paired with warm corn tortillas or steaming white rice, I ask you, dear reader, would you call this meal boring? Never.
The marinade in this supersimple grilled pork tenderloin dish from La Granja chef José Catrimán does double duty. Let your pork sit in the orange juice, garlic and chile mixture overnight, then cook down the leftover marinade for a glossy sauce to serve alongside. Slideshow: More Pork Tenderloin Recipes