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Grilled Pork Tenderloin (Marsala)

Sunday, March 13th, 2011

Posted by johngl

There is a recipe (of sorts) for grilled pork tenderloin that I have been using for nearly two decades. The sauce is equal parts of butter and cream, along with oregano, basil, garlic, and a shot of marsala. How can that be bad?

Grilled Pork Tenderloin Marsala and Anasazi Beans

The most glorious beans are of the Anasazi (Phaseolus Vulgaris) variety, hydrated with homemade chicken and seasoned with a Sicilian spice blend. Let me just say that these were some of the creamiest beans ever.

But this is a pork tenderloin post, not a bean post.

A couple of pork tenderloins

To get the ball rolling, get yourself a pig’s worth of tenderloins.  Never heard of a porker used as a unit of measurement?  Now you have.

They usually run about a pound (or so) each, so consider each a single serving.

Removing the Silver Skin

You’ll probably want to tidy them up a bit, so insert your boning knife just under the skin, tilt the blade sharp edge up and run it down the length of the silver skin.

Removing the silver skin

Most of it comes off in one cut.

Once they are tidied up, we can apply some salt and pepper.

seasoned tenderloins

I always use kosher salt and fresh ground pepper. Note the pile of silver skin just to the right.  Also note the pepper mill. I love that thing.

Sidebar:

To me, one of the most amusing things to watch is a newbie cook using a crank style pepper mill.  They grab that little knob on the handle and try and crank away, like so:

Bad leverage

From an engineering standpoint, this creates a pivot at the point the handle connects to the grinder body. I know it’s cruel, but it never fails to make me giggle because the pepper winds up going everywhere but where it’s wanted.

The right way to use this thing is like so:

Good leverage

The technique here is to hold the handle in place with the right hand and rotate the grinder body with the left. This grip is way better and the pepper goes where you want it. When you really get good, you can counter-rotate using both hands: the right hand pushes the handle clockwise and the left pushes the body counter-clockwise.

Let’s get back to Porky’s loins.

Now that the tenderloins are seasoned with a generous amount of salt and pepper (allowing said salt and pepper to penetrate into the loin for about an hour as they come up to about 60 degrees), we can get these ready to put on the grill.

ready to hit the grill

Here’s another tip: Note the plastic wrap on the cutting board.  This makes it really easy to carry the meat out to the grill and have a nice clean and contaminate free cutting board for the finished product.  Just toss the plastic once the meat is on the grill.

While we’re talking about the grill, there is a lot of folks out there that don’t get their grates hot enough.

Firing up the tribal grill

This tends to solve that problem.

Once the charcoal is ready, you’ll have a really really hot grate that will create great grill marks in no time at all.

Pork Tenderloins on the Tribal Grill

I follow roughly the same two minute formula that I use on thick steaks.  Two minutes, flip the loins, sear two minutes, flip again, two minutes (creating a cross hatch with this flip, then a final two minutes.

Wonderfully marked

Once you’ve pulled these beauties, tent them with foil to allow them to finish out with carry-over heat. This also allows the meat proteins to rest and redistribute juices.

Tented and resting

While these are resting, make the sauce.  Heat up some cream to a boil, add the fresh basil, oregano, and a bit of garlic, then toss in a shot or so of marsala.  Let that all steep for a few minutes, turn off the heat, then whisk in some cold butter (this is called mounting the sauce) until the sauce is thickened to your liking.  Finish with salt and pepper to taste.

In the pink

All that is left is cutting and plating.  I like to cut pork tenderloins about an inch thick and on the bias.  Oh, and look there, this is still pink, and consequently, tender and juicy.

Just plate and serve.

Grilled Pork Tenderloin, Plated and Served

For being an old stand-by recipe, this grilled pork tenderloin marsala never ever disappoints.

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2 Responses to “Grilled Pork Tenderloin (Marsala)”

  1. ScottK says:

    The tenderloin with the sauce looks great, but I want to hear more about those beans !

    • johngl says:

      The beans were pressure cooked using a homemade chicken stock and seasoned with a Sicilian spice blend that a friend brought back after a visit to Italy.

      I can’t really say much more than that.

      The most glorious spousal unit’s pressure cooker has become our favorite bean pot.

      :-)

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