Pork Tenderloin with Grilled Baby Bok Choy
I shop the manager’s specials bin at the meat counter. For years I avoided this space thinking the meat was bad…then my favorite independent butcher told me it had some of the best value-to-flavor cuts of meat. “Say what?” I asked. “The beef in particular ages in those sealed plastic vacu-paks soit’s truly ‘wet aged’ and that is something you pay extra for sometimes.”
One Pork Tenderloin cooked in 2 pieces.
That week I purchased my first 30% off package of meat with an expiration date of today…and it was super. I avoid chicken and stick with the pork and beef cuts that are in the original meat packing house sealed packaging…and it’s been a big budget booster.
Yesterday I was at the store shopping for something on the list (I have to take a list to the store or I spend far too much money on impulse buys…no I don’t buy the toys at the check-out counter – I get lost in the specialty ingredient aisle or end up with far too many different vegetables. Or wine.) By habit I swung by the Manager’s Special Bin in the meat department and found a 16 oz pork tenderloin that was 2 days away from the expiration date…with a big ol’30% off sticker on it. For $4 I had a pound cut of flavorful and tender meat.
Pork Tenderloin tapered end cooks faster.
…cut the tenderloin in 2 pieces: smaller tapered end & the main section.
The prep was simple – just a 1/4 tsp of Asian 5 spice, ginger and cumin and a dash of olive oil and soy sauce. Zipped it up in a plastic bag and let it marinate for about 3 hours.
Grilling was easy – using the Professional Series Char-Broil TRU-Infrared grill set to Medium High. I cut the tenderloin into two pieces: smaller tapered end and the main section. The tapered end cooks faster. Another good tip is to use an instant read thermometer to check the temperature before starting the cook to help me understand what cooking needs to happen to bring the cut of meat up to 145F degrees at the finish point.
You can serve the tenderloin as is or, as we did – use a prepared sauce with a bit of sweet to it serves as a foil to the spice mix. I’d enjoy hearing from you about your interpretation of this recipe.
~ Welcome to the Cookout! Barry CB Martin
CB’s EZ Grilled Pork Tenderloin with Spices
Pork tenderloin is a prime cut of tender and flavorful meat that is versatile and so easy to grill. Chef Barry shares an example of a bargain he turned into a tasty and elegant week-night dinner using just a few ingredients from the spice drawer.
- 16ounce pork tenderloin trimmed of silver skin and cut into the tapered end and main section of the muscle.
- Asian 5 spice
- Store mix curry
- Cumin powder
- Ginger powder
- Soy Sauce
- Olive oil
- Remove tenderloin from package and trim the tapered end off the roast to create one larger section that is more uniform in thickness and one that is tapered.
- Add to large seal-able plastic bag and flavor-to-taste with spices - I generally use about 1/4 tsp per each dry powder spice and a dash each of the olive oil and soy sauce.
- Seal the bag and massage the spices, oil and soy sauce into the meat. Place in the refrigerator for up to 12 hours to marinate.
- Remove meat from bag and place on hot grill with grate temperatures no higher than 500F degrees
- "Where it hits it sits." translation: let me meat sit for a few minutes before using tongs to turn, that way the grates will do their job to sear the meat surface. The spices may burn a bit - this flavor will be balanced with a sweet (plum, apricot, cherry, etc.) sauce at presentation.
- The tapered piece will really cook much faster and needs to be turned just once - When the meat has been seared - hold the meat with tongs and insert an instant read thermometer probe in several places to determine temperature. The tapered end will rise only a few degrees after removing from heat, but the larger muscle will be cooked on 3-4 sides (depending upon the shape of the meat) and may require some extra time away from direct heat to finish on the grill to about 140F degrees internal temperature. When removed from the cooker the larger piece will likely rise another 5 degrees in temperature to reach 145F degrees.
- Rest for about 5-8 minutes and slice into medallions for service.
Check the internal temperature of the meat prior to cooking to get a sense of how much cooking the meat will need to bring it to the end temperature.
The smaller tapered end will cook faster and can be removed from the grill before the section of the muscle.
Spices can burn at higher temperatures - this can be a desired result, or not - so plan to use a sweeter glaze to balance this flavor profile. A prepared jam or jelly can be brushed on when the meat is removed from the cooker to create a thin layer of flavor.
This recipe created by Barry 'CB" Martin, Chief Grilling Officer for Char-Broil, LLC