Grilled Pork Tacos

Pork Tacos - 11

I promised when I posted the fresh pineapple salsa recipe last week that the recipe for the pork tacos I served it with would be forthcoming.  Alas, I do not get to talk about scurvy again in this post.  However, I do get to talk about pig, and that is always a delight.  I chose pork for our Fourth of July Fiesta over the ubiquitous beef and the enduring chicken after I had some outstanding carnitas at some hole in the wall Mexican restaurant in Christiansburg, VA.  I don’t trust myself to replicate the delight that is carnitas yet, but I did know that I could make some excellent pork tacos.

I decided to use pork tenderloin for the tacos, because the medallions slice into taco-perfect rounds.  It’s a cut that holds up to the heat of the grill beautifully, staying moist and yielding even after being blasted by the heat.  I created a thick marinade for the tenderloin and let it hang out in the fridge while I prepared salsas, guacamole, and other sides for the meal.  My husband played grillmaster while I fried tostones (recipe forthcoming – see how every one of these Fiesta recipes has another teaser?).  The marinade is simple to put together.  You whizz it in the food processor and let it form a thick paste, then slap all of it into a large plastic bag along with the meat.  It’s a trade off for the long ingredient list.  I assure, you, though, that the list is worth hunting through your spice cabinet to find the ingredients.  You get to use some of those spices that you bought for that one recipe a while back and in return they bless your tastebuds with joy.

We use a propane grill at present, so I used the marinade to imbue the pork with a smoky flavor redolent of charcoal, pit barbecue, and jerk seasoning.  Not a bad deal, right?  I would say that if I had a do-over I would use pineapple vinegar in the recipe instead of red wine vinegar.  Sam, over at The Spamwise Chronicles, sent me a recipe for pineapple vinegar and I can’t wait to make it.  It uses none of the flesh and all of the discarded peels – an awesome way to eliminate wasting any of the pineapple!

Pork Tacos - tenderloin and tortillas

Grilled Pork Tacos

  • a 1 lbs pork tenderloin, trimmed
  • 1/4 C onion, chopped
  • 1/4 C fresh pineapple, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 chipotles in adobo sauce, sliced with 1 T of sauce reserved
  • 1 T red wine vinegar
  • 1/3 C olive oil
  • 1 T cumin
  • 1 tsp pimentón (smoked paprika)
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp ancho chili powder
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 1 tsp dried oregano

In the bowl of a food processor, combine all ingredients except for the pork tenderloin.  Pulse until a thick paste forms.  Place the pork tenderloin in a large plastic bag, and pour the marinade over the pork.  Marinate in the refrigerator for 1 hour before grilling.  After an hour, grill the tenderloin over medium heat for 35-40 minutes, until the center of the tenderloin registers 150º.  Remove the tenderloin from the grill and let it rest for 5 minutes before slicing.  Carve the tenderloin into thin medallions and serve with pineapple salsa, guacamole, tortillas, and a little fresh cilantro.  The meat refrigerates well and makes a delicious meal the following day if you have leftovers – no reheating needed.

Serves 4.

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45 thoughts on “Grilled Pork Tacos

  1. Oh! This tacos with grilled pork and the pineapple salsa look just terrific…can only imagine the flavor of it…I bet you that the pineapple in the salsa give the grilled pork a totally new dimension of flavor…yummie. By the way, great pictures.

    • Thanks, Juliana! The pineapple in the marinade really does give it a nice flavor. It has a sweetness with a strong spice reminiscent of jerk flavoring. Glad you like the pictures!

    • Thanks, Judy! I can’t say how pleased I was with how these turned out. Definitely a keeper. And, the Household Grillmaster proclaimed them super-easy, so he is pleased with his duties on this one.

  2. Love that smoky ancho… this pork look so incredible. And I’d imagine it’s even better with that salsa :)

    We made a sort of pineapple cocktail from scraps once — I froze it to use in smoothies and made it into ice cubes for drinks. So, that pineapple vinegar sounds great. I’ll definitely stay tuned.

  3. Haley thanks so much for taking the time to visit my blog. It is a pleasure to discover yours and I look forward to exploring and visiting. That pork looks perfect for tacos.

    • Thanks! They were so good the next day as well. I am generally not a fan of rehashing the previous day’s meal, but these were great cold in some warm tortillas. I’ll send you a note when I get that vinegar made!

  4. That pork sounds tasty! It would be nice and smoky warm with all of the chipotles in adobo sauce and I really like hte use of the pineapple!

    • Ah, yes. Chipotles. One of my favorite flavors. And combined with pineapple, I’m in heaven! It’s definitely an easy recipe – canned pineapple could even be used.

    • Amy, this would definitely work for chicken. I am not a huge fan of the boneless-skinless breast, but I think this would actually work really well with them. So glad you like the pictures!

  5. Lovely.

    Let me know how the pineapple vinegar turns out.

    Carnitas are easy. I use a recipe on eGullet — click here and scroll down to the post by Jaymes. Warning — this recipe makes enough to feed an army so make sure you’ve got an appetite to match. ;)

    My favorite way to eat carnitas is in tacos or in huaraches. A little radish, a little cucumber, a squeeze of lime and maybe some pico de gallo. Heaven in three bites.

    • You are full of the good recipes! :) And, I’m pretty sure my husband and I can tuck those carnitas away. I think I’ll use the same strategy – cook early and nosh all day. I love carnitas in tacos. I’ve never gone the cucumber/radish route, but those are two of my favorite veggies. I will be in touch when I get that vinegar made. Sometime….soon….after I get done with all this traveling. Meh.

    • Yes, the pineapple does really tenderize the pork. There are indeed enzymes in pineapple that cause foods to break down; great for tenderizing meat. It also doesn’t allow fresh pineapple to mix properly with gelatin. The jelly doesn’t jell. Interesting stuff.

  6. Pingback: Summer Barbeque Menu: A Fourth of July Fiesta Recap « Appoggiatura

  7. My wife browsed by courtesy of facebook, and I can only think that when she pointed it out to me she was recognising my deep seated love of pork or reminding me of her impending trip back stateside… For my part, if you let me know how much it’ll cost to get you and that seasoning over to England I’ll arrange a bank raid. You’d get to see Rosey, of course, but you and I know that cooking for me is far more important!

  8. Pingback: Grilled Pork Tenderloin with Ouzo-Plum Glaze | Grilling Pork Tenderloin

  9. Pingback: Nice Grilling Pork Tenderloin photos | Grilling Pork Tenderloin

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