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!
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.