A lively herb-and citrus-perfumed cross between a sauce and a relish, Cuban inspired mojo makes a potent marinade and sauce for tenderloin. We picked up the idea in south Florida, but the Caribbean sparkle seems even finer in a cooler clime.
Mojo Marinade and Sauce
Juice of 3 large oranges (approximately 1-1/2 cups)
Juice of 2 large limes
6 tablespoons olive oil
1/3 cup minced fresh parsley
2 tablespoons minced fresh oregano
1 teaspoon salt
2 plump garlic cloves, minced
Two 12-ounce to 14-ounce sections of pork tenderloin
Avocado slices and red-ripe tomato slices, for garnish
At least 2-1/2 hours and up to the night before you plan to grill the pork tenderloins, mix the mojo ingredients in a small bowl. Place the tenderloins in a plastic bag and pour about two-thirds of the mojo over them; cover the remaining mojo. Refrigerate the pork and the remaining mojo, which will become a sauce.
Remove the pork from the refrigerator, drain it, and blot any excess moisture from it. Let the pork sit covered at room temperature for 20 to 30 minutes.
Fire up the grill for a two-level fire capable of cooking first on high heat (1 to 2 seconds with the hand test) and then on medium heat (4 to 5 seconds with the hand test).
Transfer the tenderloins to the grill, arrange them so that the thin end is angled away from the hottest part of the fire. Grill the tenderloins uncovered on high heat for 3 minutes, rolling them on all sides. Move the tenderloins to medium heat and estimate the rest of the cooking time according to the thickness of the meat. Thin tenderloins (about 1-1/2 inches in diameter) need an additional 10 to 12 minutes on medium, and fat ones (about 2-1/2 inches in diameter) require up to 25 minutes. Continue rolling the meat on all sides for even cooking. The pork is done when its internal temperature reaches 155 degrees F. to 160 degrees F.
If grilling covered, sear the tenderloins first on high heat uncovered for 3 minutes, rolling them on all sides. Finish the cooking with the cover on over medium heat for at least 8 to 10 minutes (for 1-1/2 inch diameter meat) or up to 20 minutes (for 2-1/2 inch diameter meat).
Carve the pork into thin slices, garnish with avocado and tomato and serve hot accompanied by the reserved mojo. For a fiesta, serve a salad of black beans, rice, corn, and red bell peppers followed by Pina Colada Pinapple Spears.
Consider turning this tenderloin into a sandwich, the way most mojo-flavored pork is served in Florida. On toasted Cuban bread or a split crusty roll, pile the meat, a slice of ham, black beans, and sharp cheese, all topped with more mojo. Immensely sloppy and intensely good, the sandwich demands lots of napkins.
Born to Grill
by Cheryl Alters Jamison and Bill Jamison
The Harvard Common Press
1998, Hardcover, US $27.95
Recipes & photos reprinted by permission
The electronic Gourmet Guide launched in 1994 and later merged into the Global Gourmet website in 1998 (now Foodwine.com). This is an edited archive of one of those early pages.
Modified June 2007
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