Mesquite Grilled Pork Tenderloin with
Three Peppercorns and Orange Flavor
Cracked black, white, and green peppercorns not only
add subtle heat to the pork, but also enhance the sweetness of the orange
zest and juice. After the tenderloins are grilled, the marinade is turned
into a luscious sauce to be drizzled over the sliced medallions just before
To serve 4
Ingredients for the pork tenderloins:
2 pork tenderloins weighing a total of 1-3/4 to 2
pounds, 2-1/2 inches in diameter at the thickest point (see
2 large cloves of garlic
1 orange for zesting
1 cup of freshly squeezed orange juice
4 sprigs of rosemary
Extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
1 teaspoon white peppercorns
1 teaspoon green peppercorns
3 to 4 tablespoons butter
Salt to taste
2 cups of mesquite wood chips
the pork tenderloins from their packaging, rinse and pat dry. Cut 2
cloves of garlic into 8 slivers each. With the tip of a sharp knife, make
small slits all over the tenderloins and insert slivers of garlic. Place
tenderloins in a glass or other non reactive baking dish.
2. Using a microplane, grate orange zest over the tenderloins, turning so
that both sides are covered with zest. Pour the orange juice over the
pork and arrange the rosemary around it. Let marinate for at least 6 hours
or overnight, turning occasionally.
3. Two hours before you are ready to cook, take the tenderloins out of the
marinade and gently pat dry. Discard the rosemary, and pour the marinade
into a small bowl and reserve. Rub the pork all over with a little olive
oil. Put the peppercorns in a ziplock bag and crush coarsely with a
rolling pin. Sprinkle the pepper all over the tenderloins. Wrap tightly
in plastic wrap and set aside.
4. About 45 minutes before you are ready to cook, build a fire of hardwood
charcoal in your grill. When the coals are red hot and the flames are
very low, add 2 cups of mesquite wood chips to the fire. Again, let them
burn until the flames are very low. Divide the coals in half, pushing
them to either side of the grate. Oil the grill and put it in place over
the coals. Unwrap the tenderloins and position them in the center of the
grill so that they are not directly over the coals. Cover and cook
for 5 minutes. Turn the tenderloins and cook for 5 minutes more. Repeat
once more, for a total of 15 minutes. If the tenderloins are still soft
to the touch, turn them again and cook for 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from
the grill and let them rest for 10 minutes.
5. While the tenderloins are resting, strain the orange marinade and put
it in a small non-reactive saucepan. Bring to a boil and cook until it is
reduced to 3 to 4 tablespoons. Add a pinch of salt and stir. Over the
lowest flame, whisk in the butter one tablespoon at a time until the sauce
has thickened. Remove from the flame and keep warm.
6. Slice the pork tenderloin into medallions 1/4-inch thick. The pork
should be barely pink in the center. Arrange on a plate, sprinkle with a
little salt, and drizzle the orange-butter sauce over all. Serve at once.
Note: We used Niman Ranch pork tenderloins, two to a
package, which tend to be smaller than standard supermarket tenderloins.
If you use large tenderloins, increase the quantity of garlic, orange
zest and orange juice proportionately. They will also require more
time on the grill.
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