SpiceLines Home

Feature Article

Chef Interview

Spice Kitchen: Recipes

Spice Shop

Spice Glossary

Spice Library

























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 serving.

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 note)
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
Hardwood charcoal
Covered grill


1. Remove 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.


[top] [return to Spice Kitchen]