Creating recipes isn't a pastime—it's a passion. And a lot of fun.

The rules are few: Use 99% fresh ingredients (or thereabouts); make the dish simple but flavorful; make the dish flavorful but simple; be creative, not silly.

With this blog, I want to share new recipes, along with tips on ingredients and preparation, and, hopefully, show new cooks (and non-cooks) the pleasure in setting the table with a delicious homemade meal. The Briny Lemon is about fresh, simple, flavorful ingredients and easy cooking methods that help you bring the best to your family table. Your comments are welcome!

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Barbecue Pork Tenderloin with Southwestern Chile Sauce

If you enjoy the juicy succulence of oven-roasted pork tenderloin, you’ll love the same great taste and texture straight from your backyard grill. My favorite way to barbecue this especially tender cut of pork is over indirect heat for most of the cooking time, then a quick char over the flames before calling it finished. Cooking it off heat close to the fire mimics the environment of a hot oven, which produces the delicious roast tenderloin you’re used to. But who can barbecue without adding a little of that wonderful char? Two, three minutes and done.

I usually like doing fruit glazes to brush on pork tenderloin, but a smoky sauce made with dried chiles keeps the barbecue theme going start to finish for this recipe. Here, I used mild but very savory guajillo chiles as the base. You could also use New Mexico or California chiles—just be sure to give them a quick toast in a dry skillet before making the sauce. This brings out even more of their savory, smoky goodness.

Serves 4

  • 2 tsp chile powder
  • 2 tsp garlic granules
  • 1/2 tsp dried chile flakes
  • sea salt
  • 1-1/3-lb pork tenderloin, trimmed
  • 6 dried guajillo chiles
  • 1 tbsp olive oil, plus more for oiling grill grate
  • 1/3 cup chopped onion
  • 2 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
  • 1-1/2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 tsp fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp dried Mexican oregano (or regular dried oregano)
Guajillo Chilles
  1. Combine the chile powder, garlic granuels, and chile flakes in a small bowl. Rub the spice mixture all over the pork tenderloin, cover, and refrigerate 4 hours (or overnight).
Tenderloin and Spice Rub
Spice-Rubbed Tenderloin
  1. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Scatter the guajillo chiles in the skillet, stirring frequently to keep from burning. Toast until fragrant and just beginning to brown in places, about 2 minutes.
  2. Transfer the chiles to a cutting board. When cool enough to handle, remove the stem ends and tear the chiles into small pieces. (Discard some of the seeds, if desired.)
  3. Heat a saucepan over medium heat and add 1 tablespoon oil. Add the onion and garlic and sauté 3 minutes. Add the toasted chiles, broth, tomato paste, lime juice, cumin, and oregano and season with salt.
  4. Bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook 10 minutes. Remove from the heat, uncover, and let stand 15 minutes.
  5. Place the sauce ingredients in a food processor and process until smooth. (Tiny flakes of chiles may remain. That’s ok.) Transfer to a bowl.
Toasted Chiles
Torn Chiles
Garlic and Onion
Chile Mixture Beginning to Cook
Cooked Chile Mixture
Ready to Process
Chile Sauce
  1. Light a grill for medium-high heat with space for off-heat grilling. Lightly oil the off-heat side of the grill grate.
  2. Season the tenderloin with salt and place on the off-heat side of the grill. Cover and grill 6 minutes, then turn and grill 6 minutes. Turn again and mop with some of the sauce. Continue grilling and mopping until the pork is almost done, 18 to 20 minutes longer.
  3. Place the tenderloin over direct heat until char marks appear, 1-2 minutes, uncovered. Turn and mop with more sauce. Grill, uncovered, 1 minute. Transfer the pork to a cutting board and let rest 5 minutes.
Beginning to Grill
After Turning 
Mop with Sauce
Barbecue Tenderloin
Cut into 12 slices, transfer to a platter, and serve, passing any remaining sauce at the table.

Barbecue Pork Tenderloin with Southwestern Chile Sauce

1 comment:

  1. Nothing like cooking over good old fashioned coals - the tenderloin looks amazing! Thanks for sharing on the What's for Dinner link up!