Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Cuban Pork Tenderloins

This marinade was enough to prepare up to four tenderloins. I only had one, so I cut all the ingredients in half. For the rum, I used Bacardi Select (because I had it).

The original recipe that I found called for marinading the pork for 24 hours. I think that was too much, and I am recommending an eight-hour soak instead. I could see myself mixing the ingredients at night, and then throwing in the pork before going to work in the morning. Then, by the time you get home, they will be just right.

I grilled the pork. I found something online to guide me that said to preheat the grill on high, put the tenderloin on the grate, cover and cook for seven minutes. Then flip it over and cook six more minutes. At that point, it's best to use a thermometer. I have an instant-read thermometer, but I'm sure that a regular one would work.

My point is, the thermometer should read 150-155 degrees in the thickest part of the tenderloin. Then take it off the grill and let it sit for five minutes before slicing. I think the purpose is to seal in the juices. Otherwise, they would all run out with the first slice, and that wouldn't be good.

Note: There were Internet articles that said that once the thermometer hits 140 to turn off the flame and cover and let sit on the unlit grill for 5 minutes, but when I tried that, the inner temperature didn't climb the way they said it would. It dropped. That's why I'm not going to recommend that procedure to you.

But if you don't have a grill, you could toss the tenderloin in the oven at 400 degrees and cook for approximately 25 minutes. I think that with pork, you should count on a thermometer to tell you when it's done.

The Marinade
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup fresh orange juice
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1/4 cup dark rum
5 green onions, finely chopped
2 tablespoons minced fresh garlic
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon cumin
2 teaspoons salt
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon black pepper

Whisk together all of the ingredients and transfer to a large heavy Ziploc plastic bag, add the tenderloins to the marinade; close bag tightly and turn to coat.

Place the bag in a large bowl or on a plate and refrigerate for 8 hours. If possible, turn over the bag half-way through the marinating time.

Side dishes in the photograph are:

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