Episode 310: Mexican Smoke

Chipotle-Marinated Pork Tenderloin with Grilled Nopalitos Corn Salad

Chipotle-Marinated Pork Tenderloin with Grilled Nopalitos Corn Salad

Pork tenderloin with a classic south-of-the-border marinade, sweet with orange and smoky and fiery from chipotle chiles.


More Pork Recipes:


Chipotle-Marinated Pork Tenderloin with Grilled Nopalitos Corn Salad

Recipe Notes

  • Yield: Serves 4 to 6


  • 2 pounds pork tenderloin

For the marinade:

  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • Cracked black peppercorns
  • 3 ripe plum tomatoes
  • 1/2 medium-size onion, cut in half
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 2 canned chipotle chiles, plus 1 teaspoon can juices
  • 2 strips orange zest, plus 3 tablespoons fresh orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt (sea or kosher)

  • 2 tablespoons melted salted butter or olive oil
  • 4 sprigs of fresh cilantro, for garnish

Recipe Steps

Step 1: Trim any silverskin off the pork tenderloins.

Step 2: Prepare the marinade: Toast the cumin seeds and peppercorns in a comal over a medium heat until fragrant, 1 minute. Transfer to a blender. Roast the tomatoes, onion, and garlic in the comal until darkly browned, 2 minutes per side. Rough chop and transfer to the blender. Add the chipotle with their juices, the orange zest and juice, vinegar, oregano, and salt, and puree until smooth.

Step 3: Pour half the marinade over the bottom of a glass baking dish. Arrange the pork tenderloins on top. Pour the remaining marinade over them and marinate, covered, in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours, preferably overnight, turning the tenderloins a few times, so they marinate evenly.

Step 4: Set up your grill for direct grilling and preheat to high. Brush and oil the grill grate.

Step 5: Remove the pork from the marinade and drain well. Arrange on the grate and grill until cooked to taste, 3 to 4 minutes per side (12 to 16 minutes in all) for medium (150ºF on an instant meat thermometer), basting every few minutes with melted butter or oil. Transfer the tenderloins to a cutting board and let rest for 3 minutes, then slice on the diagonal.

Recipe Tips

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