There’s a lot to be said for autumn grilling.
You’ve had all summer to get your technique down. You know where the tongs are. And, it’s finally cool enough to bring back techniques like basting.
No one wants to baste anything when it’s 98 degrees outside. That’s why God made hot dogs.
But when the sweat bees go back to the Hell they came from and you start craving slow-cooked flavors, it’s the perfect time to (temporarily) bench the burgers and try something like Sara Foster’s Grilled Pork Tenderloin. Two lean pork tenderloins marinated and basted in a wake-em-up mixture of coffee, bourbon and molasses.
The sweet snap of the molasses and balsamic vinegar mellows over time, but that first bite is absolutely mouthwatering. It’s the first thing you notice, followed by how tender the pork is and the woodsy mix of bourbon and thyme.
Since the pork has plenty of flavor, feel free to pair it with something simple, like a baked sweet potato, cheesy baked kale or corn casserole. Or, slice it thin, and serve it with a big platter of Cheddar biscuits.
And invite us over.
Molasses-Glazed Grilled Pork Tenderloin
Slightly adapted from “Sara Foster’s Southern Kitchen”
Serves 4 to 6
- Two 1-pound pork tenderloins
- 1/4 cup strong black coffee, cold or room temperature
- 1/4 cup bourbon
- 3 tablespoons molasses
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons fresh thyme
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Rinse the tenderloins, pat them dry, and trim off the silver skin and any excess fat. Place them in a shallow container or large resealable bag. Set aside.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the coffee, bourbon, molasses, vinegar, olive oil, and thyme.
- Pour the marinade over the pork, and turn to coat on all sides. Cover, and chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours or overnight. (Turn the pork a few times to evenly distribute the marinade.)
- When you’re ready to cook the pork, prepare a hot fire in a charcoal or gas grill, and let the coals turn to gray ash with a slight red glow. Keep the coals on one side of the grill to create areas of direct and indirect heat. (If using a gas grill, heat just one side on medium.)
- Remove the pork from the marinade, reserving the marinade, and season with salt and pepper.
- Place the pork on the hot grill directly over the coals, and cook for about 12 to 15 minutes, basting with the reserved marinade and turning three or four times to avoid charring.
- Move the pork away from the coals, close the grill or cover the pork with foil, and cook for another 3 to 5 minutes, until an internal thermometer inserted in the tenderloin reads 145 degrees F for medium or 160 degrees F for medium-well.
- Remove the pork from the grill, and transfer to a cutting board. Cover loosely with foil, and let it rest for 5 to 10 minutes. Slice the pork into small medallions (1/4 to 1/2 inch thick), sprinkle with a little salt (if you like) and serve warm.