27 March, 2012

Rose's Crusted Molasses Pork Tenderloin with Grilled Pineapple-Papaya Salsa

   This dish is a three- day process, so be prepared.  It has a nice crusted slightly sweet, slightly spicy exterior, and a moist interior due to a pineapple based marinade.  One tenderloin will make enough for about 3, or 4 smaller servings.  

You will need:

For the pork:
1 pork tenderloin (about 1 1/4 pounds)
1 fresh pineapple (will also be used in salsa)
1/8 cup plus 2 tbsp molasses 
1/4 cup sea salt
1 tbsp Worcestershire
3 tbsp dry mustard
2/3 cup brown sugar

1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1 tsp cayenne (or more for more heat)
1/4 tsp cumin
cajun seasoning

For the Salsa:
1 cup fresh Papaya (about 1/2), peeled, seeds removed, diced
10 Guaybos*, (outer skin peeled, seeds removed), diced
1/4 red onion, diced very small
1/2 tbsp fresh chopped cilantro
1/2 tsp fresh chopped mint
2 tbsp fresh lime juice                            
1/4 cup honey

 *Guayabos are a Spanish version of a guava, small and round and yellow-light orange in color.  The rind is slightly bitter, and the flesh sweet. They can be found at some farmer's markets. Carefully scoop out seeds, as thy are hard to separate  from the flesh.  Substitute Mangos if you cannot find.

Day 1 

1 quart water
1/4 cup salt
1/8 cup molasses

In the evening, mix the 3 mix ingredients together in a tupperware that will fit the tenderloin snugly.  If you use a tupperware that is too large, the brine will not cover the pork.  Add the pork, turn to coat, and refrigerate overnight, for 10- 12 hours MAXIMUM. No longer.

Day 2

Preheat grill to med.

Cut off the pineapple's top and bottom inch.  Use a sharp knife to remove the skin.  Lying the pineapple horizontally, cut in 4 even pieces, reserving all pineapple juice as you go.  Core the pineapple using a sharp knife to remove the hard, cylindrical center.  Reserve all juices as cutting.  Slice the pineapple into 1/2 inch thick slices.  Refrigerate 1/4 of the slices.   (The pineapple can be cut in advance!)

Grease grill grates with a paper towel soaked in vegetable oil. Place 1/2 of the pineapple slices on the grill. Flip after about 5 minutes (when you see dark grill marks).  Continue grilling another 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool.  Refrigerate in separate container for tomorrow.

With remaining 1/4 of pineapple, dice into very small tidbits. In a bowl, add the tidbits of pineapple and all accumulated juices, the three marinade ingredients, and remaining  2 tbsp of molasses. Stir until brown sugar is dissolved and ingredients are incorporated.

Remove pork from fridge, discarding brine and rinsing pork thoroughly.  Return pork to the same container, pour over marinade, and let marinate one day.

Day 3

Begin 1 1/2  hours before you are ready to eat. 

Remove pork from fridge, discard marinade.  Season the pork with the garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne, and cumin.  Coat both sides of the pork with cajun seasoning (I did a little more then a tbsp and a half, coating both sides of the pork.  Rub in the seasoning.  Let meat rest while you make the salsa.

Grease grill grates with a paper towel soaked in vegetable oil.  Preheat grill to med heat, leaving one burner OFF.  

Make fruit salsa.  Remove grilled pineapple from fridge and chop into chunks.  In a large bowl, combine grilled pineapple with chopped papaya, guayabos (or mangos), and red onion. In a separate small bowl, combine the honey, lime juice, cilantro and mint.  Mix and pour over the fruit, mixing gently.  Refrigerate.

The pork tenderloin will grill for about an hour.  Add pork tenderloin over the burner that is OFF.  My grill was at about 300 degrees.  Flip pork after about a half hour.  After another 20 minutes, remove the remaining pineapple slices from fridge and add to grill, flipping after 5 minutes.  Use a meat thermometer to check the pork's temperature (pork needs to be a MINIMUM of 145 degrees).  I cooked mine to 155 degrees.  When pork is done, place a couple pineapple slices on top of the pork and let cool a little. Serve with fruit salsa and a fresh green salad.

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