Chef John's Yucatan-Style Grilled Pork

4.9
(49)

This may not be an authentic Yucatan peninsula recipe, but it's just like a similarly named dish I had at a sports bar. It has vibrant citrus/chile flavors and a beautiful orange hue from ground annatto.

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Prep Time:
15 mins
Cook Time:
8 mins
Additional Time:
4 hrs
Total Time:
4 hrs 23 mins
Servings:
6
Yield:
6 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 oranges, juiced

  • 2 lemons, juiced, or more to taste

  • 2 limes, juiced, or more to taste

  • 6 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt

  • 1 teaspoon annatto powder, or more to taste, plus more to sprinkle on before grilling

  • 1 teaspoon ground dried chipotle pepper

  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin

  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper

  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano

  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • 2 pork tenderloins, trimmed

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil

Directions

  1. Place orange juice, lemon juice, and lime juice in a bowl. Add garlic, kosher salt, annatto powder, chipotle powder, ground cumin, cayenne, oregano, and black pepper. Whisk until well blended.

  2. Cut the tenderloins in half crosswise; cut each piece in half lengthwise. Place pieces in marinade and thoroughly coat with the mixture. Cover with plastic wrap with the wrap touching the surface of the meat and marinade. (Or transfer mixture to a resealable plastic bag.) Refrigerate 4 to 6 hours.

  3. Transfer pieces of pork from marinade to a paper-towel-lined bowl to absorb most of the moisture. Discard paper towels. Drizzle vegetable oil and a bit more annatto powder on the pork.

  4. Preheat an outdoor grill for medium-high heat and lightly oil the grate.

  5. Place pieces evenly spaced on a hot grill. Allow meat to sear onto the grate until pieces can be easily turned, 4 or 5 minutes. Turn and grill on the other side another 4 or 5 minutes. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the center should read 135 to 140 degrees F (63 degrees C). Transfer onto a serving platter and allow meat to rest about 5 minutes before serving.

Cook's Notes:

I garnished mine with cilantro and pickled onions. To make your own, thinly slice some red onions and cover them with red or white wine vinegar. Leave to soak for 4 hours or overnight, and that's it!

I think this easy marinade would work on all kinds of pork cuts, but the tenderloin is very user-friendly, and its mild flavor really takes to these ingredients.

Once grilled, you have so many options for enjoying these tenderloin chunks. Sandwiches, salads, and tacos are all wonderful choices, and I've also heard from a reliable source that diced, they make for an epic pan of nachos.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

242 Calories
10g Fat
12g Carbs
28g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 6
Calories 242
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 10g 13%
Saturated Fat 3g 15%
Cholesterol 84mg 28%
Sodium 1022mg 44%
Total Carbohydrate 12g 4%
Dietary Fiber 3g 12%
Total Sugars 5g
Protein 28g
Vitamin C 61mg 303%
Calcium 61mg 5%
Iron 2mg 11%
Potassium 888mg 19%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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