Balsamic-Rosemary Grilled Pork Tenderloin

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When the sun finally decided to emerge after a week’s worth of Seattle-like weather (and a couple Florida monsoons),  I discovered several of my twenty three hydrangea plants are starting to form small fist-sized blooms. They are giving me hope for a summer full of bouncing snowball blooms and endless flowers for indoor display. Plus many nights in the garden with friends and delicious grilled meals.

Weeknight grilling is the perfect way to take advantage of the extended sunny evenings of late Spring. And, easy marinades make it so easy. Sticky balsamic vinegar paired with soy sauce, brown sugar and rosemary make a sweet and savory marinade for lean pork tenderloin. I made this Sunday night; which turned into Monday night bliss in the garden after a long days work.

Pair with grilled pineapple for an easy transport to tropical flavors.

Balsamic-rosemary marinade, adapted from William Sonoma

  • 2/3 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 2 Tbs. soy sauce
  • 4 1/2 tsp. firmly packed golden brown sugar
  • 3/4 tsp. freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped fresh rosemary
  • 5 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 pork tenderloins, about 2 1/2 lb. total,
    trimmed
  • Salt, to taste

To make the balsamic-rosemary marinade, in a food processor, combine the vinegar, olive oil, soy sauce, brown sugar and pepper and pulse until blended. With the motor running, drop the rosemary and garlic through the feed tube and continue to process until fairly smooth. Place the tenderloins in a nonreactive dish and pour the marinade over them. Cover and let stand at room temperature, turning occasionally, for up to overnight.

Prepare a charcoal or gas grill for direct grilling over medium-high heat. Remove the tenderloins from the marinade, reserving the marinade.

Grill the meat over the hottest part of a charcoal fire or directly over the heat elements of a gas grill. Turn the meat every 4 to 5 minutes and baste with the marinade for up to 5 minutes before the meat is done until cooked to your liking, about 20 minutes total for medium (slightly pink at the center and juicy).

To test for doneness, insert an instant-read thermometer into the thickest part of the tenderloins; it should register 140°F. The temperature will rise another 5° to 10°F while the meat is resting.

Transfer the tenderloins to a carving board, cover loosely with aluminum foil and let rest for 5 minutes. Carve into slices across the grain and at an angle to the cutting board. Season with salt. Serve the tenderloins hot, warm or at room temperature.

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