With Cinco de Mayo right around the corner, we’ve got tequila on the brain — so naturally it is in our cups and food. This Tequila Pork Tenderloin recipe has been in our repertoire for so long, we can’t say for sure what inspired it; Kyle always plays with different liquors and flavored jellies to depending on the occasion.
In its simplest form, the boozy marinade for the pork tenderloin is equal parts oil, liquor, and flavored jelly, so feel free to make it your own. We use olive oil, tequila, and hot pepper jelly for this fiesta comida (Emily just visited Mexico and that represents about 10% of her working spanish vocabulary). For our version, we used a hot pepper jelly Emily’s sister canned, but Tabasco makes a good one and most grocery stores carry fun artisanal brands.
What we’re saying is: this dish is versatile. The recipe is flexible, and you can serve the finished product on tortillas, buns, or as the centerpiece of an entree at a fancy dinner party. The sauce is so sweet and spicy and tangy it will have your friends and family asking for mas, por favor.
Tequila Pork Tenderloin
2 pork tenderloins
⅓ cup oil
⅓ cup tequila
⅓ cup hot pepper jelly
juice of 1 lime
juice of 1 lemon
½ to 2 jalapenos (depending on how spicy you want it to be), minced
5 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
Handful of cilantro, chopped
Salt and pepper
Mix the ingredients of the marinade with a whisk, until the jelly is fully incorporated. Add the pork tenderloins and allow to sit covered in the refrigerator for 2-3 hours.
Remove the pork tenderloins from the marinade. Reserve the marinade liquid.
Set up a grill for indirect cooking — hot coals under half of the grate. Sear the pork over the fire, rotating constantly until the pork is browned evenly on all sides. Move the pork to the side without the coals, place the lid on the grill, and allow to cook for 20 to 30 minutes more, until the pork reaches an internal temperature of 145º.
Remove the pork from the grill, tent it with tin foil, and allow it to rest for 10 minutes.
While the meat is resting, add the marinade to a saucepan and warm over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until it begins to bubble (you need the marinade to get to the same temperature as the pork). Once the marinade is bubbling, remove it from the heat and allow to cool for a few minutes.
Slice the pork and place it in a large bowl. Pour the warmed marinade over the pork and serve immediately.