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New Real Grilling: Coca-Cola Marinated Pork Tenderloins

Level: Medium
Found in Main Dish,   Grilling  By
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Marinated pork tenderloins

Chef Jamie Purviance, the culinary director for Weber Grills, created his citrus marinated pork tenderloins recipe that incorporates Coca-Cola as an ingredient. In addition to Coca-Cola Journey, this recipe is featured in New York Times Bestselling cookbook, New Real Grilling.

The Story Behind the Recipe: Chef Purviance Shares His International Inspiration

"In my 20’s I was a schoolteacher in Southeast Asia, where grilling traditions go back for centuries.  I took every opportunity I could to learn various ways that chefs in various countries marinated their meats before grilling.

This recipe reflects a secret that a friendly street vendor in Singapore shared with me. His rice bowl with grilled pork was so good that I pleaded with him to share how he got such a flavorful crust on the surface of the meat. It turns out he was using Coke in his marinade, along with a good amount of citrus juices and fresh ginger. There is something special about the way the sweetness of the cola caramelizes on a hot grill and penetrates the meat with a savory blend of tanginess and spice. The meat tends to char quickly and could burn if you are not careful, but if you brush it well with oil before grilling and turn the pork every five minutes, it develops a nice, rich char that frames the moist meat inside."

Marinade

Servings:
  • .75 Cups Coca-Cola (not Diet)
  • .25 Cups fresh Orange Juice
  • 2 Tablespoons Fresh lime juice
  • 1.5 Tablespoons peeled, grated fresh ginger
  • 1 Tablespoon packed dark brown sugar
  • 2 Teaspoons mustard powder
  • 2 Teaspoons kosher salt
  • 3 Cloves garlic, minced or pushed through a press
  • 1 Teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 Teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 Teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 2 pork tenderloins, each about 1 pound, trimmed of silver skin and any excess fat
  • 1 Tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

Directions

  • Total Time: hr  40 min
  • Prep Time: 4 hr  20 min
  • Cook Time: 20 min
  1. Whisk the marinade ingredients. Place the pork in a large, resealable plastic bag and pour in the marinade. Press the air out of the bag and seal tightly. Turn the bag to distribute the marinade, place in a bowl, and refrigerate for 4 hours. Remove the pork from the bag and reserve the marinade. Allow the pork to stand at room temperature for 15 to 30 minutes before grilling.
  2. Prepare the grill for direct cooking over medium heat (350° to 450°F).
  3. Pour the marinade into a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and simmer until slightly reduced and thickened, about 4 minutes. Set aside.
  4. Brush the pork all over with the oil. Grill over direct medium heat, with the lid closed, until well marked on two sides, about 5 minutes, turning once. Lightly baste with the reduced marinade and continue to grill until the outsides are evenly browned and the centers are barely pink, 10 to 15 minutes more, turning and basting every 5 minutes (if the tenderloins stick, move them to a clean part of the cooking grate when you turn them). Remove from the grill and let rest for 3 to 5 minutes.
  5. Cut into slices and serve warm with a salad of grilled corn, tomatoes and avocados.

About the Chef

Man using grill

Jamie Purviance graduated from Stanford University and the Culinary Institute of America (with high honors) before earning a reputation as one of America’s top grilling experts.  He is the author of several cookbooks, with millions of copies sold, and his articles have appeared in numerous publications, such as Bon Appetit, Better Homes and Gardens, Cooking Light, Eating Well, Town & Country, and the Los Angeles Times.  One of his books, “Weber’s Way to Grill’, was a finalist for a James Beard Award, and three of his cookbooks have been New York Times Bestsellers. Purviance teaches grilling at schools all over America and he has appeared on countless television shows: Today, the Early Show, Good Morning America, and the Oprah Winfrey Show – as well as on PBS, CNN, and the Food Network. Follow Purviance on Twitter @jamiepurviance and on Facebook.