Sometimes, a person just needs a place to park their “sitter-onner” and see the beauty that is nature.
Should that place be situated next to a barbecue pit, well, all the better. And if, in that wonderment of nature and all it has to offer, one should catch a fleeting, yet distinctive and brain etching flash of pork that has been flavored with teriyaki, well my friend, you are now firmly entrenched in my brain. Welcome to the today portion of my world, that of Teriyaki Pork Tenderloin.
I’ve always liked the Teriyaki flavor profile, but have always been disappointed, if not at least unimpressed with the bottled sauces. All that aroma and flavor complexity ,yet when it comes to getting that flavor profile into the actual intended meat, it just lacked the proper execution.
Because of this recurring thought, I decided to go ahead and make my own, reinforcing my belief that fresh is best, and if I can do it, by golly, I’m gonna.
After looking at a few recipes online, I kinda went with a conglomeration of sorts based on a very scientific principle that I learned a long time ago, titled “Using what you have on hand in the cabinets and pantry”.
And this is what I came up with,
Coarsely chopped fresh ginger, soy sauce, sesame oil, fresh minced garlic, brown sugar, honey, and a bit of cooking sherry with sugar added, in lieu of Saki. For a more detailed and precise recipe, check this one out at The Daring Gourmet.
I put all these ingredients in a small pot, and brought to a boil. Then I removed it from the heat, let it cool a bit, and used some as a marinade for the tenderloin. I only used what I thought was necessary, saving the rest for a sauce after cooking.
While that Pork was in the marinade, I lit the lump charcoal and set the pit up for indirect grilling, keeping the coals to one side of the grill, all the while thinking about that old Montrose song, Rock Candy. “You’re rock candy baby. Hot, sweet, and sticky!” “Yep, that’s just what I’m looking for in a Teriyaki sauce”, I thought to myself.
I removed the pork from that sweet, sticky marinade and laid on a platter, getting a dusting of sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper, just for good measure. I also injected the pork with some of the marinade, just to make sure that some of that great flavor got into the meat.
Now I like a good bark, or crust on these types of meats, so the first thing I set out to get accomplished was a great sear on all sides of this tenderloin, over the red-hot coals, rotating after a good couple minutes on each side. And a round tenderloin has at least four sides, in my estimation. That’s backyard grilling geometry, if you’re wondering. The point is, get a good sear, get a good crust. And, if you choose, you can toss in your favorite smoking wood at this point as well. I spied a handful of cherry wood, and decided that might be just right.
After a quick, but stern searing, it’s time to move the tenderloin over to the indirect side, giving it a good brush with some of the marinade.
Now you know what to do. Close the lid, and let it go. You’ve got about forty-five minutes to go back to your sitting place to relax and smell the great aroma coming off this flavor combination. It’s one of those days when you know everything’s gonna be right, at least in your little corner of the world.
A quick peek gives confirmation that the pork is ready.”You’re rock candy baby. Hot, sweet, and sticky!”
Time to get it on the plate, and let it rest for a bit, even though I really want to cut the end off and give it a taste. Do they make buns big enough to just lay this thing in there and start eating?
Grilled veggies are always a great complement.
The rest of the marinade was reheated, with a bit of cornstarch and water added to thicken it up to a glaze, and used as a drizzle or dip. Frankly, it was good enough to drink right out of the bowl, but being all proper-like, we used it on the plate instead.
Teriyaki Pork, Grilled Veggies and Brown Rice,
Life Is Better Wood Fired