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Pork Tenderloin

Barbecuing or grilling pork can be a tricky business. For the most part people have always abided by the fact that if the internal temperature of the pork is 180ºF then it is done. Well that is very true. However it has always been thought that 180ºF would represent the temperature needed to kill bacteria such as trichinae (trichinosis). Actually about 140ºF throughout the meat will do that. Thus it is quite possible to cook pork to 165 or 170ºF and produce a much juicier piece of meat. This will come in very handy when cooking tenderloins and pork chops on the grill. Today we are going to talk about grilling tenderloin. The tenderloin is produced from the full bone-in loin. Tenderloins may be purchased with the presence or absence of the membrane, head, and side muscle. A properly cooked tenderloin can be diced into medallions and then served with a variety of fruity sauces for a pork lover's delight. Tenderloins are also lower in fat than many other meats. So lets look at a unique way to cook our tenderloins. First you will need a 1-gallon plastic storage bag. These bags are great for marinating meats in because they don't stain and they are non-reactive. Take your tenderloins and sprinkle with seasoned salt, then place in bag and add your favorite BBQ sauce. Usually a sweet sauce works best. Allow this mixture to sit for about 4 hours, overnight is even better. You are going to be grilling these so your fire should be medium to hot. Take tenderloins out of bag and throw the bag away, do not reuse the sauce, bad pookie. Place the tenderloins on the grill and turn every 5 minutes until a dark crust start to appear on the outside of the meat. At this point you are at about 135ºF internally. Then take the tenderloin and wrap it in aluminum foil. You can then place it in the oven at 300ºF. Allow it to cook an additional 45 minutes. You can also finish cooking it on the grill if you have a spot not directly over the fire and can bring the temperature down to 300ºF. Now while this is cooking lets make our finishing sauce. This is very simple to make but adds immensely to the flavor of the meat. 1 cup of your favorite sauce 1/2 cup pineapple preserves 1/2 cup honey Place this on the stove and cook for about 10 minutes on low heat. This will help break down the preserves so you have a lighter sauce. When the tenderloins are done slice them diagonally into medallions. Right before serving dribble the sauce over the medallions both for appearance and flavor. Do not overdo the sauce. The tenderloin medallions make great presentations for meals and should be served accordingly. You can also substitute other jellies and preserves in place of the pineapple. Try apple or raspberry.


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