Marinated Grilled Pork Tenderloin

Want to know what you should grill this weekend? Here you go:
Marinated Grilled Pork Tenderloin. But start now, because the longer you marinate it, the better this turns out. Yes we served ours with a side of mini grilled shrimp, because one entree is never enough.

We are really into dinner parties lately. What's better on a weekend night than having a group of good friends over for food, fun, and wine? Nothing!  I have a few rules for dinner parties that I try to adhere to:
  1. Make it relatively easy. This is not the time to attempt Beef Wellington.
  2. Try to choose something that allows you to do most of the prep work before guests arrive, so that you can relax and enjoy their company while they're there.
  3. Serve dessert, $%mn it.
  4. Don't invite boring people.
If you follow all of my golden rules, I guarantee a good time will be had by all.

So, for our dinner party we had on Memorial Day, I decided to serve marinated grilled pork tenderloin. The marinade is a recipe from my aunt, and it has become a staple for our mid-summer get-togethers in the good ol' states of Wisconsin and Minnesota. If you don't know if you like pork tenderloin, trust me, you do. Try this recipe. The key is a looooong marinating process....I highly encourage 24 hours. The other key to pork tenderloin: DON'T OVERCOOK IT. It will be dry.

Recipe
To prepare the marinade, you're going to need to start with a lot of these:
Which also means you will need one of these:
For that much lime juice, you're not going to want to juice them by hand. Trust me, I've tried that and it all ends up in your eyes.

Mix the honey, brown sugar, soy sauce, olive oil, lime juice, and bay leaves in a large ziploc bag. I am a firm believer in using bags for marinating...it does a better job of making sure the juices really get in there.

Pat the pork tenderloin dry, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Poke little holes in the pork with a knife to ensure the marinade really seeps into the tenderloin (this is my own technique, it seems like it works...though I haven't seen any hard evidence).  Place the tenderloins in the bag with the marinade, and refrigerate for at least 8 hours, rotating a couple times for even distribution. Remove from the refrigerator about a half hour before grilling, and place the pork on a plate. Reserve the marinade.

Heat the grill to medium/medium-high on just one side. Prepare the other side for indirect grilling (leave the other side off). Brush a little olive oil on the grates, then place the tenderloins over direct heat. Brush some more marinade on them. Cover the grill and cook for 6 minutes. After six minutes, flip the meat over to the other side, making sure all sides are browned (brush a little more marinade on the other side) - another 5 minutes. After 11 minutes of cooking over direct heat, move them over to the indirect heat for another 5 minutes (grill covered), until meat registers 145 degrees. I would check the temperature after 15 minutes of total cooking time (11 direct, 4 indirect) - you absolutely do not want the temperature to go any higher than 145 when you take it off. For a pinker center, take it off at 140. Transfer the tenderloins to a plate and tent with aluminum foil. Let stand for 5-10 minutes before slicing into 1-inch pieces.
I love this recipe, and every time I eat it I feel happy with life and summer. And what a perfect dinner party entree - more elegant than hamburgers or chicken, but literally all the prep work is done the day before. And like any good dinner party, I served this for dessert.

Good times, good food, good friends!

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