Pork tenderloin – it’s the answer to the question – What’s for dinner tonight? Pork tenderloin can be prepared quickly for a weeknight meal but can also be spruced up to be special enough to serve to guests. This Smoky Sweet Southwest Pork Tenderloin recipe with Mango Salsa is a mouth watering mixture of both smoky and sweet spices in a southwest style that is sure to satisfy everyone at your dinner table. When served with this fresh, vibrant and flavorful mango salsa, it will leave your taste buds thanking you.
What to serve with it – roast some broccolini – a simple recipe with olive oil, salt and pepper and some roasted potatoes. Voila – dinner is on the table in 30-40 minutes! Healthy, delicious and fast. What more can we ask for!?! Enjoy your dinner, love your people and cook them healthy food!
For a great pre-dinner drink to serve up to guests while the griller in your family is grilling, try this Basil Martini to kickstart your appetite. Cheers my foodie friends! Live each day and feed your soul!
Preparing a pork tenderloin
The first step to prepare a pork tenderloin is to take it out of the fridge, unpackage it, place it on a plate and dry it off with paper towels. Next you will need to remove the silver skin with a sharp knife.
Removing the silver skin
Silver skin is tendons or ligaments on the meat that grow even tougher when cooked. It is best to remove silver skin before preparing the meat for cooking. It’s also best to do this when the meat is cold and right after removing from the refrigerator. The key to making this job easy is to have the right type of knife. You want a sharp knife that is semi-flexible and thin. If you use a wide rigid knife, it will make the process more difficult than necessary. I recommend this sharp, semi-flexible knife for this job.
This is an excellent video demonstrating the simple process of removing silver skin from a pork tenderloin.
- Prepare the pork tenderloin.
- Make the rub – mix all spices together.
- Chop the ingredients for the mango salsa.
After preparing the pork tenderloin, combine the spices in a prep bowl to make a rub for the pork. Rub the spice mixture over the meat and set aside. Prepare your grill.
While the grill is heating, prepare the mango salsa.
Peel and dice the mango. Dice the red pepper and red onion. Seed and dice the jalapeno if using. Chop the cilantro. I recommend a fresh herb “rock and chop” like this.
Cut your lime in half and juice both halves of the lime with a citrus juicer like this.
Combine the mango, red pepper, onion, jalapeno, cilantro and lime juice, then add the salt. Mix together and refrigerate while you are grilling the pork.
Grilling – Direct heat and indirect heat
The key to juicy, seared grilled pork tenderloin is searing the meat over direct heat on both sides for approximately 2 minutes per side. Sear for two minutes, flip and repeat. After searing, move the meat to the side of the grill away from the main heat source. Cover the grill and finish cooking over indirect heat. This method will sear the juices into the meat, leave the beautiful grill marks and then finish the cooking process on the side of the grill, leaving a smoky flavor on your pork. Cook the meat to an internal temperature of 145, removing from the grill when at 145. I let mine rest to 150 before slicing. Depending on the size of your pork tenderloins, the type of grill you are using and how hot the grill is, the meat will take approximately 15-20 minutes on indirect heat. Begin checking the internal temperature around 13-15 minutes after moving to indirect heat but try not to uncover the grill too many times.
This meat thermometer is helpful for checking the temperature while grilling.
Always let it rest before slicing
Always let the meat rest for approximately 10-15 minutes on a clean plate after grilling. This ensures all that juicy amazingness doesn’t escape when slicing the meat.
Smoky Sweet Southwest Pork Tenderloin Recipe with Mango Salsa
- Flexible culinary knife
- Rock and chop herb chopper
- Citrus juicer
- Meat thermometer
For the Pork Tenderloin
- 2 pork tenderloins
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp smoked or sweet paprika (your choice, both are great)
- 1 tsp light brown sugar
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp ground coriander
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- fresh cracked pepper several turns
For the Mango Salsa
- 1 mango peeled and diced
- 1 red pepper diced
- 1 small red onion chopped
- 1/4 cup cilantro chopped
- 1 lime juiced
- 1 jalapeno (optional) seeded and diced
- 1/4 tsp kosher salt
- Prepare the pork tenderloin by patting it dry and removing the silverskin while the meat is cold.
- Combine the spices in a prep bowl to make a rub for the pork. Rub the spice mixture over the meat and set aside. Prepare your grill.
- While the grill is heating, prepare the mango salsa.
- Peel and dice the mango. Dice the red pepper and red onion. Seed and dice the jalapeno if using. Chop the cilantro.
- Cut the lime in half and juice both halves of the lime.
- Combine the mango, red pepper, onion, jalapeno, cilantro and lime juice, then add the salt. Mix together and refrigerate while you are grilling the pork.
Grilling the pork:
- Sear the pork on each side for approximately 2 minutes per side.
- Remove the meat from the direct heat source and place on the side of the grill on indirect heat. Cover the grill.
- Grill for approximately 15-20 minutes until the internal temperature is 145 degrees.
- Let the meat rest 5-10 minutes before slicing.