If ever meat was made for grilling, it's fresh pork tenderloin, or chops cut from the loin. The sweet, rosy flesh accepts a wide range of marinades, bastes and accompaniments, and the natural marbling keeps the meat moist even during direct-heat grilling, with or without the grill lid closed.
Good grilling doesn't get much easier than this first recipe: An herbed mustard baste provides a tart counterpoint to the sweet succulence of loin pork chops. In the second recipe, the marinade doubles as a baste for the meat as it grills.
Dijon-Style Pork Chops
3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
4 loin pork chops ( 3/4 inches thick)
1 teaspoon dried thyme, crushed
salt and pepper
Prepare fire for direct-heat method of cooking. Spread half the mustard evenly over chops; sprinkle with half the thyme. Place chops on oiled, preheated grill. Grill 5 minutes, then turn chops and spread with remaining mustard. Sprinkle with remaining thyme, salt and pepper to taste.
Grill second side until meat is well-browned and a meat thermometer inserted into thickest part of chops registers 160 degrees (about 5 to 6 minutes).
Chinese-Style Pork Tenders
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup sesame oil
1/4 cup rice-wine vinegar
fresh ginger, 2-inch piece, sliced
1 bunch cilantro, minced
2 tablespoons garlic, minced
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 cup water
3 pounds pork tenderloins, well trimmed
oil, for grill
To prepare marinade, combine soy sauce, sesame oil, rice-wine vinegar, ginger, cilantro, garlic, sugar and the water, reserving half the marinade. Place pork in a bowl; pour half of the marinade over it, and refrigerate at least 2 hours or up to 12 hours.
Prepare fire for direct-heat method of cooking. When fire is ready, drain tenderloins, discarding any used marinade. Place meat on oiled, preheated grill. Grill meat, turning and basting frequently with reserved marinade. Meat is done when firm to the touch and a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part registers 160 degrees (about 6 to 8 minutes total).