While I mainly plan my menus around which vegetables I’m hungry for, A still thinks a meal isn’t really complete without some sort of meaty component, so I’m always on the lookout for easy carnivore-friendly preparations that I can make as a side dish to a big pile of vegetables. And having accumulated an overabundance of chicken recipes, I’m working to expand my horizons into other types of meat. Since my pork repertoire centers mostly on bacon, prosciutto, sausage and ground pork, tenderloin is a good area for new exploration, especially since it’s fairly healthy, inexpensive, versatile, and not hard to prepare.
All these criteria neatly converged in this super-simple recipe—seriously, we’re talking just five ingredients—from Cook’s Illustrated, which I stumbled upon via Pink Parsley. Bite-sized chunks of grilled pork in a sweet-spicy-salty glaze, with prep so quick and low-maintenance that I can focus my efforts on making a hearty salad or other veg-centric dish to serve alongside? Definitely a recipe for mealtime harmony.
The first time I made these, I used my George Foreman grill, and consequently spent the next week trying to scrape burnt sugary residue off the cooking surface. Then I remembered seeing a recipe for oven-broiled pork kebabs over at Budget Bytes, so I swiped the technique and it worked like a charm. You get a decent amount of char in a relatively short period of time, which means it might even be worth turning on the oven in the height of a summer heat wave. But if you prefer to fire up the grill, just follow the original method instead. Either way, you’ll get a big payoff for very little effort.
1½ pounds pork tenderloin, trimmed and cut into 1-inch chunks
1 teaspoon kosher salt
3 tablespoons packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons Sriracha sauce
1 teaspoon cornstarch
- If using wooden or bamboo skewers, soak 4 of them in water for at least 30 minutes to help prevent burning under the broiler.
- Toss the pork and salt together in a large mixing bowl and let sit at room temperature for 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, whisk together the brown sugar, Sriracha sauce, and cornstarch. Set aside 2 tablespoons of the mixture and add the rest to the pork, mixing well with a silicone spatula.
- Thread the meat onto the skewers. Arrange the skewers on a broiler pan, or on a wire rack atop a foil-lined sheet pan.
- Adjust the oven rack so that the top of the skewers will be 5-6 inches from the broiler. Preheat the broiler for at least 5 minutes.
- Place the skewers under the broiler and cook for 5 minutes, or just until the edges begin to brown. Remove from oven, rotate the skewers, and brush with half the reserved glaze. Return to the oven for an additional 5 minutes. Remove from oven, rotate again, brush with the remaining glaze, and broil 5 more minutes maximum, until evenly browned on all sides. (Be careful not to overcook!)
- Transfer the skewers to a serving platter, tent loosely with aluminum foil, and let rest for 5 minutes before serving.
Time: 50 minutes
Leftover potential: OK.