Hey, hey! The kids and I are enjoying our last day in Montana before heading back to real life tomorrow (meaning a 10+ hour drive followed by piles of laundry and yard work and potential stinkpot attitudes, not excluding me, from being entertained 24/7 by Grandma and Grandpa the last 10 days). So I’ll keep it short and sweet today so we can soak up every last minute of family time.
Let’s talk tacos for half a sec, shall we? Mojo, per the recipe title, is referring to the Cuban-style flavors in this recipe (garlic, orange, olive oil) and is pronounced moh-hoh. Not to be confused with the more slang mojo (moh-joh), although I suppose you could get your mojo back (assuming you’ve lost it) by making and serving these tacos to a special someone. They are good enough to impress, that’s for sure.
Simple as simple gets, tender pork tenderloin marinates in a fresh, quickly assembled marinade and is grilled to perfection. A few quick tips to make this dish superb:
1) don’t overcook the pork: there’s a fine line between raw pork and perfectly cooked, juicy pork. That line is 145 degrees F. Using an instant-read thermometer (like this one) can make the difference between average pork and restaurant-worthy pork.
2) use really good tortillas: homemade or good-quality storebought. I’ve talked about it before – the small corn and wheat tortillas from Trader Joe’s are my faves. But if you can’t get them or prefer other varieties, the rule of thumb should be to use a corn or flour tortilla that tastes awesome, ok?
3) slice the cooked pork thinly: these tacos rely on those tender, succulent slivers of pork to wow your taste buds.
And of course, you could use that creative culinary mind of yours and eat this deliciously flavorful grilled pork in a million other ways than tacos, too, if you like. Go crazy. I will say that they are absolutely divine as pictured: corn tortillas slathered with refried beans, melty Monterey Jack cheese and stuffed with pieces of juicy pork.
Before I forget (so much for being short and sweet – story of my life!), these freeze amazingly well. I assemble the tacos, flattening them just slightly with the palm of my hand into a a pressed half moon and then wrap each one individually in plastic wrap. Several tacos will fit in a gallon-size ziploc bag and make for tasty, quick lunches (I unwrap before heating up).
I included this note in the last step of the recipe but I'll restate: these grilled pork tacos are also delicious with a layer of refried beans spread on the tortillas and covered in Monterey Jack cheese (warmed in the oven until the cheese melts before adding the pork and toppings).
To freeze, I assemble the tacos, flattening them just slightly with the palm of my hand into a a pressed half moon and then wrap each one individually in plastic wrap. Several tacos will fit in a gallon-size ziploc bag and make for tasty, quick lunches (I unwrap before heating up).
- 1/2 cup fresh orange juice (about 1-2 oranges)
- Zest of one orange
- Zest of one lime
- 1/4 cup fresh lime juice (about 2-3 limes)
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 8 cloves garlic (about 2 tablespoons)
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 pork tenderloins (about 2 1/2 - 3 pounds total)
- 12-16 corn or flour tortillas (6- to 8-inch)
- Refried beans (optional, see note above)
- Taco toppings of your choice (cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, avocados or guacamole, sour cream, etc.)
- In a medium bowl or large liquid measuring cup, whisk together the orange juice, orange zest, lime zest, lime juice, olive oil, garlic, oregano, salt and pepper.
- Place the pork tenderloin in a shallow dish or in a large ziplock bag and pour the marinade to cover the pork.
- Refrigerate and marinade at least 4 hours and up to 24 hours.
- Preheat a grill to medium heat (about 350 degrees F if you have a temperature gauge or thermometer) and grill the pork tenderloin for 15-20 minutes, flipping halfway through, until the internal temperature of the thickest part of the pork registers 145 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer.
- Let the pork rest for 5-10 minutes before slicing thinly. Serve the pork with warm corn or flour tortillas and whatever taco toppings you like. They are also delicious with a layer of refried beans spread on the tortillas and covered in Monterey Jack cheese (warmed in the oven until the cheese melts before adding the pork and toppings).
Recipe Source: from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe (inspired by a recipe in Cuisine at Home and also this one from Bobby Flay on Food Network)