Grilled Pork Loin with Chimichurri Sauce
With a herb garden brimming with parsley and oregano, I was looking for yet another thing to do with them, before the inevitable freeze hits us here in Oklahoma by the end of October.
I’m not sure why, but I’ve avoided Chimichurri sauce up until now, thinking it may be difficult. I was wrong.
After looking at the ingredients in various recipes, I realized this is nothing more than a pesto with vinegar in it. This recipe may sound fancy, exotic, and hard to come by, but it’s truly simple. Originating in Argentina, it found it’s way into my kitchen and will stay there…well, cuz I really liked it!
Whiz a few ingredients up in the food processor, marinade the meat in half of it, save the rest to top it off with, and you’ve got an impressive and delicious main dish worthy of dinner guests.
There are many Chimichurri sauce recipes out there. Some call for a mixture of parsley and oregano, some of parsley and cilantro.
I like all three herbs in mine for a layer of flavors that is divine.
Start with equal parts of cilantro and parsley (about one and one half cups of each). Toss in 1/2 cup of oregano. All of these are fresh, mind you.
Squeeze in one lime.
Then add in 3 Tablespoons red wine vinegar, 1/2 of a jalepeno, 2 garlic cloves and 1 teaspoon of salt. Pulse this a couple of times in your food processor, and then slowly drizzle in 1/2 cup of olive oil leaving the processor running. Pour the yumminess into a bowl.
Tradional chimichurri uses red pepper flakes, but I prefer the freshness of the jalepeno.
Pour 1 cup or so of this over your raw pork loin to marinade. Just use a shallow dish, or even a plastic baggie. Set it in your refrigerator to marinade for about 30 minutes.
Then take it out and put it on a medium hot grill.
Yumm, doesn’t that just make you salivate?
Now, I can’t tell you the perfect cooking time on your pork loin, because no two sizes will cook the same. I had a rather small one (about 3 pounds) and I let mine cook for 10 minutes on the first side (with the lid closed).
If you don’t have a meat thermometer, invest a couple of bucks in one at Wal-Mart, they’re so worth taking the guessing game out of meat!
Net, flip your pork loin over and check it after another 8 minutes with a meat thermometer stuck in in diagonally, all the way to the center.
I was shooting for somewhere between 150 and 160 and since it hit 160º, I pulled that baby off the grill.
Then, let it rest for about 5 or 10 minutes to let the juices redistribute, and then… sliced it up and poured some of the rest of the Chimichurri sauce over top.
And go ahead and set the bowl on your table to let your dinner guests spoon as much as they want over their own servings as well.
The leftover sauce would be delicious over some grilled chicken or steak, or even spread on a roast beef sandwich or tacos. It freezes well also.
Don’t be scared off by fancy-sounding, exotic recipes, sometimes they’re easier than you think!
- 1½ c. parsley
- 1½ c. cilantro
- ½ c. oregano
- one lime, juiced
- 3 T. red wine vinegar
- ½ jalepeno
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 t. salt
- ½ - 1 c. olive oil (to taste)
- 1 3-4 pound pork loin (any size you want really)
- In food processor, pulse first 8 ingredients together, about 10 pulses.
- Run processor, and drizzle in olive oil slowly.
- Taste after ½ cup and see if you want more.
- Pour one cup over pork loin.
- Seal in plastic bag or bowl and marinade in refrigerator for 30 minutes (no more due to lime juice). Grill for 10 minute per side and check with a meat thermometer (you want 155-160º).
- Let rest 10 minutes then slice and spoon sauce over top all slices.