Pork Tenderloin “ribs” with Lemon-Rosemary BBQ Sauce

Sometimes there are foods for which you cannot post a picture. The meal is delicious but the visual appeal of the end product is non-existent. This is one of those meals where I had to pretend my plate didn’t resemble a post-apocalyptic nuclear wasteland, squeeze my eyes shut and eat with my mouth only. I was in the mood for ribs, and in an attempt to steer clear of actual pork ribs that are fatty, I decided to try out another Looneyspoons recipe calling for pork tenderloin. The flavours were excellent: the meat marinated in a fantastic rub, the bbq sauce was just right, the meat cooked perfectly (go me!) : moist with just a hint of pink. Sadly, the finished product looked like a butchered, hacked up mess. The recipe has you pound the meat down to about ¾” thick and score the meat so that it resembles fake little ribs. I will totally omit this step next time and just use the rub and sauce on whole tenderloin instead. I served this with oven roasted rosemary garlic fingerling potatoes and a fresh garden salad. The recipe makes a LOT of meat and we pretty much ate leftovers for three days straight; the recipe could be halved and only 1 medium-sized pork tenderloin used.

Pork Tenderloin “ribs” with Lemon-Rosemary BBQ Sauce
Spice Rub
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp paprika
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp seasoned salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper

BBQ Sauce
1 tbsp butter
2 tbsp finely minced onions
1 tsp minced garlic
1/2 cup ketchup
1/3 cup hickory-flavoured barbecue sauce
2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tbsp molasses
1 1/4 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp paprika
1 tsp grated lemon zest
1/2 tsp dried rosemary

Using a meat mallet, pound the pork uniformly into about 1-inch thickness. Using a sharp knife, score the pork in 1-inch intervals so that it looks like ribs. Cut about half-way into the meat, not all the way through.

Use about 1 tbsp of spice rub per slab of “ribs” and rub into both sides of meat and into score marks. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight for best flavour.

To make sauce, melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add onions and garlic. Cook and stir until onions have softened, about 1 minute. Add all remaining ingredients. Mix well.

Simmer, uncovered, over low heat for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and let cool. Sauce will thicken slightly as it cools.

Preheat gas grill to high heat setting. Grill pork for about 10 minutes, turning occasionally and basting often with barbecue sauce. Grill marks are mandatory! Be sure not to overcook the pork, as it will be dry. It’s okay for pork be a little pink in the middle. Remove pork from grill and let rest for one minute, then cut along score marks into individual “ribs.” Serve hot.


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