Molasses-Glazed Grilled Pork Loin


The assertive flavors of coffee, molasses, and balsamic vinegar meld and mellow in this sophisticated dish that is just the thing for winter entertaining. It is best served with simple sides, such as collard greens and Sweet Potato Spoon Bread, that enhance rather than distract from the sweet, rich molasses flavor of the pork.


Two 1-pound pork tenderloins
¼  cup strong black coffee, cold or room temperature
¼  cup bourbon
3  tablespoons molasses
2  tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2  tablespoons olive oil
2  tablespoons fresh thyme
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper


1. Rinse the pork, pat dry, remove the silver skin, and trim any excess fat. Place in a shallow container or large resealable bag.

2. Whisk together the coffee, bourbon, molasses, vinegar, olive oil, and thyme in a small bowl. Pour the marinade over the pork and turn to coat evenly. (Or, if using a bag, pour the marinade into the bag, seal, and shake to coat the pork.) Cover and place in the refrigerator to marinate for at least 2 hours or overnight. Turn the pork several times to distribute the marinade evenly.

3. When ready to cook the pork, prepare a hot fire in a charcoal or gas grill and let the coals burn to gray ash with a slight red glow. Keep the coals on one side of the grill to create areas of direct and indirect heat; if using a gas grill, heat just one side on medium.

4. Remove the pork from the marinade, reserving the marinade, and season with salt and pepper. Place the pork on the hot grill directly over the coals and cook for about 12 to 15 minutes, basting with the reserved marinade and turning three or four times to avoid charring.

5. Move the pork away from the coals, close the grill or cover the pork with foil, and cook for another 3 to 5 minutes, until an internal thermometer inserted in the tenderloin reads 145°F for medium (this is what I prefer) or 160°F for medium-well.

6. Remove the pork from the grill and transfer to a cutting board. Cover loosely with foil and allow to rest for 5 to 10 minutes before slicing. Slice the pork into small rounds 1⁄4 to 1⁄2 inch thick and serve warm.

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