Grilled Parmesan Pork with Fresh Oregano
[A few weeks back I introduced you to my friend and fellow home gardener, Tracy Prather…when she got us salivating over her Creamy Asparagus & Roasted Artichoke Soup recipe. Well she’s back today with yet another lip-smacking delicious recipe…Grilled Parmesan Pork with Fresh Oregano. Thanks again Tracy…I look forward to trying this one out too!]
Well, spring is finally here! I wanted to celebrate by firing up the grill. One of my favorite grilled items is Parmesan Pork. It’s perfect for this time of year, satisfying without being too heavy. Plus, one of the key ingredients is about the only thing in my garden right now…oregano.
I love having fresh oregano and it’s fresh all year long. Even with the brutal winter we’ve had…there it is, green and growing. I recommend growing it in planter by itself, like you would mint; otherwise, it can really take over and be a little overwhelming. Maybe you could just come by and snip some of mine – I have plenty!
Let’s get ready for dinner, shall we?
Here’s what you’re going to need:
- 2 lb lean pork tenderloin
- 12 oz beer (your flavor of choice, but a brown ale works really nicely)
- ¼ cup of Olive Oil
- 1 cup of finely grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 Tbsp of packed brown sugar or sucanat (evaporated sugar cane juice)
- 4 cloves of garlic, minced (or about a Tbsp if using prepared garlic)
- 3 bouquets of fresh oregano (or 2 Tbsp if chopped)
- 2 tsp garlic powder
- 1 ½ tsp onion powder
- 1 ½ tsp salt
- 1 tsp pepper
You will also need:
- Kitchen twine
- 1 gallon plastic zip bag
You want to give yourself about 2 1/2 to – 4 1/2 hours to prepare this dish…but the majority of your time will be simply waiting for the pork to marinate. It’s really quite easy.
- Slice the pork into 1” thick medallions…and then slice them in half. Place them in the 1 gallon plastic bag…and I usually put the bag in an oven dish, just in case it leaks.
- Wash oregano and pat dry with a paper towel…then gather into small bouquets by tying them with twine to secure. (Note, you can chop the oregano, but I use this method instead. Oregano will get very bitter when grilled and it’s not fun to pick all the pieces off the pork to ready it for grilling.)
- Gently roll the bouquets between the palms of your hands to open up the leaves and let the flavor out…place in the mixing bowl for the marinade.
- Add all of the other ingredients into the mixing bowl…except the cheese…and mix well. Pour marinade mixture over the pork and refrigerate for 2-4 hours turning every hour. Or if you are like me, whenever you think of it. Don’t worry…it will not be ruined if you forget entirely.
Now you are free to go do some of your other daily duties for a few hours. YAY!
Welcome back, that went by quickly. It’s already time to head out and fire up the grill. You’ll want to set it for medium heat…and I turn off the middle burner once the grill is hot for indirect, more even cooking.
- Skewer your pork and reserve ½ cup of the marinade for basting.
- Place pork on the grill, close the grill and allow pork to cook for 5 minutes.
- Baste and flip skewers cooking for another 8-10 minutes, basting once.
- Remove from grill and allow pork to sit for 5 minutes and cool.
- Remove skewers and toss pork in grated cheese. I really like cheese, so I press it in there to make sure it really sticks.
That’s it…you’re done. This pork is so tender, juicy and very flavorful. If you’d like, save some of the oregano for garnish. It is wonderful in the spring and summer with a nice green salad, potato salad or pasta salad. In the fall I like to pair it with sweet potatoes or a squash. It is fantastic for a night with friends because it’s easy, quick and I doubt anyone will complain.
Alright, I know we had something else planned for dinner tonight, but I’m thinking I might need to see what can be done about that. Thanks again Tracy…this sounds amazing…I’ll be right over to pick some of your oregano!
What is your favorite recipe for the grill…any that use something you’ve grown in your garden? Please share.
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