Cuban-Style Pork with Mojo de Ajo
Mojo de ajo refers to a Latin-style sauce that relies on garlic, or ajo, as a main flavoring agent. The garlic is often paired with tangy citrus juice that brightens up the flavors of the dish. Serve with steamed rice and black beans to complete the Latin theme.
- 1 tsp. sweet paprika
- 1 tsp. kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper
- 2 pork tenderloins, about 3/4 lb. (375 g) each, silver skin removed
- 2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
For the mojo de ajo:
- 1/4 cup (2 fl. oz./60 ml) extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves, chopped
- 2 Tbs. minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
- 1/2 cup (4 fl. oz./125 ml) fresh orange juice
- Kosher salt
In a small bowl, stir together the paprika, salt and pepper. Rub the paprika mixture all over the tenderloins. Transfer to a plate, cover and let stand at room temperature for 1 hour.
Preheat an oven to 375°F (190°C).
In a large, heavy ovenproof fry pan over high heat, warm the 2 Tbs. olive oil. When the oil is shimmering, add the tenderloins and sear on all sides, about 5 minutes total. Transfer the pan to the oven and roast the pork until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of a tenderloin registers 135°F (57°C) for medium, 30 minutes, or until done to your liking. Remove the pan from the oven, transfer the pork to a carving board, and tent with aluminum foil. Let rest for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, make the sauce: In a small fry pan over medium-low heat, warm the olive oil. Add the garlic and cook, stirring often, until light golden brown, about 4 minutes. Stir in the parsley and pepper flakes and cook for 10 seconds. Add the orange juice and simmer, swirling the pan once or twice, until slightly reduced, about 2 minutes. Season to taste with salt and remove from the heat.
Cut each tenderloin crosswise into thick slices. Arrange the slices on a warmed platter or individual plates. Spoon the sauce over the pork and serve immediately. Serves 4.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Year-Round Roasting (Weldon Owen, 2011)