Over the summer I attended a lunch showcasing highlights from the Brother Jimmy's BBQ cookbook from the NYC-based barbecue chain of the same name. Among the grilled goodies easily achievable by home cooks—like blackened catfish, marinated portobellos, and corn and black bean salad—there was an orange-chipotle pork loin that stood out, and it sounded perfect for fall grilling.
You marinate a pork loin in a simple but potent mixture of orange juice, olive oil, brown sugar, garlic, and chipotles. After an overnight soak, the marinade is poured out and reduced down with more orange juice to create finishing glaze and sauce.
This concentrated sauce is key, delivering a sweet, smoky, and spicy flavor that fully heightens the juicy but otherwise somewhat bland piece of lean pork. It's this orange and chipotle combo against a hearty piece of meat that feels seasonally apt to me, but it's such a great pairing that you won't regret trying it out anytime of the year.
- 3/4 cup orange juice, divided
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
- 2 whole canned chipotle chiles in adobo plus 1 tablespoon sauce
- 2 medium cloves garlic
- 1 tablespoon Kosher salt
- 1 pork loin trimmed of excess fat and silver skin (about 2 1/2 pounds total)
- Type of fire: two-zone indirect
- Grill heat: high
Place 1/4 cup orange juice, olive oil, dark brown sugar, chipotles in adobo, adobo sauce, garlic, and salt in jar of a blender. Puree until chipotles and garlic are completely chopped.
Place pork loin in large resealable plastic bag. Pour in orange-chipotle marinade, seal, and toss to thoroughly coat loin with marinade. Place in refrigerator and marinate for 6 hours to overnight, turning occasionally.
Pour marinade from bag into small saucepan. Stir in remaining 1/2 cup of orange juice. Bring to boil over medium-high heat; reduce to heat to medium and cook until sauce has reduced in volume by half, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
Light one chimney full of charcoal. When all the charcoal is lit and covered with gray ash, pour out and arrange the coals on one side of the charcoal grate. Set cooking grate in place, cover grill and allow to preheat for 5 minutes. Clean and oil the grilling grate. Sear pork over hot side of grill until browned on all sides, about 4-5 minutes per side. Move pork to cool side of the grill and brush with orange-chipotle sauce. Cover grill and continue to cook until an instant read thermometer reads 140°F when inserted into the thickest part of the pork loin, 15 to 30 minutes longer. Remove from grill, let stand for 15 minutes; slice and serve with reserved orange-chipotle sauce.