Filete de Puerco a la Parrilla

Grilled Pork Tenderloin

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


Appears in

Eating Cuban

Eating Cuban

By Beverly Cox and Martin Jacobs

Published 2006

  • About

Mojo, a mixture of bitter orange juice, olive oil, garlic, and spices, is the most traditional Cuban marinade. It gives the grilled pork in this recipe a piquant flavor that is complemented by a glaze of guarapo, juice pressed from fresh sugar-cane. Serve the skewers with Arroz Caribe (Caribbean-Style Rice) and Frijoles Negros (Classic Cuban-Style Black Beans).


  • 2 pounds pork tenderloin
  • 2 to 4 cloves garlic, peeled
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • ½ cup fresh bitter orange juice, or ¼ cup regular orange juice and ¼ cup fresh lime juice
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • cups fresh guarapo (sugarcane juice), or 1 (11.5-ounce) can guarapo
  • 2 or 3 (8- to 10-inch) pieces sugarcane
  • Fresh cilantro and mint


Partially freeze the tenderloin. With a sharp knife, cut a thin slice off the long narrow side of the tenderloin. Stand the tenderloin on this flat side and slice it into long, ribbonlike slices ¼ to ⅓ inch thick.

Crush the garlic in a garlic press and place in a small mixing bowl. With a fork, mix in the salt, cumin, and pepper to make a paste. Stir in the bitter orange juice and oil.

Place the pork in a shallow, nonreactive baking dish. Pour the marinade over the pork, turning the strips to coat with the seasonings. Let the meat marinate for at least 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a small saucepan over medium heat, gently boil the guarapo, stirring frequently, until it is reduced by half and has the consistency of a medium syrup.

Preheat a charcoal grill to medium-hot.

With a sharp chef’s knife, cut the sugarcane pieces in half lengthwise, then cut each half into thirds or quarters to make skewers about inch thick. With a sharp paring knife, pare down the skewers so that they gradually come to a sharp point at one end—like a pointed chopstick.

Thread the pork onto the sugarcane. Grill, brushing with guarapo syrup and turning occasionally, until the pork is cooked through and lightly caramelized, 6 to 8 minutes. Serve.