Though pork with mustard is a Western World classic, spinning in some zesty salsa and the crunchy-sweetness of grilled onions made me, at least, look at the combination with new hungry eyes. To learn to test the doneness of pork by touching, fold your thumb into the center of your palm, then wrap your fingers around your thumb, grasping it firmly. Now, with the forefinger of your other hand, press lightly and repeatedly on that bulging nugget of muscle on the back of your hand at the base of your thumb. When you clench your fist with as much strength as you can muster, that little bit of muscle will become very firm, feeling like overcooked pork. Relax a little bit (but keeping the first clenched) and you’ll feel what deliciously cooked pork should feel like. Relax your fist completely while keeping it in the same position and you’ll feel what raw pork feels like.
Serves 6 generously
- 1/3 cup spicy brown or Dijon-style mustard
- 1 bottle (16 ounces) Frontera Jalapeño-Cilantro Salsa or Frontera Corn and Poblano Salsa
- 4 large red onions, sliced into ¼-inch-thick slices
- 3 large (about 2 ¼ pounds total) pork tenderloins, trimmed of fat and whitish “silverskin” and cut in two (making 6 6-ounce portions)
- About 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Salt and fresh black pepper
- Watercress or flatleaf parsley, for garnish
- In a small bowl, mix together the mustard and 1/3 cup of the salsa.
- Preheat a gas grill to medium or light a charcoal fire and let burn until charcoal is covered with a thin layer of gray ash. Lay the onion slices in a single layer on one end of a baking sheet, the pork on the other end. Brush with the olive oil (this is the place to use an oil mister if you have one), and sprinkle with the salt and pepper. Carefully turn everything over, and oil and season the other side.
- Lay the pork in the center of the grill (this should be the hottest spot), with the onion slices in a single layer around the cooler edges of the grill. (If the onions and pork don’t fit on your grill at the same time, cook the onions first and keep them warm in a low oven while you grill the pork.) Cover and cook for 10 minutes, until the pork is nicely browned underneath and the onions are softening. Turn the pork and onions over (with the onions now soft, the rings likely won’t stay together—that’s okay). Baste pork and onions liberally with the mustard glaze. Re-cover the grill and cook until the pork is just done (it will read 150° on a meat thermometer and feel nearly firm when touched) and the onions are soft, about 10 to 15 minutes.
- Use a pair of tongs to transfer the onions to the warm serving platter. Drizzle with another couple tablespoons of the salsa. Arrange the pork over the onions, decorate with the watercress or parsley and you’re ready to serve this platter of delicious simplicity with the remaining salsa to pass separately for your guests to drizzle on to their own liking.