Achiote marinated pork tenderloin with black bean banana sauce

Achiote Spice Rubbed Pork Tenderloin

mmm.. Perfectly grilled pork. Need I say more?
Eater rating: 4.7 / 5  4.66

We’re eating grilled pork tenderloin marinated in a spice rub consisting of achiote paste, cumin, chile powder and lime. The pork was served a spicy black bean banana sauce and a grilled corn, zucchini, yellow squash & black bean salad.

Technically, the country of Mexico is closer to our doorstep than the Mexican restaurant in Encinitas that inspired the marinade for this dish…about 1 mile closer according to Google Maps. :-) I remember the first time Tyler took me to El Callejon and forced me to get the lomo de puerco adobado quesadillas con rajas. I think I pretty much oooo’ed and awe’d and yummed my way through the two, almost taco-like, corn tortilla quesadillas. The bright lively flavor of the strikingly red pork intrigued me. I had never used achiote before. Shit, I didn’t even know what was making them so red at the time!

With a little bit of research and allowing my taste buds be my guide, I was able to come up with a damn close replication of El Callejon’s lomo de puerco adobado. That was years ago and now any time I want to grill pork tenderloin with a Latin/Mexican flare I almost always turn to my good friend achiote. Achiote is commonly found in the Mexican/Latin section of most supermarkets as well as in Mexican markets and online.


A Pork Tenderloin Recipe, by Amanda
Achiote Spice Rubbed Pork Tenderloin

For the Rub
1 tbsp achiote paste
juice from 1/2 lime
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp chile powder
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp freshly cracked black pepper

1 large pork tenderloin
1 tsp canola oil

Mix together all ingredient for the rub in a small bowl. Spread the rub evenly over all surfaces of the pork tenderloin, massaging the rub into the meat. Wrap the spice-rubbed tenderloin in plastic wrap and place in fridge. Allow pork to marinate w/ the rub for at least 1 hour before grilling.

Preheat grill to medium-high heat. Remove pork from the plastic wrap and drizzle with canola oil. Place pork on preheated grill. Grill pork about 15-20 minutes, until an internal thermometer reads about 145 degrees. Turn the pork a quarter turn about every 5 minutes to get a nice sear on all areas and evenly cook the pork through.

Remove from heat and let rest 10 minutes before slicing and serving. Enjoy

A Sauce Recipe, by Amanda
Black Bean Banana Sauce

1 tsp canola oil
1/2 small yellow onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp chile powder
2/3 cup cooked black beans
1/2 banana, peeled (eat the other half!)
juice from 1 lime
1 cup water
1/2 - 1 tsp habanero hot sauce - depending on how hot you like it! (we use Castillo but you can sub any hot sauce)
kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper

Place canola oil in a small saute pan over medium heat. Once the oil and pan have preheat, add the onion. Sweat the onion over medium heat until translucent, about 7-10 minutes. Add garlic to the pan. Saute another 1 minute. Add cumin, chile powder and black beans to the pan. Heat the black beans through, about 3-5 more minutes.

Transfer contents into the bowl of blender/food processor. Add the banana, lime juice, water and hot sauce. Puree until smooth. Taste and adjust seasonings with kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper as desired. Strain sauce through a fine mesh sieve. Do not push larger particles through. Ideally the sauce will have a silky velvety texture! If the sauce is too thick simply thin with more water. Goes great with achiote spice rubbed pork tenderloin. Enjoy!

6 comments so far:

  1. Michelle says:

    Black bean banana sauce? You are speaking my language, lady.

  2. Tyler says:

    That banana sauce was so good. I didn’t think it would be nearly as good as it was. It wasn’t too sweet which I thought was key. Just freakin good.

  3. El Callejon is closer to me than Mexico is so I think I’m gonna have to check that one out!

    Black bean banana sauce? Are you freakin’ kidding me? What a genius recipe to go w/ the spicy pork!

  4. David/Ocean Pines, MD says:

    As always Amanda this looks and sounds great! I’ve never had Achiote. Have you tried making the Achiote Paste from scratch? Found a recipe with a quick google. I just ordered some from Savory Spice Shop to try…maybe I will make my own to compare after using the purchased. David

  5. Amanda says:

    @michelle – i’m glad i’ve finally speaking your language! in the past it’s been so challenging when we go out for dinner. ;-)

    thanks, T! I’m glad you enjoyed this one as much as I did! :-)

    @Lori – If you go to El Callejon & get the lomo de puerco adobado quesadillas make sure you ask for them to add rajas to the actually quesadillas not on the side! mmmm soooo good. :-)

    @David – Thanks! I haven’t made the past from scratch before because it’s so readily available in San Diego. I have bought annotta seeds before and used them as a coloring agent but that’s pretty much it. Let me know how it goes if you do make it! :-)

  6. This looks awesome and I’m really excited about making this esp with the banana sauce! That is just so cool!

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