Grilled Chimichurri Pork Skewers
After last week’s South American BBQ extravaganza, we had a few leftovers. I mean, a very few, but still. After a couple of great leftover lunches, I peered into the fridge and was astounded to see that one of the few things we hadn’t managed to eat up yet was the chimichurri sauce. I mean, seriously, if there is one thing that’s going to go to waste, it is most CERTAINLY not that. I love leftovers, true, and I love to repurpose them, also true, but chimichurri sauce is something that doesn’t really need the help.
If you already have chimichurri sauce kicking around in your fridge, this “recipe”, if you can even call it one, is just about as lazy and effortless as it gets. If you don’t have chimichurri sauce, well, three minutes and a couple pulses from the food processor and it can be yours.
I think of pork as Brazil’s answer to vegetarianism. “Hey, it’s not beef, what more do you want?” That said, pork loin (or tenderloin, as is the case here) is an affordable, lean, flavorful meat that would be perfectly happy to find itself in your kitchen. Almost as lean as chicken, and equally amenable to diverse flavor pairings, pork tenderloin is my secondary go-to when I want a lean meat without having to question what goes with what.
With a minimum of effort and just a few leftovers (or kitchen staples, for some) plus pork loin, a delicious meal is more than on it’s way.
Grilled Chimichurri Pork Skewers
- 2 pork tenderloins (1.5-2 lb)
- 1 cup chimichurri sauce, divided
- 1 red pepper
- 1 yellow pepper
- 1/2 sweet onion
- salt and pepper to taste
What you really need to start with is just pork and chimichurri sauce. The rest is really up to your imagination, and if I veer toward my fallback kebab ingredients, well, so be it. That doesn’t mean that you need to.
Remove any silver skin, sinew or unnecessary fat from the pork. Cut the pork tenderloins into 1.5-2″ cubes and slather with 1/2 cup (or just slightly more) of chimichurri sauce. There should be enough to coat the pork quite nicely. I do this in a Ziploc freezer bag for convenience, but if you prefer a glass casserole dish it won’t make a difference.
Leave the pork to marinate in chimuchurri for at least 4 hours, or overnight if you can manage. The longer that the pork stays in the marinade, the more flavor it will absorb. And remember, more flavor is never a bad thing.
Cut your kebab vegetables into roughly the same size as the meat. Onto your skewers (metal or bamboo soaked in water for a few hours) thread the vegetables and alternate with periods of meat. Now I know that’s a strange way of putting it, and usually when I make a meat and vegetable kebab I alternate the meat with the vegetables pretty evenly, but remember that certain cuts of pork are quite lean, pork tenderloin in particular. You don’t want it to dry out on the grill. One of the easiest ways to do this is to stack a small section (3-4 pieces) of pork together, just like souvlaki, because the meat will seal itself in a unit to mitigate moisture loss.
Grill the kebabs over medium high heat for 3-4 minutes per side, or until they are cooked to your desired doneness.
Despite the fact that I like my steak when it’s still chewing the cud, and my preferred bacon is…..loose, to say the least, I generally cook pork to *modern* standards for medium well to well done. I don’t mind a bare blush of pink inside a perfectly juicy tenderloin, but I won’t push the envelope too far. That said, the nervous tension rises when I cook pork loin cuts more than any other meat, because lean meats dry out the fastest. An extra couple of minutes on the grill is all that it takes to move “succulent” into “sucky”. No need for too much worry though, just keep an eye on the kebabs and take them off when they feel “firm but springy” to the touch.
Tent the pork kebabs with tinfoil and let them rest for 7-10 minutes before serving.
Make sure that the remaining half (1/2) cup of chimichurri is available on the side so that your family or guests can drizzle away to their heart’s content, and serve the kebabs with plenty of your favorite flat bread and a fresh chopped salad to round things out. We opted for a fresh, salty, parsley laden tomato and radish to round out the flavors, but you can fiddle away to your heart’s content.
Deliciously moist pork with a flavorful charred crust, chimichurri pork kebabs are a mindless weeknight meal that make great use of leftovers but still leave you wanting more. The bright flavor of chimichurri permeates the meat and also helps to keep it surprisingly succulent against slight overcooking.
Are you intrigued yet? Or better yet, have you made chimichurri and maybe you’re just a little bit hooked? Perfect, then go out and make another batch today. Drizzle it on beef, marinade some pork or chicken, and use the rest as an amazing dressing for sliced grilled peppers or your favorite chopped salad. Such a good thing could not possibly go to waste, and it’s my honor and duty to give you yet another way to use this comely comestible. I’m telling you, chimichurri is the “chili sauce” of our generation. Hop on board that bandwagon, and let it carry you straight into flavor town.