Grilled Pork Tenderloins With Tomato and Greens Ragu 4.000

Stacy Zarin Goldberg for The Washington Post; food styling by Bonnie S. Benwick/The Washington Post

Jun 19, 2019

The sweetness of this quick-simmered sauce pairs beautifully with the salty heartiness of the pork.

You’ll need an instant-read thermometer for monitoring the meat. The recipe calls for canned tomatoes, but in peak season, we recommend using fresh.

Serve this on a big platter, family-style.

4 - 6

When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 4-6 servings

  • For the pork
  • 1 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more as needed
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley (may substitute dried marjoram)
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic (a.k.a. garlic powder)
  • 2 whole pork tenderloins (about 1 pound each), trimmed of silverskin and excess fat
  • Vegetable oil, as needed
  • Fresh tarragon leaves, for serving (optional)
  • Flaky sea salt (optional)
  • For the ragu
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 5 packed cups fresh greens, such as spinach, escarole or turnip
  • Two 14.5-ounce cans diced tomatoes, preferably no-salt-added (may substitute 4 to 6 medium-size ripe tomatoes, diced)


For the pork: Stir together the garlic salt, black pepper, dried parsley, dried oregano and garlic powder in a small bowl, then rub it all over the tenderloins. Let them sit at room temperature while you preheat the grill.

Prepare the grill for direct and indirect heat. Preheat to high (450 to 500 degrees). Rub the seasoned tenderloins lightly with oil, then place them on the direct-heat side of the grill. Close the lid and cook for about 6 minutes per side, trying to turn them only once.

Move them to the indirect-heat side of the grill. At this point, use the thermometer to begin checking their internal temperature, which should register in the 140- to 145-degree range (lightly pink at the center). This round of cooking should take about 8 minutes. Transfer them to a plate; cover loosely with aluminum foil and let them rest for 10 minutes, while you make the ragu.

For the ragu: Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the onion and cook for 3 to 5 minutes, until softened, then add the garlic and crushed red pepper flakes. Cook for about a minute, then stir in the greens (you may need to do this in two batches); cook for a few minutes until they begin to wilt.

Reduce the heat to medium-low; add the diced tomatoes, stirring to incorporate. Cook for 10 minutes, then taste and add more black pepper, as needed.

While the ragu finishes cooking, cut the tenderloins into 1/4-inch thick slices, arranging them on a platter as you work. Spoon some of the warm ragu over them, sprinkle lightly with fresh tarragon and flaky sea salt, if desired, and pass the remaining ragu at the table.

Rate it

Recipe Source

Adapted from “Southern Smoke: Barbecue Traditions and Treasured Recipes Reimagined for Today,” by Matthew Register (Harvard Common Press, 2019).

Tested by Andy Sikkenga.

Email questions to the Food Section.

Email questions to the Food Section at