Guava-Glazed Jerk Pork Tenderloin

Guava-Glazed Jerk Pork Tenderloin

Jerk is a powerfully complex blend of spices and aromatics redolent with cinnamon, allspice, cumin and chiles. Historically, it’s tied to Maroons fleeing enslavement in the Jamaican foothills, and is among the most iconic flavors of the Caribbean. True jerk is grilled over an open fire, and is as much a seasoning as it is an action, because you can “jerk” pork, goat, chicken and even fruits and vegetables. It’s often applied to dark, often gamey or gristly cuts of meat that stand up to complex flavors. While not traditional, this leaner, lighter pork is an excellent vessel for jerk. It’s especially good when marinated overnight and grilled, but is so simple to prepare it can easily be made for a weeknight celebration. A simple jelly glaze at the end adds sweetness and tang, caramelizing under a quick broil. Pair with rice and peas, maduros, or a bright, fresh garden salad.
  • Total:
  • Serves: 4 persons



  1. Step 1

    Combine the ginger, scallions, garlic, salt and chiles (if using) in a food processor or blender and pulse until finely minced. Add the thyme, sugar, allspice, nutmeg, cayenne, cumin, coriander, lime juice and oil, then blend until the mixture becomes a fine paste.
  2. Step 2

    Using a clean towel or paper towels, pat the pork tenderloin dry. Using a sharp paring knife, cut a series of deep holes into the meat.
  3. Step 3

    Transfer the pork to a zip-top bag or container with a tight lid, and pour over the marinade. Let sit for at least 10 minutes on the countertop, or refrigerate overnight if possible. Bring to room temperature before continuing.
  4. Step 4

    When ready to cook, heat the oven to 400 degrees, adjusting your rack to the top third of the oven. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil, then set a little water in a small pot and bring to a boil.
  5. Step 5

    Place the tenderloin in the center of the pan and put the pan on the center rack of the oven. Roast until the internal temperature is 145 degrees in the thickest part, flipping every 10 minutes, for about 25 minutes to evenly brown the outside.
  6. Step 6

    Mix the guava jelly and lemon juice with 1 tablespoon of the boiling water, and use a fork to break up then stir to form a glaze.
  7. Step 7

    Increase the oven heat to a high broil. Carefully pull the pan out of the oven, and brush the tenderloin with the glaze. Broil in the upper third of the oven 5 to 7 minutes, until it’s a toasty dark brown with some charred spots, brushing once more with any remaining glaze if desired.
  8. Step 8

    Remove the pan from the oven and set the tenderloin on a carving board to rest for about 5 minutes. Cut into slices and pour over any juices that remain.