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Cuban Roasted Pork Tenderloin with Roasted Sweet Potatoes


This is a perfect quick dinner meal, for a busy work night. Pork tenderloin is rubbed with a flavorful mixture of brown sugar, garlic, orange zest and a few Cuban-esque spices. Rum is optional, but for me it was mandatory! The pork is quickly seared and nestled alongside are sweet potatoes with red onion that has been quickly marinated with olive oil, orange juice and more rum! The aroma of this dish, as it was roasting (for about 15 minutes) was enough to make me really hungry. Best of all, it's a very healthy dish. NOTE: Of course, you can eliminate the rum. Just use chicken stock instead) Recipes from Cuisine At Home Magazine, Jan 2014. Please click on the recipe source, to see step-by-step photos of how I made this on my food blog.

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  • 2 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon light rum (optional)
  • Zest of 1 orange, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon each ground cumin and coriander
  • 1 pork tenderloin (1 1/4-pounds) trimmed and seasoned with salt & black pepper
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil, divided
  • 1 tablespoon each light rum and fresh orange juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon each salt, pepper and cumin
  • 1 pound sweet potatoes, peeled and evenly cubed (about 2 large sweet potatoes)
  • 1 large red onion, halved and each half cut into 6 wedges
  • NOTE: Don't cut the potatoes too large, because they will have a short roasting time
  • Fresh cilantro, chopped, optional garnish
  • Fresh lime wedges, optional garnish


Servings 4
Preparation time 15mins
Cooking time 40mins
Adapted from


Step 1

Preheat oven to 475°F.

You will need an oven-proof skillet; I use my cast-iron skillet

Mash garlic with 1/4 teaspoon salt to a paste.
Add brown sugar, 1 tablespoon rum, zest, and 1/2 teaspoon each cumin and coriander; rub into pork.

Combine 1 tablespoon oil, the rum and orange juice and toss with the salt, pepper and cumin.

Toss with the sweet potatoes and onion. Set aside.

Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil in a 10-inch cast iron skillet (if you don't own one, use a heavy bottomed oven proof skillet) over medium high.

Sear pork on one side until browned.

Flip the pork and arrange the sweet potatoes and onion around it.
Transfer the skillet to the oven and cook until an instant read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the pork registers 145F-150°F and sweet potatoes are fork-tender, 12 to 15 minutes.

If desired, garnish the vegetables with some fresh cilantro.

Let pork rest, then slice and serve.

Tasting notes: I drizzled a little extra olive oil to the sweet potatoes in the last five minutes of roasting time, as they looked a bit dry. I also tossed them, a bit, for more even roasting.

I added a squeeze of fresh lime to the pork, which added a little extra "zip" and some more Cuban flavors.

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