Pork Tenderloin in a Sweet Citrus Sauce

Pork Tenderloin in a Sweet Citrus Sauce

Lomo de Cerdo con Salsa Dulce de Cítricos

Recipe Yield

8 to 10 servings

Cooking time

3 hours 50 minutes

Rate this recipe

4.84 from 6 votes


  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 4 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup shredded piloncillo or brown sugar
  • 5 garlic cloves pressed or minced
  • 1/2 tsp kosher or sea salt or more to taste
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 5 bay leaves
  • 3 whole banana leaves
  • 5 lbs pork tenderloin
  • 1/2 tsp kosher or sea salt or more to taste
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper or to taste
  • 2 tbsp safflower or corn oil

To Prepare

  • To make the marinade, mix together the orange and lime juice, vinegar, piloncillo, garlic, salt, pepper and bay leaves in a bowl.
  • Begin to layer the banana leaves in a large baking dish, one by one. Place the first one vertically so it covers the whole dish, leaving the sides hanging over the dish on both ends. Layer the second leaf horizontally so it covers half or so of the dish, with the sides hanging over the dish on both ends. Layer the third one horizontally the the bottom of the baking dish is fully covered with leaves, with extra hanging over the sides to wrap up the meat.
  • If you can’t find banana leaves, you can use tin foil.
  • Place the meat in the middle of the leaf bundle. Pour the marinade on the top and cover the meat with each of the banana leaf layers on all sides. Let it marinate anywhere from 2 to 24 hours in the refrigerator.
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and unwrap the pork from the banana leaves.
  • Heat the oil in a large skillet over high heat, until it is hot but not smoking. Sprinkle the pork with salt and pepper, place it in the pan, and sear for about 1 to 2 minutes on all sides.
  • Place it back in the banana leaves and bundle it back up. Place the wrapped pork into the oven and cook for 1 hour and 30 minutes. Remove it from the oven, carefully open up and unfold the banana leaves, tucking them on the sides until you expose most of the meat. Remove the meat from the dish to rest on a cutting board. Pour all the marinade into a sauce pan and set over medium high heat, for about 10 to 15 minutes, to reduce up to 1/3 of its volume.
  • Meanwhile, slice the meat at about 1/2″ thickness or to your liking. Place the slices on a platter, drizzle some of the sauce on top and serve.


10comments inPork Tenderloin in a Sweet Citrus Sauce

  1. Dolores

    Mar 02

    This recipe is spectacular and easy to make. The pork is extremely tender and tasty, being marinated in all the citrus. And of course it looks impressive when opening the banana leaves. I’ll definitely make it again.

    1. Pati Jinich

      Mar 13

      So glad you liked it Dolores, this was one of my first recipes in the show, yay!

  2. Karin

    Apr 12

    Hello Pati, My husband and I watch your show every week…and LOVE it. My question for you is about the marinade. Once the 2 – 24 hours has passed, the marinade is set aside while the tenderloin is cooking?

    1. Pati Jinich

      Apr 30

      Hey Karin, after you sear the meat you put it back in the pan with the marinade still there, re cover on banana leaves and bake it. Once is done and you take it out, then you reduce the marinade. Enjoy!

  3. Michelle

    Feb 24

    I LOVED this! It’s like a healthy lean version of the al pastor that I’ve had. I had 2 lbs of pork tenderloin and sadly overcooked mine, but it didn’t matter, it was that tasty! I can’t wait to make this again.
    Pati, are there any sides you’d recommend for this? I just did simple black beans.
    Thank you!

    1. Pati Jinich

      Mar 07

      Hey Michelle, so glad you liked this recipe yay! I would serve it with some potatoes, maybe this recipe or with a fresh salad like this Enjoy!

  4. Karen Jackson

    Dec 02

    Patti, you hit the ball out of the park on this recipe! WOW… the sauce is OUTSTANDING! I attended a party recently where we made “Cafe Rio” salads and I was assigned to bring the “sweet pork.” I searched for a recipe and stumbled upon this one. I’m sure your method for cooking the pork is just as outstanding as your sauce, but I just placed my defrosted pork loin in my slow cooker and cooked it on low for about 8 hours. Once cooked, I drained the liquids off and de-fatted the roast first, then added your sauce. It was hands down the BEST sauce over pork I have ever had! Needless to say, this will now be my go to recipe for a sweet pork need! THANK YOU for sharing your magnificent talents with us all… I so appreciate you (and your television show)!

    1. Pati Jinich

      Dec 03

      I’m so glad you enjoyed the pork, Karen!!

  5. Jasmine

    Dec 24

    Hi pati could you use this recipe for pierna as well? I’m making roasted pork leg for dinner tonight🤗

    1. Pati

      Jan 01

      Sure, Jasmine! It will just take longer to cook.

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