This post was sponsored by Clarkson Potter (a publishing imprint under Penguin Random House), to celebrate a new Michael Symon cookbook. The opinions expressed on this site are my own.

Unless you are new to the food scene, the last real Iron Chef, Michael Symon isn’t new to you. He’s Chicago’s carnivorous hometown hero. Symon has penned 5 cookbooks in between opening restaurants and starring on the Chew and a multitude of Food Network shows.

Sticking to his roots, Playing with Fire is a celebration of meat worthy of his carnivore title. Now, let’s see how it stacks up in this girl’s hands.

Shout Outs:

This book doesn’t just have 70 recipes to get you inspired for live-fire cooking, but it honors some great American barbecue badasses as well. I was beyond stoked to see several iconic places listed as stops along Symon’s adventure to test barbecue across the country before opening up his own shop, Mabel’s BBQ in Cleveland. Each well-known pitmaster, from Rodney Scott to Chris Lilly and crew, lent a big hand in rounding out Symon’s bold flavors in his newest collection.

Playing with Fire takes us on an exploration of this nation’s great barbecue scene from dry to wet and sweet to heat as Symon curates his own signature Cleveland-Style Que. The book breaks things down into proteins (similar to his previous staple, Carnivore) pork, beef, chicken, seafood and lamb and covers some sauces and sides towards the end.

Live-fire cooking and the recipes in Playing with Fire aren’t for the faint of heart. But rather, the niched down sub-group that really loves cooking over a wood pit. It’s for the few that take grilling off the ease of propane and challenge themselves to control the embers and battle elements while perfecting a bite.

Must-Try Recipes

Mabel’s Cracklings
Brisket Melt’s
Campfire Mole Chicken
Fireplace Clams with Sauerkraut and Bacon
Grilled Lamb Shoulder Avgolemono
Spicy Potato Gratin

Tools used in this recipe

Weber Grill

Welding Gloves

Lump Charcoal

Anise Pods

Coriander Seeds

Mustard Seeds

Grilled Pork Tenderloin with Mostarda Recipe

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Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 10 mins
Total: 30 mins
Servings: 6 servings
The Perfect Meal to feed everyone in your family. This grilled Pork Tenderloin is melt in your mouth delicious.


For the Pork Tenderloin:

  • Juice from 1 lime
  • 1 tbsp dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 1-lbs pork tenderloins, trimmed of silver skin
  • 1 tbsp ground toasted coriander seeds
  • 1 tbsp kosher salt

For the Mostarda

  • 1 ½ teaspoons coriander seeds
  • 1 ½ teaspoons mustard seeds
  • 1 medium shallot thinly sliced
  • 1 granny smith apple peeled, cored, and cut into medium dice
  • 1 peach peeled, pitted, and cut into medium dice
  • 1 star anise pod
  • 1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 ½ cups cider vinegar
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsp chopped crystallized ginger


Make the pork tenderloin:

  • Prepare and preheat your lump charcoal grill to create two heat zones: high and medium.
  • In a small bowl, mix to combine the lime juice, mustard, and soy sauce. Pat the tenderloin dry with paper towels and apply this mixture to the exterior of the pork. Season the meat with the coriander and salt.
  • Sear the pork over the hot side of the grill until the exterior forms a nice crust, about 4 minutes per side. Move the pork to the medium side of the grill, cover the grill, and cook until the pork reaches an internal temperature of 140 degrees F.
  • Transfer the pork to a cutting board, tent it loosely with aluminum foil, and let rest for 15 to 20 minutes. Thinly slice the pork crosswise into ¼-inch-thick pieces. Serve with mostarda on top and more on the side for those who want it.

Make the Mostarda:

  • In a medium saucepan, toast the coriander and mustard seeds over medium-high heat for 1 minute. Add the shallot, apple, peach, star anise, thyme, sugar, and vinegar and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer until the fruit softens and the liquid reduces and thickens about 20 minutes.
  • Remove from the heat and season with salt and pepper. Stir in the ginger and set aside to cool.
  • Use immediately or store in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.


Reprinted from Michael Symon’s Playing With Fire. Copyright © 2018 by Michael Symon. Photographs copyright © 2018 by Ed Anderson. Published by Clarkson Potter/Publishers, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.


Calories: 910kcal | Carbohydrates: 43g | Protein: 126g | Fat: 22g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 393mg | Sodium: 1678mg | Potassium: 2553mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 39g | Vitamin A: 165IU | Vitamin C: 5.4mg | Calcium: 58mg | Iron: 6.7mg
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Author: Kita Roberts
Keyword: pork, tenderloin

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Well, Hey, Y’all.

Whether you’re mastering that pellet smoker, smoking on a gas grill, a live fire master, or looking for a weeknight oven-baked dinner idea, we’ve here to help satiate your craving.

We believe eating well doesn’t mean cutting out meat. It’s all about good flavors, clean food, and playing with your meat. Here you will find hundreds of savory recipes, guides, reviews, and a little snarky banter from quick and easy meals, to low and slow cooks. We are challenging the idea that food is complicated and inspiring all cooks to dive it.

Because playing with food should be delicious and fun.

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