Tag Archives: Achiote Verde

Achiote Pork Tenderloin~ Rojo y Verde

The goal in mind is to utilize as many of the reserved pantry and refrigerator foods on a weekly basis. Quite a while back, my friend Kim was nice enough to bring me back some hard to find Mexican food items. Besides the whole two pounds of these soft and aromatic chile ancho pods, he also brought back a couple  bricks of achiote paste, in both red and green. The red one, popular in the Yucatan,  I am very familiar with and had used it in many recipes, such as cochinita pibil, al pastor and various chicken recipes. It does not have a strong flavor, but is mostly used for it’s distinct bright red color. But the green one, I had never come across.  I finally remembered to bring it out and give it a try. I was looking for something different for these pork tenderloin and I am happy I remembered the achiote. We are still at the beginning of the summer and I have lost count how many times we have fired up that charcoal grill. Lol! Still learning and loving it.

Achiote Pork Tenderloin~ Achiote Verde

Achiote Pork Tenderloin-Red and GreenThe Green Achiote~Ingredients that make up Achiote Verde:  Allspice, black pepper, onion, garlic, oregano, water, salt, vinegar, cornmeal and sodium benzotate (as preservative).

Achiote Pok Tenderloin-Red and GreenThe Red Achiote~Ingredients that make up Achiote Rojo:Ground annatto seeds, spices and tomatoes

For the Brine
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 cloves garlic, smashed
1/2 onion, roughly chopped
1 teaspoon chile flakes
3 cups water
1 teaspoon peppercorns
2 bay leaves
2 teaspoons of salt or to taste

*You Need, pork tenderloin.The package I purchase comes with two small tenderloin. Each weighing a little more than a pound each.

Pork Tenderloin in a BrineThese were the tenderloins after I took them out of the brine.

Pork Tenderloin-Red and Green AchioteBoth the red and green achiote paste are available through MexGrocer online.

For Red Achiote Marinade
2 tablespoons red achiote paste
1/4 white onion
2 cloves garlic, sliced
2 red fresno peppers, roughly chopped
2 chipotle peppers in adobo
2 tablespoons adobo from chipotles
2 teaspoons cumin
2 teaspoons oregano
1 teaspoon salt or to taste
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 1/2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
Juice of 1 lime
3/4 cup grapeseed oil or any mild flavored oil

Achiote Rojo-Red Achiote/Annatto

For Green Achiote Marinade
2 tablespoons gree achiote paste
2 green onions, sliced
2 cloves garlic, sliced
2 serrano peppers, roughly chopped
1/3 cup cilantro
2 teaspoons cumin
2 teaspoons oregano
1 teaspoon salt or to taste
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 1/2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
Juice of 1 lime
3/4 cup grapeseed oil or nay mild flavored oil

Achiote Verde-Green Achiote


1. In a saucepan, add 1 tablespoons of olive oil and heat to medium. Add garlic, onion, chile flakes and cook for 5 minutes. Add water, peppercorns, bayleaves and salt. Heat to medium and cook just to dissolve the salt and infuse the water with flavor of aromatics. Remove from heat and let cool.

2. Place tenderloin in a container. Mix the seasoned water with the remaining 3 cups water. Stir to combine and pour over the pork making sure they are covered with water. Cover and refrigerate overnight, if possible leave them for 2 days.

3. Remove pork from the brine and pat dry 30 minutes before you cook it. Prepare your outdoor grill for indirect cooking at moderate heat. Season the tenderloins with fresh cracked pepper. Divide the achiote marinades in half.Then divide them in half again, so you have 4 small bowls. Take one bowl of the red and one of the green and generously brush each tenderloin. Reserve the remaining achiote marinade.

4. Bush grates with oil and place pork on indirect side, the cool side of gril. Close the lid and let cook for 20 to 25 minutes. I like to baste the pork a few more times while it finishes cooking. Take the remaining marinade (red and green) and brush each tenderloin, making sure you keep the lid closed in between. After about 35 minutes, I start checking the temperature of pork in the thickest part. Once the pork reaches about 140 to 143 degrees, I move them over to the direct (hot) side of grill and baste and turn one more time just for a few minutes. Pull from heat onto plate. Tent with foil paper and let rest for 10 minutes. Yields 6 to 8 servings.

For Oven Method: Brine the pork as directed. Season with pepper and using a heavy dutch oven pot, sear the pork on all sides until brown. Baste each one with the achiote marinades. Cover and roast in a preheated 350 degree F. oven for 30 to 40 minutes. Check the temperature after 30 minutes. All ovens vary. When the internal temperature has reach 145 degrees, baste and place under broiler for a few minutes.

Achiote Rojo y Verde

Both these marinades can be frozen for future recipes. They preserve well with the added vinegar.

Achiote Pork Tenderloin-Rojo y Verde

Learning to cook with indirect heat on my charcoal grill works out great for the summer months when it’s too warm to turn on the oven.

Achiote Pork Tenderloin-Red and Green

For a moist tenderloin, I like to pull them off the grill when they have reached an internal temperature of 145 degrees F. 

Achiote Pork Tenderloin

After tenderloin has chilled overnight, I like to slice it as thin as possible. I then store it in 1/2 pound portions using freezer bags. I will use the pork for tacos, enchiladas, burritos, sandwiches and Asian style noodle soup.

Achiote Pork Tenderloin

On the first night, I served the sliced tenderloin with rice and a chimichurri inspired garnish.

Pork Tenderloin in Salsa Verde

One of the nights, I seared some of the pork tenderloin slices and then braised them in salsa verde.