A tender and aromatic Pork Loin that has been marinated with beer and herbs for 2 hours, then grilled to perfection, and topped with Parmesan cheese…It is the perfect summer dish!
By Denise Browning
Summer on my patio has a particular aroma: grilling, grilling, grilling…. I have marinated a pork loin with herbs and beer, grilled it, and sprinkled it all over with Parmesan cheese. To accompany our Churrasco De Porco com Queijo Ralado– as we say in Brazil, ears of very sweet, fresh, yellow corn (maize). All was served with a fresh salad and an ice-cold caipirinha. Enjoy the meal!
- 2.2 lbs (1 kg) pork loin, cleaned (fat and silver skin removed) and cut into 1 inch (2.5 cm) pieces crosswise
- 12 fl.oz ( 355 ml) brown ale beer
- 6 fl. oz (180 ml) olive oil (not extra-virgin)
- 1-1/2 tablespoons salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon packed dark brown sugar (to balance the bitterness of the beer)
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 1-1/2 teaspoons onion powder
- 2 tablespoons fresh Italian oregano, chopped
- 1 bay leaf
- Enough grated Parmesan cheese to sprinkle after grilling
- In a large bowl, mix well all the ingredients together, except the Parmesan cheese. Place into a 1 gallon heavy-duty ziploc bag, remove the air, and zip. Refrigerate the bag inside a clean bowl and let marinate 2 to 8 hours, flipping the bag at least once.
- Remove pork from bag with tongs and place on a baking sheet. Remove all the excess oregano from the surface of the pork loin (this is to prevent the loin from becoming bitter once grilled). Pour marinade in a separate container and reserve it to baste the pork loin while grilling.
- If you do not have a Brazilian barbecue skewer, you can place the loin pieces directly onto the grill and carefully monitor cooking times, basting occasionally while the meat is grilling. If you do have a Brazilian barbecue skewer, skewer the chopped pieces of the loin one by one (lengthwise), being careful not to cut yourself. Please ensure that the length of meat on the skewers will not exceed the diameter of your grill. It is also important to allow enough room so that the handle of the skewer, which is traditionally made of wood, will lie at a distance well away from the flame and heat of the grill.
- Before grilling, please be sure to scrape/clean any residual carbon from the metallic surface in order to avoid flame-ups. Start up the grill, which can either be a charcoal-heated or gas grill. If using a gas grill, set the temperature to medium and close the lid in order to allow it to heat up. If a charcoal grill is used, light the briquets, and then when they are fully heated and well ashed-over (about 30 minutes), evenly distribute over the bottom of the grill.
- Place each skewer onto the grill. I would suggest placing skewers slightly away from the hottest, most central portion of the grill, in order to reduce the risk of burning the outside of the meat before the inside has fully cooked. Lower the lid on the grill, and let cook for about five minutes. Flip each skewer over in order to ensure even grilling on each side. Allow to cook for about 10 minutes more. Check to make sure the pieces of the loin are fully cooked (if needed, one of the pieces can be sliced open to make sure the center has sufficiently cooked through).
- Sprinkle both sides with parmesan cheese and enjoy. The dish can be accompanied by a tropical salad, any other fresh salad, or grilled corn, and caipirinha or any other beverage (such as guaraná soda) or drink of your preference.
Denise Browning is a native Brazilian foodie, trained Chef, cooking instructor, restaurant menu/recipe developer, and former lawyer. She is also the author of From Brazil To You - a blog that features Brazilian, fusion, and international dish recipes, stories, and photography of Brazil. Her writing has appeared in Cia Brasil Magazine, while her photography is frequently featured on Foodgawker, TasteSpotting, and Foodepix. She lives in Texas with her American husband and two children.