Pork Tenderloin(s)

Pork Tenderloin(s)

Welcome to my very first post!

Hi all.  Frank here.  I imagine I’ll be doing more posting here as we get to grilling season (already had the first), but I wanted to post in order to talk to something near and dear to my heart.

Pork tenderloin.  Oh yes.

I’m gonna tell you a bit about pork tenderloins in general and then give you a specific recipe for a very nice pan roasted pork tenderloin.  I think you’ll really enjoy this recipe.  There’s a very nice duality to this dish.  It has a very nice savory spice rub and a glorious sweet glaze.  They play off each other perfectly.

First, let me extol the virtues of the pork tenderloin:

  1. It’s not too expensive.   A nice cut won’t cost you too much (5 bucks, if you’re thrifty) and give you 4 servings.
  2. It’s healthy.  It’s very lean and pretty low in calories.  So, as far as non-fish meat goes, it’s pretty good for ya.
  3. It’s a great palate.  It can take may different flavor profiles very well.
  4. It’s easy to cook.  Just sear it and cook it to 160º.
  5. It’s awesome.  It’s a very aesthetically pleasing cut of meat.

Ok.  Now that I’ve got you hooked, let’s start our journey with some Chili Rubbed Pork Tenderloin with a nice Apricot Ginger Glaze.  Here is the original recipe.  I halved it for two people, and cooked in an oven since this was February.

A little side note, this was my contribution to our Valentines Day dinner.  I dare say it turned out really well!

Chili Rubbed Pork Tenderloin with Apricot Glaze
(from allrecipes.com)

Meat:
1 pork tenderloin (approx. 1 pound)

Spice Rub:
1/2 tablespoon chili powder
1/2 tablespoon garlic powder
1/4 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

Glaze:
3/4 cups apricot preserves
1/4 cup barbecue sauce (I used KC Masterpiece)
1/2 teaspoon grated ginger
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
hot sauce to flavor (I used Tabasco)
1/2 tablespoon chopped cilantro
1/2 lime, juiced

Ok, on to it.  First, a little preparation.  Since pork these days is so lean, we should counteract that by brining it.  So, the night before you plan on cooking your pork loin, throw together some brine and your tenderloin in a zip-lock baggie and let it sit in the fridge.  Mine was just salt and water and some sugar.

Get the tenderloin out of the fridge a couple of hours before cooking.  Remove from the brine and pat dry with paper towels.  Combine the ingredients of the spice rub, and apply it to the meat.  Return the meat to the fridge and leave it there until about half an hour before you intend to cook it.  The idea is to let the meat come to room temperature before cooking.

Create the glaze by melting the apricot preserves in a small sauce pan.  Once the preserves are melted, take the pan off the heat, and add in the rest of the ingredients.  Stir it all up.  We’re going to use half of the sauce as a glaze, and half in the final plating, so reserve half off the sauce.

Ok, time to cook the meat!

Normally I’d grill this per the original recipe (and because I love grilling, as you’ll see).  However, it was cold outside, so I decided to pan roast it.  Step one, locate your instant read thermometer!  This is necessary.  Next, start preheating your oven to 425º.  Take out your favorite oven-safe pan (I used our cast-iron skillet), and film it (ever so slightly) with olive oil.  Sear your tenderloin on all sides (probably 3 turns), which will take 5-6 minutes total.

Take the whole thing (pan and tenderloin) and place it in the preheated oven.  Check on it every once in while with your instant-read thermometer.  The goal is 150º or so.  Overall, this’ll probably take 15 or 20 minutes.  With about 6 minutes left to cook, start glazing.  Brush the glaze on to the exposed meat, then let it cook for 2 minutes.  Turn the meat, then repeat the process two times, for a total of 3 glaze applications.

Take the meat out of the oven, and tent it in tin foil and let it rest for 5 minutes.  Carve and enjoy with the remaining sauce!

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