Friday, April 23, 2010

Brown Sugar Spiced Pork Tenderloin

When we eat pork at our house, it is usually a pork tenderloin. Several reasons, they are tender, they are lean and they come in a four-pack at Costco for $1.99 a pound. Through the years I have tried many different rubs and marinades, trying to find something we both enjoyed. I don't remember liking any of them enough to make them twice. That was until I found the following recipe last fall. It is really fantastic, amazing, and many other adjectives! It has a spicy rub that you apply first and then your sear it in olive oil. Next, you cover it with a glaze and it goes into the oven for 25-30 minutes. It is now my go-to recipe for pork loin or tenderloin. 

The first time I made it we really loved it. I made it again during the holiday's when our son was here and he really enjoyed it. This past week, I decided to make it again and wanted to share half of it with our daughter and her family. I mixed up the spice mixture and the glaze, then I seared both of them and covered one with the glaze and put it in the oven for us. For the second one, I covered it with foil and took it with the glaze over to my daughters house so that she could glaze it and cook it for her family. From the comments I got from her, they really loved it! Now I'm passing it on to you so you can enjoy it too!

This is a very easy recipe, but I do have two suggestions. Make sure that you have a meat thermometer so that you don't over cook the meat. The only way you know for sure that it has reached 140 degrees is with a thermometer. Because the meat will be covered in a glaze, you won't be able to see if the juices are running clear. My second suggestion is to resist the temptation to poke the meat with a fork or slice it open to see if it is done. This allows the juices to run out and leaves you with dry meat!

I would suggest that you start by mixing both the rub and glaze, separately, then set the glaze aside. I take the tenderloins out of their bag and wash them off and then pat them with paper towels to get off most of the moisture. This keeps the splatters down when you are searing it in the hot oil. Now you are ready to start. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

First you sprinkle the rub along the tops of both tenderloins, rubbing the spice in and around on the sides. Turn tenderloins to the other side and sprinkle remaining spice on both, rubbing in and along the sides, making sure that the tenderloins are completely covered with the rub.

Heat the olive oil in the pan of your choice. I use my dutch oven with the high sides so my stove top doesn't get completely splattered! I added my tenderloins to the pan one at a time, turning until all sides were seared. Now they are ready to be placed in your baking dish.

Spread half of the glaze over the top then turn it over with a fork and add remaining glaze over top of second side. Now it is ready to go into the oven for approximately 25 minutes. 

Make sure that you use a meat thermometer and pull it out when the temperature reaches 140 degrees. Cover and let stand for about 10 minutes. The meat will continue to cook and the temperature will rise to about 155-160 degrees. Try to resist the temptation to over cook your pork and this makes the meat tough and dry. That is also true for most meat.

My hubby is the meat slicer at our house and he always slices the tenderloin at an angle, cutting through the meat grain, for extra tenderness. I now add around a tablespoon or less of water to the glaze in the bottom of the pan and drizzle this over the sliced meat for some added flavor.

As you can see, there is nothing complicated about this recipe. It is easy enough to make as a casual evening meal, but it also dresses up well for company. The bonus is that you can have this meat on the table in less than an hour.

As you can see, we had a very casual meal. Sorry, I know that the "I can't believe it's not butter" spray doesn't look very appetizing on the peas, and the light Tillamook sour cream doesn't help the picture at all. Nothing fancy! That's the way real life is most days!

Brown Sugar Spiced Pork Loin

The spicy rub and the sweet glaze combine to make ...

See Brown Sugar Spiced Pork Loin on Key Ingredient.


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