It was a cool and rainy day here in our part of New York yesterday. I know parts north of here actually got snow, which sounds ridiculous for Memorial Day weekend, but it did happen. I’m sure that had something of an influence in the type of dinner I decided to make last night. I chose this recipe from America’s Test Kitchen for a maple-glazed pork tenderloin. It was very quick to make and would be excellent for a weeknight meal and the time of the year.
Maple-Glazed Pork Tenderloin
3/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup molasses, light or mild
2 tablespoons bourbon or brandy
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pinch ground cloves
Pinch cayenne pepper
1/4 cup cornstarch
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon salt
2 teaspoons ground black pepper
2 pork tenderloins (1 1/4 to 1 1/2 pounds each)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon whole-grain mustard
Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 375°. Stir 1/2 cup of maple syrup, molasses, bourbon, cinnamon, cloves, and cayenne together in a 2-cup liquid measure; set aside. Whisk the cornstarch, sugar, salt, and black pepper in a small bowl until combined. Transfer the cornstarch mixture to a rimmed baking sheet. pat the tenderloins dry with paper towels, then roll them in the cornstarch mixture until they are evenly coated on all sides. Thoroughly pat off any excess cornstarch mixture.
Heat the oil in a large, heavy-bottomed nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until just beginning to smoke. Reduce the heat to medium and place both tenderloins in the skillet, leaving at least 1 inch in between them. Cook until they are well browned on all sides, about 8 to 12 minutes. Transfer the tenderloins to a wire rack set inside a rimmed baking sheet.
Pour off any excess fat from the skillet and return it to medium heat. Add the syrup mixture to the skillet, scraping up any browned bits with a wooden spoon, and cook until the mixture is reduced to 1/2 cup, about 2 minutes. Transfer 2 tablespoons of the glaze to a small bowl and set aside. Using the remaining glaze, brush each tenderloin with approximately 1 tablespoon of glaze. Roast the tenderloins until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the tenderloins registers 130°, about 12 to 20 minutes. Brush each tenderloin with another tablespoon of glaze and continued to roast until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the tenderloins registers 135 to 140°, about 2 to 4 minutes longer. Remove the tenderloins from the oven and brush each with the remaining glaze; allow to rest, uncovered, for about 10 minutes.
While the tenderloins rest, stir the remaining 1/4 cup of maple syrup and mustard into the reserved 2 tablespoons of glaze. Brush each tenderloin with 1 tablespoon of the mustard glaze. Transfer the meat to a cutting board and slice into 1/4-inch-thick pieces. Serve, passing the extra mustard glaze at the table.
Rolling the tenderloins in the cornstarch mixture really did make a difference in making sure that the coating and glaze adhered well to the meat. It also helped to give a nice crunch to the outer coat of the meat and glaze. Make sure you use real maple syrup and not the imitation stuff most of us use on pancakes and waffles. The imitation will be way too sweet for this type of recipe. I love the way it all came out and that it did have a little bit of sweetness to it because of the syrup and molasses and you could even taste a little bit of the bourbon in the recipe. I served this with noodles and corn on the cob.
That’s all there is for today. I’ll have some more recipes this week, including a few desserts that we made for a classic pound cake and Michelle’s famous oatmeal cookies. We also did a nice homemade breakfast today that included some nice home fries, some sausage and scrambled eggs, a basic breakfast but it was all homemade. Check back later in the week for all of that. Until then, enjoy the rest of your day today and enjoy your meal!