So New Year’s Day I knew I wanted to make pork. I mean it’s tradition; well okay it always has been in my household growing up. In doing research as to ‘why’ (cause the engineer in me needs to know why) I found out the following tidbits:
→ For one pigs root forward as they eat, embracing challenges. WOO HOO told you Piggies ROCKED!
→ A pig uses its snout to dig in the ground in a forward direction. Maybe people liked the idea of moving forward as the new year began, especially since pigs are also associated with plumpness and getting plenty to eat. (again remember, we ONLY EAT UGLY PIGGIES!) lol
→ As the custom arose, Austrians, Swedes, and Germans frequently choose pork or ham for their New Year’s meal. They brought this tradition with them when they settled in different regions of the United States. New Englanders often combine their pork with sauerkraut to guarantee luck and prosperity for the coming year. Germans and Swedes may pick cabbage as a lucky side dish, too.
→ The Pennsylvania Dutch eat pork on New Year’s Day as it signifies progress and moving forward and indicating abundance.
Us… we ate it because it tastes amazing and well, it’s just something Grandma made.
This year I wanted pork but I really wasn’t feeling the whole pork and sauerkraut spiel. Don’t get me wrong as I do love it but I just wasn’t in the mood for it. So while I was shopping for New Years Day I spied 2 gorgeous pork tenderloins that just so happened to be on sale. Now they were about 3 lbs which honestly I didn’t think was enough but this lasted us several days even with the eating machine Mr. Fantabulous is!
Since I’m in love with pork with a bourbon sauce (it’s amazing by the way!), I knew I wanted to incorporate that into this dish. Now normally when I make pork (say chops) I’ll make a Bourbon Butter Peach glaze with fresh peaches that is to die for but I didn’t want peaches with this. Honestly it would have been too difficult to do while I was making the 900 other things. So instead I opted to go with a honey butter glaze that just so happened to be laced with Bourbon.
I don’t think I could have been more excited about a dish than this one! I “knew” the flavors would work but I had never made it like this before and was flying by the seat of my pants (well okay pajamas – yes I had New Years Day dinner in my pajamas. Don’t judge… don’t hate… and don’t be jealous). LOL
Once the pork finished up in the oven the most important thing you MUST do is remove it from the pan, place it on a plate (not your serving one yet but a regular plate to let it rest) is tent it with foil. The meat needs to rest and in non-technical terms “suck the juices back in so it’s super juicy and moist”. The juices need to be redistributed back into itself and you can only accomplish that by letting it rest. If you cut it right away the first piece sure will be tender but the rest will be like a brick – dry and nasty. Well okay, not that I’ve tasted a brick but you get the gist.
However look at this pork (after I let it rest).
She’s GORGEOUS! I mean right there you could so eat this by itself. Or you could use a different sauce – maybe bbq, honey mustard, apple pear chutney, ketchup (yes, my sister uses ketchup) or just about anything. But this is one thing that is perfectly awesome eating nekkid. I mean the pork you pervs, not you. LOL I mean don’t you kinda see the very first piece missing? What exactly do you think happened to it? Do you honestly think I cut it off, moved it to the side, took the shots and then put it back on the plate? BAHAHAHAHA… oh you’re so precious. Heck no! I inhaled the sucker! Any good chef or cook samples their food!
But this sauce/glaze. People seriously THIS is what separates the men from the boys in the realm of all things awesome! I took something gorgeous (the tenderloin without the sauce) and turned it into something intoxicatingly sexy and sultry. This meal will seduce you and tantalize your senses taking you to an almost euphoric state.
Okay fine, maybe you’re not that into food like I am but you’re going to LOOOOOOOOOOOOOVE this dish!
So whether you go nekkid or crave the glaze, MAKE THIS!Print
- 8 Tbl unsalted butter, divided
- 3 lb Pork Tenderloin, patted dry
- 1 tsp basil
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1/4 cup bourbon
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- Preheat oven to 375F, rack in the middle
- Heat a cast-iron or heavy oven-safe skillet over medium-high heat and add in 3 Tbl of butter.
- Once the butter begins to foam place the tenderloin in the pan and do not move for 4-6 minutes. You want it to create a sear (lightly brown).
- Flip and sear other side for another 4-6 minutes.
- Shut the heat off of the burner and immediately place 3 more Tbl of butter in the pan.
- Place the pan in the oven, continuing to cook until the internal temperature reaches 150°F, roughly 15-23 minutes. Again the cooking time will vary depending on how big your pork tenderloin is. Mine were 2 weighing around 1.5 lbs each so it was done in about 12-14 minutes.
- Remove the pan from the oven and place on the burner.
- Transfer the tenderloins to a plate and cover with foil to rest and prevent the juices from escaping.
- Turn the burner to medium.
- Add the remaining butter and bourbon.
- Stir until the liquid has begun to reduce (about 2-3 minutes) and add in the honey to thicken.
- Add in the salt, pepper and basil and stir/whisk.
- Taste for seasoning (it should be just barely sweet. The basil and pepper will round it out)
- Carve the tenderloin and drizzle the sauce over top.