So a few days before I had to go away for a week-long work trip I was rummaging through my chest freezer looking for stuff I could make ahead of time so Mr. Fantabulous wouldn’t starve in my absence. I know, I spoil him but I love the big lug. As I was pretty much chest deep in my freezer I spied a lovely pork tenderloin package. Okay truth be told, I kinda-sorta-forgot-I-had-it cause I have so much stuff in that freezer. Immediately I knew I had to use it because I LOVE pork tenderloins…when it is made correctly!
Often times I’ve had it in restaurants and it’s either cooked to where it’s like shoe leather OR they attempt to shred it like pulled pork. First, any meat other than jerky should never be shoe-leather texture. And Pork tenderloins are not meant to be used for pulled pork. They don’t have enough fat in the cut so it dries out and the meat gets rough. Stop trying to make it something it’s not. Kinda like I am not trying to be a Victoria’s Secret angel cause it’s something I’m not. Speaking of which… have you all seen the new commercial Lane Bryant has been running showcasing what society deems “plus size” women. Their whole premise is to show that women, ALL women regardless of their size are beautiful. That you don’t need be a VS Angel to be desirable in your gutchies. That you can have rolls, jiggle, bellies and curves to be sexy. You can have pudge, flubadub, chub or whatever you deem it and still be healthy. They are breaking the stereotype mold by telling people it’s okay to not be an “angel”. #ImNoAngel is their hashtag and I love it!
Sorry, I got side tracked huh? But it’s important to me. Growing up, being that fat kid that so badly wanted to fit in to what society deemed pretty was hard. Life was hell at times and more often than none I’d end up in tears because I was “different”. Kids are cruel. Period. But I think it all starts at home and what they are exposed to by tv and the media. Where people, society, the media/corporations fail is realizing that they do not have the right to tell us what we should like or what is beautiful. What one person finds beautiful another may not. My husband finds me to be the sexiest woman ever and that’s fine by me.
Okay I’m off soapbox and back into the kitchen. This recipe is one of my favorite ways to make pork tenderloin. The longest part is marinating the pork. This is essential to help break down some of the fibers in the meat and help tenderize it. Plus it allows those flavors to infuse into the meat itself. Making the marinade cannot be any easier. Just dump it all in a blender or food processor, whirl it around for a bit and pour over the tenderloins while in a plastic sealable bag. Seriously easy peasy. I let those puppies marinate in the fridge for a good 3+ hours. You can go longer, even overnight but my time was pretty pressed as I had so much to get done prior to my leaving however the most important thing was to make sure I had food cooked for him.
I think in one day I made him this, a 9×13″ tray of lasagna rollups, a 5lb Easter ham with a bajillion pineapple slices and cucka cherries, 3lbs of mashed potatoes, banana bread, 18-egg egg salad and Mama Fantabulous gave him a loaf of her nut bread. So yeah, the man was not going to starve while I was gone. Like I said he’s more than capable of cooking for himself but I know this man and he would live on crunchy peanut butter sandwiches and bowls of cereal.
One thing I love about pork tenderloins is they cook up in no time. Literally, just a few minutes in a hot cast iron pan to get a great sear on the meat to help seal in the juices, less than 15 minutes in the oven and you can have dinner on the table faster than you can set it! This is one of those meals where if you took an extra 10 minutes in the morning to make the marinade and pop them in the fridge. You literally could have dinner on the table in under 30 minutes once you got home from work. Okay fine, if you’re anything like me when you get home from work you’ll have dinner on the table after you:
– Take your bra off
– Undo your belt as you do the pee-pee dance to the bathroom
– Tinkle while taking off your shirt (a girl’s gotta multi-task)
– Finish getting undressed and changed
– THEN kiss your husband
– and then start dinner LOL
As you can tell by these pictures the colors are absolutely amazing. The marinade caramelizes a bit in the oven and when you open that oven door, you see it all bubbling around the meat. Seriously this recipe is off the hook! Now there are 2 in the pictures however um, Mr. Fantabulous and I kinda-sorta ate one that night for dinner. I had every intention of saving him both but the smells were amazing and seriously I couldn’t stop thinking about this dish.
The outcome of this dish I could not have been more pleased with. The pork is super juicy and tender plus packed with a TON of flavor. The chipotle peppers really shine through but thanks to the maple syrup and brown sugar the heat is offset by the caramelized sweetness. This is a total WIN WIN!
It’s funny as the man that claimed all those years of “not liking pork” sure had me fooled as he ate his up in record time and proceeded to spy up mine. I was pretty sure he was ready to just take my fork off of me just so he could finish mine! lol
And before you ask if you can make them in a stainless steel pan I haven’t tried it. I’m leery on maple stuff like this in pans like that due to the high heat against the sugars. I’d be too afraid the sugars would cause the sauce to burn before the pork cooked all the way through. I’m sure you can do it but as I said I haven’t tried it.Print
- 2 – 1lb pork tenderloins
- 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
- 1 Tbl apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 cup dark brown sugar, packed
- 1 tsp chipotle powder
- 1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce (remove seeds if you don’t want all the heat)
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1 Tbl ketchup
- 3 Tbl olive oil
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
- In a food processor or blender combine the maple syrup, vinegar, brown sugar, chipotle powder, chipotle pepper, chili powder, ketchup, 2 Tbl olive oil, salt and pepper.
- Pulse until well blended.
- Pat the tenderloin dry with a paper towel and put them in a large plastic sealable bag.
- Pour the mixture into the bag, remove the air and seal shut.
- Using your hands, gently massage the mixture into the tenderloins ensuring all areas are covered.
- Place the bag into the fridge and allow to marinate for at least 3 hours.
- When ready to bake remove the bag from the fridge and allow to rest at room temperature for at least 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 425F, rack in the middle.
- Place a large 12″ Cast Iron Pan that can hold both tenderloins or use 2 smaller cast iron pans over medium-high heat.
- Add in 1 Tbl of oil and heat until the oil shimmers.
- Using tongs, carefully lift one of the tenderloins out of the bag allowing the excess to drip off.
- Place in the hot pan and repeat with the other tenderloin.
- Heat for 3-5 minute on each side or until a nice sear forms.
- While the pork is searing pour the marinade in a pot and bring to a boil.
- Once at a boil, reduce to medium/medium-low and cook until thickened.
- When all of the sides have seared spoon or baste some of the sauce over top of the meat then place the hot pan into the oven and bake for 8-15 minutes or until the internal temperature is 160F.
- Remove from the oven, place the meat on a serving platter, loosely tent with foil and allow to rest for 10 minutes before slicing.
- Serve with reserved sauce.
When I make this I only use a 12″ Cast Iron Pan .
Looking for more Pork recipes?Best Ever Pork Roast and Sauerkraut