I seriously have grown to love pork tenderloin for so many reasons. One, it’s not that expensive. Two, it cooks up faster than most other pork loins. And third, it’s so tender and juicy. When I first met Mr. Fantabulous the man refused to eat pork – just chicken, pasta or steak, no seasoning. Yeah, bland. Well okay not the pasta I mean he is Italian after all however even that, the sauce doesn’t require a lot of spices or even be complex to be truly delicious. I mean this man wouldn’t even eat bacon. I know right! I’m surprised I married him knowing that! It’s a good thing that man is so damn sexy… LOL
So in comes me, this uber food snob whose palate is ever growing and lives by seasonings and depths of flavors. Flavors should marry and dishes should be a full blown orchestra of flavors instead of one note and broken. And bacon. I don’t love bacon I LURVEEEEEEEEEEEEE bacon. Honestly, two more opposite people could there be when it came to he and I. However we make ‘us’ work and that’s perfect in my books. We compliment each other in a way I never thought possible.
We compliment one another kinda like how my Cherry Chipotle Cola BBQ Sauce compliments simple plain pork tenderloins. Smooth huh? LOL
In my fridge, at any given time, there is at least 2 types of proteins that are uncooked, 3-4 different quarts of bbq sauces and about 14 other types of cooked foods. On this particular day I had a package of pork tenderloins to cook up. I took them out of the fridge, cleaned them up and patted them dry. Now I’ve shared with you a few ways on how to make pork tenderloin:
all of which are ridiculously delicious if I do say so myself. And if you’ll notice they are all made differently.
I find one way to be the best way to cook pork tenderloin only to make it another way the next time and say that’s the best way to make pork tenderloin and so forth. Truth is, they all are awesome. It honestly depends on what you have cooking materials-wise. Some of you may not have a roaster or a cast iron pan. I like to give diversity and find ways that everyone can make the dish without need 97 pots, pans and kitchen porn. Though let’s be honest, one can never have enough kitchen porn!
For this dish I went that cherry chipotle bbq sauce, gave the pork a quick sear in the skillet and then basted it with the sauce. To give it another element I added some dried cherries on top and topped them with sauce while it baked.
First the smell – it was haunting and warm with a hint of sweetness. You could smell the bbq sauce turning into a thick glaze; the heat from the chipotle peppers tingling your nose and the sweetness of the cherries balancing it all out. Now hold your gutchies people, I still hate cherries but there’s just something about this sauce that I really like. Just like apples with pork, the cherries lent a really awesome sweet profile taste to the pork. However because I used dried tart cherries you had that hint of ‘bite’ with it. I was seriously kinda digging it.
This is one of those dishes that really takes very little time to make. I think the longest part is just pan searing on each side. Almost all of my cuts of meat I pan sear as I find it creates a nice crust that adds color, texture, and flavor. It allows those juices to stay inside the meat while it cooks and allows you to end up with some of the most tenderest meat. The next trick is I love cooking meats once they are pan seared on a baking sheet/cooling rack combination. I do this often when either I don’t want a soggy bottom (and trust me, no one wants a soggy bottom…ever) or it to burn, i.e., if your stuff is just coated in sauce that may tend to burn.
By cooking it on a baking rack I’m allowing air to circulate over top and underneath the meat ensuring even cooking all around and no soggy or burnt bottoms. And don’t worry about the cooling rack and clean up. Unless yours is plastic (yeah don’t use it in the recipe) or non-dishwasher safe, I just pop my cooled rack in the dishwasher and Voila! Instant clean every single time.
Since I already had the oven on, I opted for some sides that I knew would go perfectly with it and I didn’t have to use another method of cooking. Cook smart!
So next time you’re at the store, pick up a package of pork tenderloins and make a really awesome and really simple dish for dinner. This is a meal you are going to want leftovers for so make both tenderloins!
For our dinner even though I made two of them, we still had a little over 1 1/2 left in the fridge. The next day though I had to leave to go out of town. During the week the Fantabulous in laws came over and Mama Fantabulous whipped up a great lunch for the boys by grilling buttered buns sliced in half, warmed up some slices of this pork tenderloin and then added some arugula on the bun with the meat. She said they gobbled these things up like it was their job! So see, it’s great for dinner or for lunch! SCORE! I love it when you have leftovers and you can re-purpose them!Print
- 2 Tbl unsalted butter, divided
- 1 Tbl olive oil
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- 1/4 tsp chipotle powder
- 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
- 2 – 1.5lb Pork Tenderloins, patted dry
- 1 cup Cherry Chipotle Cola BBQ Sauce, divided and warmed
- 1/4 cup dried cherries
- Preheat oven to 350F, rack in the middle.
- Line a rimmed baking pan with foil and place a metal cooling rack inside.
- Spray with cooking spray.
- Mix together the chipotle powder, pepper, salt and paprika.
- Evenly spread out the spice mixture on the pork; rub in gently.
- Heat a cast-iron or heavy oven-safe skillet over medium-high heat and add in the butter and oil.
- Once the butter begins to foam place the tenderloins 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.
- Place the seared pork on top of the cooling rack and baste liberally with about 1/2 cup of bbq sauce.
- Place the cherries on top of the tenderloins.
- Drizzle a few more tablespoons of bbq sauce on top of the cherries.
- 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 transfer the tenderloins to a plate and cover with foil to rest and prevent the juices from escaping.
- Allow the pork to rest for 10 minutes and then carve the tenderloin.
- Ladle the remaining bbq sauce on top.