One of my favorite things to cook, is a pork tenderloin. I probably cook a pork tenderloin once a month, if not more during grill season. It’s a great cut of pork, very flexible in how it can be prepared, and very affordable alternative to beef that still offers a great variety in its delicate flavor. When I’m ready to turn up my “Southerness” (Southerness would be defined as one’s ability to own their Southern heritage) and show off a great pork tenderloin I use my personal recipe for Sweet Southern Pork Tenderloin. Plus it’s Peach Season, and it’s time to start figuring out all the great ways to use these delicious fuzzy southern fruit, so we’ll throw in our recipe for a Bourbon Peach Glaze, to finish it off.
The tenderloin is a very lean cut of pork. Let me say that one more time, the tenderloin is a very lean cut of pork. I’ll admit that the first 5 times I cooked pork tenderloin I dried it out, for two reasons; I didn’t brine or marinate the tenderloin over night, and I didn’t cook it to temperature. If I could offer a single tip to the success of a great pork tenderloin, don’t over cook it. The marinade will help pull moisture into the meat and also help enhance the mild flavor of the tenderloin. I always prepare my marinade early and allow the tenderloin to rest in the fridge up to 48 hours if possible.
When I’m ready to cook the tenderloin, I set it out and let it come to room temperature, in the marinade bag, so I’m not starting it cold. I always prepare it the using the same technique; I start the tenderloin with direct heat, to build color and crust, and finish with indirect heat to keep it from becoming tough. I either grill the tenderloin on a very hot grill, or I seer it in a cast iron skillet to build a crust. Because tenderloin has a tendency to dry out, I always finish my pork in the oven, even if I’m grilling. I usually set the oven to 400 degrees, and cook the tenderloin to a temperature of 150 degrees. If you don’t own a good digital probe style thermometer, invest in one, it will change the way you cook.
Let us know what you think, or tell us how to make it better. Enjoy!
Sweet Southern Pork Tenderloin with Bourbon Peach Glaze
Stay Hungry Y’all! –The Hungry Southerner
Bourbon Brown Sugar Marinade
- 1 cup quality bourbon
- 1/2 cup sweet tea
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 3 tablespoons salt
- 1 clove fresh garlic chopped
- 1 tablespoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
Bourbon Peach Glaze
- 3 whole peaches chopped
- 1/2 cup bourbon
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons of butter
- 1/4 sweet tea
- 3 tablespoons molasses
- pinch of salt
- pinch of cajun seasoning (optional)
First prepare the tenderloin by trimming it up, and removing the silver skin if still attached and placing it into a gallon sized ziplock bag. In a mixing bowl whisk together all the of ingredients for the marinade and transfer it to the ziplock bag with the pork and move to the refrigerator up to 48 hours. When you’re ready to cook, remove the pork from the fridge and let it rest coming to room temperature. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees, and decided about a direct cooking technique. If grilling preheat the grill to its hottest setting, or place a cast iron skillet over high heat adding a little canola oil (avoid olive oil it will burn). Using either method, quickly sear the outside of the tenderloin, turning twice to get even color on the tenderloin. Once you have a decent browning, or grill mark transfer the tenderloin to a warm cookie sheet or pan, insert thermometer probe, and place into the oven. Remove the tenderloin when the internal temperature is 150 degrees (it should be slightly pink). Tent the pork with alluminum foil, and allow to rest for 10 minutes.
While the pork is cooking prepare the glaze. Start by adding the butter to a sauce pan and bringing it up to medium-high. Place the peaches, brown sugar, molasses, sweet tea, and bourbon in the sauce pan and begin reducing the peaches down. When the glaze begins to bubble turn the heat down to a simmer and add the salt and cajun seasoning. The sauce will continue to darken and become richer the longer you cook, taste as it simmers to keep it from burning.
After the pork has rested, slice on the diagonal and serve with the warm glaze over the top. Enjoy!