Thursday, March 13, 2014

My Favorite Pork Tenderloin

My friends, what you see here is a truly scrumptious dinner.  Well, ignore the green beans.  They are nothing special, other than the fact that they get the privilege of sharing a plate with my favorite pork tenderloin and some butternut squash risotto.  Wowie.  I could eat this meal every night.  Well, no, I take that back.  If I did, I would probably gain a zillion pounds.  More importantly, that would make this particular dinner nothing special anymore.  And that would be a travesty, because it is yummy.

We will start with the pork tenderloin.  I found this recipe approximately forever ago and have made it ever since.  The recipe is made with a glaze on top, but the first time I made it, I messed up in the glaze amounts and ended up with more of a crust on top, which I found to be spectacular.  So I have changed the recipe to make the top more of a crunchy top than a glaze.  I'll provide you with both methods - which do you prefer?

My Favorite Pork Tenderloin
adapted from Big Red Kitchen

2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 pork tenderloins (2 1/4 to 2 1/2 pounds total)
2 TB olive oil

1 cup packed brown sugar
2 TB finely minced garlic
1 T hot sauce (for glaze) or 1 teaspoon hot sauce (for crunchy topping)

Move a rack to the center of the oven and preheat to 350F.

In a small bowl, stir together the salt, pepper, cumin, chili powder and cinnamon.  Rub the tenderloins with this mixture.  Heat oil in a 12-inch cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat until it is just beginning to smoke.  Sear the pork on all sides, about 4 minutes total.  Leave the pork in the skillet.

Stir the topping ingredients together and pat onto the tops of the tenderloins.  Roast for 12-15 minutes, until an instant-read thermometer verifies that the pork is 140F.  Remove from the oven and let the pork rest in the pan for 10 minutes.  The temperature of the pork will rise to about 155F while it stands.

Slice and serve.
Printable Recipe

I often halve this recipe, which works great.  I don't get the amazing leftovers then, but that is just another reason to not let too much time go by before making this again!  The spice combination in the rub is delicious, and the sweet, crunchy topping has a nice kick that all together is fantastic!

Stay tuned for the Butternut Squash Risotto recipe.  It is one you will want to make!

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