Every year, we get our meat from a local organic farm. We generally get a whole pig’s worth of meat cuts. It usually comes in the late fall. We stock our large box freezers in the basement with our years worth of meat. It makes me feel a lot better to have organic meat to serve to the kids (no hormones!), and it makes dinner prep a lot easier, since I only just have to go to the basement and grab a package of the designated meat for dinner and thaw a few hours in advance. Since I try to supplement store bought meat as little as possible, that means we are limited on what cuts of meat we have for the year. That means only two pork tenderloins. That also means I better make that one pork tenderloin recipe one heck of a meal. I generally take a while choosing which recipe I will use.
When I came across this recipe, I knew this had to be the one. What could be better than a glaze made with maple syrup? Um, nothing is better. I usually pick up, or have a sister/friend pick up a big jug of Maine maple syrup from the Common Ground Fair in the late summer/early fall. That way, I always have a good amount available to make recipes such as this one. P.S, if you haven’t been to the Common Ground Fair in Unity, Maine, you need to check it out. You can get the best locally handmade things there from farmers and crafters, and there are a lot of activities for kids. It’s a pretty cool annual event.
Anyway, back to this recipe. The pork is slightly sweet from the maple syrup, but not overpowering. It’s warmly spiced, thanks to the cinnamon and cloves, and it’s wonderfully moist. This is a recipe that is worth using those precious tenderloins with! Perhaps a special treat for this valentine’s day? This is a fairly simple dish that doesn’t require a lot of fussing. Make it, love it.
Recipe adapted from The America’s Test Kitchen Healthy Family Cookbook
For the tenderloin
- 1 (1 pound each) pork tenderloins, trimmed of any fat
- salt and pepper
- 2 teaspoons grapeseed or canola oil
For the glaze
- 1 1/4 cups pure maple syrup
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- Preheat the oven to 450ºF. Have ready a 9x13-inch baking dish. Pat the tenderloins dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper.
- Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until just smoking. Place the tenderloins in the hot skillet and brown well on all sides, about 5-10 minutes. Transfer to the baking dish.
- In the now empty skillet, pour off any fat left from the tenderloins. Whisk in the glaze ingredients, scraping any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Simmer until slightly thickened and fragrant, about 30 seconds. Remove from the heat. Using a pastry brush, brush all of the glaze over the tenderloins.
- Place in the oven and roast for about 20 minutes, or until a thermometer inserted in the center reads 170ºF, flipping the tenderloins half way through cooking. Slice and serve.