Monday, May 9, 2011

Island Spice Pork Tenderloin

I can't believe that all these years, I've been missing out on pork tenderloin. Until recently, I just never made it, always assuming it would be stringy, dry and gray.   However, when done right, it's tender and juicy. It's also a great vehicle for some delicious rubs, glazes or bacon (Seriously. Try it wrapped in bacon.).  This Island Spice Pork Tenderloin is incredibly simple to prepare with great contrast of heat and sweet.  Also, it's so easy to prepare.  There's no marinading necessary and the only chopping involved is mincing garlic. 

Like many of the pork tenderloins I've done, this is seared on the stove and finished in the oven.  If you have a cast iron skillet or another oven-safe skillet, that's the easiest way to go (and one less pan to dirty!).  Otherwise, you can transfer the seared tenderloin to a baking sheet or roasting pan before throwing in the oven.

An instant read thermometer is also wonderful to help produce perfectly cooked pork. Cook until the center of the tenderloin registers 130-140 degrees (we like it a little on the rare side) and then let it sit covered for 10 minutes (although I often get too impatient to wait that long!).  My guess is that we served this with a side of polenta and roasted broccoli. (Namely, because I love polenta and roasted broccoli.  The joys of being the cook in the house!)
Island Spice Pork Tenderloin
Taken from: Annie's Eats
Serves 4 (I halved the original recipe)
  • 1 pork tenderloins (about 1-1 1/4 lbs. total)
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
For the spice rub:
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
For the glaze:
  • 1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp. (2-3 cloves) finely minced garlic
  • 1 tsp. Tabasco sauce
  1. Preheat the oven to 400˚ F.  Combine the salt, pepper, cumin, chili powder and cinnamon in a small bowl.  Stir together with a fork to blend.  Pat the mixture over the pork tenderloins.
  2. Heat the olive oil in an ovenproof 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat.  Place the tenderloins in the skillet and brown on all sides, turning occasionally, about 4 minutes total.  Remove from the heat, leaving the pork in the skillet.
  3. Stir together the brown sugar, garlic and Tabasco in a small bowl until blended.  Spread the mixture evenly over the tops of the tenderloins.
  4. Place the skillet in the preheated oven and roast about 10 minutes, until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the center of each tenderloin registers 130-140˚ F.  Transfer to a serving plate, loosely tent with foil and let stand approximately 10 minutes before slicing and serving.

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