Monday, June 24, 2013

Meaty Monday: Quick Pork Tenderloin with Sweet Balsamic Glaze

Some Mondays, its about all I can do to get myself out the door, fully dressed and caffeinated.  Not always, but on some of them, I am impressively organized and have dinner prepped and even some laundry done before I jump in the car to commute. Unfortunately,  my zombie-like Monday mornings probably outnumber the organized Mondays three to one. You too?

Those frazzled days are also the ones I'm most likely to need a good fast dinner that's both totally delicious and totally idiot proof. This succulent pork tenderloin is one of those meals. While I'm on the subject of pork tenderloin I want to complain about how they come packed from most supermarkets. Why the heck, when  they almost always pack unflavored pork tenderloins in pairs, are they so different in size and weight? Most of us will usually cook them both, and one is usually at least double the size of the other, thus letting most of us, drastically over or undercook at least one of the tenderloins? Remember, this cut is comparatively the same as a beef tenderloin. A pork tenderloin is not the same thing as a pork loin. It makes me livid when I see slow cooker recipes for pork tenderloin --after all, you wouldn't toss a filet mignon into the crock, would you?

Anyway, this couldn't be a simpler, more toothsome dish to make quickly at the end of a busy day.
This grilling technique called "7-6-5" is featured in Fine Cooking Magazine; it really is pretty much idiot proof, and I suggest you take a look at the original. It really does prevent overcooking this lovely, tender cut of pork.  We prefer ours a little less done, more of a pinkish medium rare, at just over 140ºF so we cook ours 6-5-5. The original timing should bring it to above 145º after the cooking is completed. Oh, and pork is safe to eat and juicy at 140º, even if your Mom, like mine, tended to cook it to death.

The balsamic glaze is wonderful, and you need very little per serving --just a tablespoon or two, but if you are eating paleo or primal, or counting carbs, you may want to limit how much sauce you use, or choose something else like a bit of mayonnaise mixed with a bit of Dijon mustard.

Quick Pork Tenderloin with Sweet Balsamic Glaze

Quick Pork Tenderloin with Sweet Balsamic Glaze

Serves 2-3

A 1-1/4 to 1-1/3 lb. pork tenderloin (NOT pork loin)
kosher salt
fresh ground black pepper

For the Sweet Balsamic Glaze:

1/2 cup all-fruit apricot or seedless raspberry jam
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup water
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
pinch of salt

1. Preheat your grill to high. Unwrap tenderloin, and liberally coat with pepper and salt.

2. Place all the balsamic glaze ingredients in a small saucepan, bring to a boil, stirring. As soon as the sauce is thick enough to coat a spoon, in about a minute, set it aside and keep warm.

3. Oil the grill, and then place the tenderloin on the grill and close the cover. Cook on one side for 7 minutes for medium cooked pork, just 6 minutes for medium rare. Open the lid and turn the meat over, and recover the grill. Cook on the second side for 6 minutes for medium meat, and 5 for medium rare. next, shut off the heat and do NOT open the grill for 5 minutes. If you really like well-done (and dry!) pork, leave  the tenderloin in the closed grill for 7 minutes after turning off the heat. Test with an instant read thermometer for doneness if desired.

4. Place the meat on a cutting board and let stand for 5 minutes before slicoing. Serve with the balsamic glaze drizzled over each serving.

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