Friday, November 20, 2009

Island Pork Tenderloin

My Dad's birthday was a few weeks ago, so Josh and I had my parents (and nieces) up for dinner last weekend. I had seen this recipe come across my reader, and immediately knew that I wanted to make it. This pork tenderloin was very flavorful, and I really enjoyed the spicy-sweet taste. I served it with red skin potatoes, butternut squash, green beans, and rolls. I decided to put the potatoes around the pork in a baking dish to cook, but I would not do that next time - they picked up too much of the sweet flavor from the brown sugar topping, and I think it caused my pork to cook slowly. Other than that, this meal was a success!

Island Pork Tenderloin
as seen on Pennies on a Platter

For Spice Rub:
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 pork tenderloins (2 1/4 – 2 1/2 pound total) trimmed
2 tablespoons olive oil

For Glaze:
1 cup packed dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons finely chopped garlic
1 tablespoon Tabasco

1. Stir together salt, pepper, cumin, chili powder, and cinnamon in a small bowl. Coat pork with spice rub.

2. Heat oil in an ovenproof 12-inch heavy skillet over moderately high heat until just beginning to smoke. Brown pork, turning occasionally, about 4 minutes total. Remove from heat; leave pork in skillet. (I removed mine to a glass baking dish, which worked out just fine.)

3. Stir together brown sugar, garlic and Tabasco in a small bowl. Pat the mixture on top of the tenderloins.

4. Place the skillet (or baking dish) in the oven at 350 degrees F. Roast until thermometer inserted diagonally into the center of each tenderloin registers 140 degrees, about 20 minutes (mine took about 40 minutes - but my baking dish was very full with the pork and potatoes). Let pork stand, loosely covered with foil for 10 minutes.

The pork was very good - moist and flavorful. Next time I would use a little less of the brown sugar topping (I had 2.5 lbs of pork) - I just thought it was a little too much. I did really enjoy how it crisped up while baking - it added a nice texture to the succulent pork. This would also be a nice dish to entertain with - pork tenderloin can be very reasonably priced when on sale, and it makes for some very fancy dinners (I've seen lots of recipes with cranberries & pork for the holidays as well).

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