Friday, June 12, 2009

Maple-Balsamic Pork Tenderloin

This is my favourite way to eat pork - it is juicy, tender, and full of flavour. The recipe is fairly low-effort, too - just mix, marinate, and cook! Pork tenderloin was on sale at my grocery store, but I imagine it would work just as well with chops, maybe even ribs! The recipe is from Cooking Light Magazine from 2005 - my family has been making it since then, and it is delicious!!

The marinade also doubles as a lovely dressing for peppery or bitter greens, such as arugula or endive, and it works well as a marinade with dark-meat chicken or turkey, if you're not a fan of pork. I imagine even beef would be nice this way.

For the marinade:

1/2 c tomato juice
1/3 c balsamic vinegar
1/4 c maple syrup
1 tbs minced fresh rosemary
2 tsp Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced (or shallots - we had a guest with a garlic allergy and used that sub)
2 1/2 tbs olive oil

1. Combine everything but the oil and mix well. Then gradually mix in the oil and whisk until everything is combined. You can at this point refrigerate the dressing for up to five days, or you can use it immediately.

Look! I even have calorie counts etc because it's from a magazine! Per 1 tbs: 39 calories, 2.3g fat, 0.2g protein, 4.7g carb, 0.1g fiber, 118mg sodium

For the Tenderloins:

2 (3/4 lb) pork tenderloins
1/2 c (1/2 recipe) Maple-Balsamic dressing, divided
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper

1. Butterfly the tenderloins - cutting them lengthwise but not all the way through, so they have a hinge and can lay open and flat. Marinate in a large plastic bag or a large dish, covered, in the fridge for 20 minutes or up to 8 hours. Make sure you turn the tenderloins every once in a while, so that all the meat gets a chance to soak up the flavours.

2. Now, here's the thing. Usually, you'd do this on the grill - it is AMAZING on the grill, and this was our plan. But we had terrible rainy weather when we were making this and so we roasted ours in the oven - still delicious! I'll tell you what to do either way.

3a. For GRILL: Heat grill to medium-high heat. Sprinkle meat iwht salt and pepper and grill 9 mins on each side or until the meat is cooked through (this is really important with pork!!)

3b. For OVEN: Heat oven to 375F. Roast uncovered for 30-40 minutes, or until pork is cooked through (this is really important!!).

4. For both methods: Place the remaining 1/4 c marinade/dressing in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce and simmer until it thickens into a nice sauce.

5. Slice the meat, when it is cooked, into portions, and drizzle with the sauce you made. We served ours with roasted peppers, roasted asparagus, and roasted baby new potatoes.

And nutritionals for the pork: (3 oz serving) 176 cals, 6.2g fat, 24g protein, 4.8g carb, 74mg cholesterol, 1.6mg iron, 372mg sodium

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  1. Mmm! I am not a pork fan, but I don't hate it necessarily, and my husband would LOVE this (he loves pork, too). The marinade sounds good enough to mask the blahness of pork for me!

  2. This pork is so far from blah! :) Let me know if you try/like it!

  3. I used the marinade as a dressing for a stuffed pork tenderloin with goat cheese, red peppers and baby bella mushrooms, delicious! Except I didn't read far enough to the part where you boil and reduce, it was still awesome and now we use it for salad dressing!