Sunday Dinner: Maple-Glazed Pork Tenderloin

This is certainly one of the best pork tenderloin recipes we’ve ever made. The tenderloins were perfectly cooked and were really juicy. The best parts of course were the pieces encrusted with the maple glazing. Yum!

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I would have to say, in particular with this recipe, that a thermometer should be used in order to achieve perfect doneness and avoid drying out the meat. We always use our Thermapen since it gives a quick and accurate temperature.

Here are the ingredients you’ll need for this recipe:

3/4 cup maple syrup (see note)
1/4 cup molasses , light or mild
2 tablespoons bourbon or brandy
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pinch ground cloves
Pinch cayenne pepper
1/4 cup cornstarch
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon table salt
2 teaspoons ground black pepper
2 pork tenderloins (1 1/4 to 1 1/2 pounds each) (see note)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon whole-grain mustard

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Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 375 degrees. Stir ½ cup maple syrup, molasses, bourbon, cinnamon, cloves, and cayenne together in 2-cup liquid measure; set aside. Whisk cornstarch, sugar, salt, and black pepper in small bowl until combined. Transfer cornstarch mixture to rimmed baking sheet. Pat tenderloins dry with paper towels, then roll in cornstarch mixture until evenly coated on all sides. Thoroughly pat off excess cornstarch mixture.

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Heat oil in 12-inch heavy-bottomed nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until just beginning to smoke. Reduce heat to medium and place both tenderloins in skillet, leaving at least 1 inch in between. Cook until well browned on all sides, 8 to 12 minutes. Transfer tenderloins to wire rack set in rimmed baking sheet.

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Pour off excess fat from skillet and return to medium heat. Add syrup mixture to skillet, scraping up browned bits with wooden spoon, and cook until reduced to ½ cup, about 2 minutes. Transfer 2 tablespoons glaze to small bowl and set aside. Using remaining glaze, brush each tenderloin with approximately 1 tablespoon glaze. Roast until instant-read thermometer inserted in thickest part of tenderloins registers 130 degrees, 12 to 20 minutes. Brush each tenderloin with another tablespoon glaze and continue to roast until instant-read thermometer inserted in thickest part of tenderloins registers 135 to 140 degrees, 2 to 4 minutes longer. Remove tenderloins from oven and brush each with remaining glaze; let rest, uncovered, 10 minutes.

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While tenderloins rest, stir remaining ¼ cup maple syrup and mustard into reserved 2 tablespoons glaze. Brush each tenderloin with 1 tablespoon mustard glaze. Transfer meat to cutting board and slice into ¼-inch-thick pieces. Serve, passing extra mustard glaze at table.

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The recipe did say it serves six people but it was so good it was barely enough for four. Enjoy!

A note from America’s Test Kitchen:

This recipe will work with either natural pork or enhanced pork (injected with a salty solution). If your tenderloins are smaller than 1¼ pounds, reduce the cooking time in step 3 (and use an instant-read thermometer for best results). If the tenderloins don’t fit in the skillet initially, let their ends curve toward each other; the meat will eventually shrink as it cooks. Make sure to cook the tenderloins until they turn deep golden brown in step 2 or they will appear pale after glazing. We prefer grade B maple syrup in this recipe. (Don’t be tempted to substitute imitation maple syrup—it will be too sweet.) Be sure to pat off the cornstarch mixture thoroughly in step 1, as any excess will leave gummy spots on the tenderloins.

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  1. Posted June 29, 2010 at 4:05 pm | Permalink

    Looks goooooooooood! It’s 12 midnight here and I’m looking at food pics, eeek. LOL!

    • Ernskie
      Posted June 29, 2010 at 8:33 pm | Permalink

      Thanks Mark! I also get those midnight cravings so I can’t look at food at that time. I just drink water and go back to bed.

  2. Judy
    Posted June 29, 2010 at 9:34 pm | Permalink

    Looks delicious,Ernie! I need to buy a heavy skillet like yours. The skillet I have is too light and I can’t sear meat properly with it.

    • Ernskie
      Posted June 30, 2010 at 8:03 am | Permalink

      Thanks Judy! You just have to find a stainless steel skillet that has a heavy bottom with aluminum core so the heat is distributed evenly. I’m thinking that a cast iron pan might also work. Good luck!

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