Friday, October 10

The Perfect Pork Tenderloin

Prepare yourself for the most PERZfECT...unlike my typing...PERFECT pork tenderloin. I have reached the pinnacle...slayed the dragon...crossed the finish line! Where's my medal? Seriously, I want my podium!

I've prepared many, maybe hundreds, of pork tenderloins in my short cooking career. They're easy, cook perfectly in the crockpot, and versatile for numerous recipes (sliced, shredded, or "caveman style"...slab of meat on a tray).

The first time we experienced said perfection, Super Hunk labeled it the best tenderloin he's ever had. Coming from the Meat King, that's like kissing the Pope (only way less awkward).

I'm throwing one together for dinner later and thought I'd share with you, in case you have a busy weekend planned and need a fast...don't forget, PERFECT...recipe!

1 peppercorn flavored pork tenderloin
1 cup water
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons salted butter
2 tablespoons thyme
Salt & pepper to taste

The key to the flavor of this recipe is the peppercorn tenderloin. While the original makes a lovely version, it's not PERFECT! Life is better with spice, don't you agree?

In a small saucepan, combine water and brown sugar over medium to high heat. Stir constantly until sugar dissolves. Bring to a boil and continue stirring until liquid is reduced by half. Reduce heat to low and add soy sauce, vinegar, and mustard. Continue stirring until mustard is thoroughly mixed.

Until now, I hadn't noticed my poor choice of saucepan. Seriously, it looks like I dug it out of the camping box. I promise, I didn't...but it's going there after it makes this delicious sauce.

I now know how random, accidental art is created. Swiiiiiiiirrrrrrllllll....and STOP! (This pan is giving me a twitch...I'm looking away!)

Add butter and stir until melted. Remove from heat and let sit for liquid to cool slightly (if you pour it over the meat too soon, it will start the cooking process...see photo below...I'm impatient).

"The race is on and here comes butter in the back stretch, but-ter is going to the inside...", name that tune!

Generously top with salt, pepper, and thyme. Cook in crockpot on low for 3 1/2-4 hours. When you can pull it apart GENTLY with a fork, it should be done. I recommend letting it sit in the juice for up to an hour before serving.

It's very difficult to photograph a big hunk of meat and make it look attractive. Does it have a good side?

Warm, slice, and top with juice from crockpot.

Be sure to reserve a little for dipping. Oh, the joys of dipping (or, in my case, dunking...swirling...sloshing)!

As a side, I prepared one of my Mom's recipes that is my absolute new favorite, sautéed sugar snap peas. I'll post this little gem tomorrow so if you're going to the store, pick up a won't regret it!

Happy Friday, friends!

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