How to Cook Perfect Pork Tenderloin

17 Apr

Apticot Glazed Pork TenderlionTypically, I’m not a huge pork fan. I like the flavor, but I’ve had one too many overcooked pork chops to really enjoy the texture.

The problem with pork (and benefit of pork) is that it’s super lean. This means it’s a healthier protein, but it also dries out easily when cooking. Because of this, many people tend to avoid the protein.

I held these pork misconceptions until I attempted brining.

Brining is the process of submerging a piece of meat in a salt-water solution for an extended period of time. This allows water enter the meat, keeping the cut juicy when cooked.

My boyfriend made me brined pork tenderloin for my birthday and it was absolutely incredible. I’d never had pork that juicy and tender. With that experience in mind, I made it my mission to replicate his stellar recipe.

The great thing about pork tenderloin is that it’s college student friendly. It’s relatively inexpressive, healthy and goes a long way (a one-pound cut could easily serve 3-4 people).

Apricot Glazed Pork TenderloinSeared Pork Tenderlion

Ingredients: (Serves 3-4)

  • 1 pound pork tenderloin
  • 4 cups of water
  • 4 tablespoons of salt
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons of apricot preserves

Making the Brine:

Brine’s typically work on one-to-one ratios. That is, for every cup of water, you add one tablespoon of salt.

Step 1: Start by placing the pork lion in a deep Tupperware container.

Step 2: Add cups of water until the tenderloin is fully submerged.

Step 3: Next add one tablespoons of salt for each cup of water (4 cups of water = 4 tablespoons of salt).

Step 4: Seal container and let the pork sit in the brine between 8 and 12 hours.

After 8-12 Hours:Apricot Glazed Pork Tenderlion

Step 1: Heat oven to 400 degrees.

Step 2: Remove the pork from the brine and rinse it under cool water (this helps get the excess salt off).

Step 3: In a large skillet, heat olive oil on medium-high heat. Place tenderloin in pan and sear each side for about 3-5 minutes (until meat begins to brown).

Step 4: Once meat is seared, place it on a cookie sheet and spread apricot preserves along the top.

Step 5: Bake in over for 15-20 minutes.

Step 6: Let sit for five minutes so the juices can settle and enjoy!

The sweet apricot preserves are a perfect counterpoint to the briny pork. This makes for a deliciously tender protein.

If you’re interested in experimenting with more brining techniques, try adding spices, sugar or molasses to the brine. This will add to the pork’s flavor, while also creating tenderness.

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