Welcome to the first edition of “Meat Treats” where I’ll share with you my favorite ways to enjoy the bevy of delicious protein raised by farmers like me. To kick this series off appropriately, we’ll start with pork of course! Expect to learn more about meat, how to prepare it properly and leave with a new recipe or two!
Pork tenderloin is the “queen’s cut” of pork, and my favorite (besides bacon) pork product. Not to be confused with the Midwest staple “Pork Tenderloin Sandwich”, a tenderized, hand breaded and fried portion of pork, resting on buns with condiments such as ketchup, mustard, pickles and onions. I want you to think: “Classic Pork Tenderloin”, as in the whole muscle cut, tender and juicy and ready to take on any flavor you bring to it.
This lean and tender muscle comes from the inside of the hog, along the spine and controls posture and not “locomotion”, aka: movement, thus lending to its super-tender nature. It’s dubbed the most tender part of the hog, and let us clear up any confusion now: pork tenderloin and pork loin are not the same thing. My friends over at Kansas Pork have an awesome video showing the differences here.
IF you DO happen to find yourself with pork loin, try the Classic Stir Fry (above pic) recipe I made for Pork Be Inspired, here. Oh and totally feel free to sub pork tenderloin in this recipe too!
And you can see the harmonious marriage of the pork loin portion and the tenderloin portion of the hog in the “Porterhouse Chop” in the photo here: (hint: the loin portion is the big part on the left of the bone, the tenderloin portion is the smaller part to the right.)
It’s time to roll out the grills and get ready for grilling season, thank goodness. I can’t look at my slow cooker any longer. I’m ready to grab a beer, head outside and enjoy the spring and summer weather and all of the good foods that come with the season. (Meanwhile Mike will be in the kitchen in a ruffle-ly apron preparing all of the sides and desserts and setting the table, right? Its time to flip the roles a bit so I can enjoy the beer, meat and fire. Sorry Mikey.) Haha, all kidding aside, let’s get back to the basics.
This pork tenderloin recipe is simple and can be made in a short amount of time. If you can’t make your grill work, have no fear, you can sear your seasoned tenderloin in a cast iron skillet, then place it in a glass baking pan with the marinade over it and bake in a preheated oven (350F) until a digital instant read thermometer reads 145 F.
And if you are still living in the stone age and don’t have a “Thermapen” yet, you need to get one. It is the best instant read thermometer on the market and I use it to temp anything from breads, casseroles, candy and meat The “Thermapen” runs around $99, and the “Thermopop“, runs around $29. (This post contains affiliate links, meaning if you go buy a Thermapen I’ll get a small kickback to feed my Thermoworks habit!)
145 degrees Fahrenheit, you ask? Yes. Trust me on this one. Enjoy your pork with a blush of pink in the center for a delicious experience. And the other thing we can’t forget: when you pull your chops or tenderloin off the heat, let them rest for 5 minutes before slicing (against the grain). That’s the right thing to do.
Honey Garlic Pork Tenderloin
- One 1.5-2 lb. pork tenderloin Not pork loin
- 1/2 tsp seasoned salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- For the glaze:
- 3 cloves of garlic minced
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 TBSP soy sauce
- 2 TBSP brown sugar
- 1 1/2 TBSP honey
- 1 TBSP water
- Preheat grill to 400-450 degrees F.
- Sprinkle seasoned salt and black pepper evenly over tenderloin.
- Combine garlic and salt in a small bowl, mash together with a fork. Add soy sauce, brown sugar, honey and water.
- Mix well. Set aside.
- Sear tenderloin on the grill for a couple of minutes on each side.
- Reduce grill heat to 300 degrees F.
- When pork tenderloin reaches 125 F on an instant read thermometer, apply glaze evenly.
- Continue grilling pork until temperature reaches 145 F.
- Remove from grill, let rest for 5 minutes. Slice to serve. Serves 6 people.