Week Night Yum Yum: Grilled Brined Pork Tenderloin

Sunday, June 20, 2010

My best friend Rochelle makes this insanely good pork loin. A family recipe courtesy of her aunt-in-law Kim, this quick and simple brining process will elevate an otherwise boring pork loin into melt-in-your-mouth goodness. She serves it up with one of two glazes, both fruit-based with a tart twist from vinegar. They're simple to make with ingredients available in your pantry and fridge, making this a very week night friendly recipe. You can roast the pork in the oven or for added smoky flavor, try grilling it. Expecting a larger group for dinner unexpectedly? This recipe is awesome as it can be made fast and easily doubled or even tripled to feed a crowd.

For a healthy week night meal, I like serving it with a steamed veggie like broccoli or a field-green salad with balsamic vinaigrette. Oven-roasted sweet potatoes, honey-glazed carrots, and potato gratin would be awesome as well.

Enjoy it!

Grilled Brined Pork Tenderloin

2 pork tenderloins
1/2 cup kosher salt
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 quart cool water

Make the brine first. Combine the salt, sugar and water in a medium bowl. Submerge the tenderloins in the water mixture and let stand about 45 minutes. Remove pork, rinse and pat dry.

To grill, preheat grill on high until fully heated about 10-15 minutes. Put the pork on the hot grill. Close the lid and grill for 7 minutes. Turn the pork over, close the lid again, and grill another 6 minutes. Turn off the heat (keeping the lid closed) and continue to cook the pork for another 5 minutes until an instant-read thermometer registers 145-150 degrees. Remove pork from the grill and let rest 5 minutes before carving.

To serve, cut the tenderloins into 1-inch thick medallions and serve with one of the following two sauces:

Orange Balsamic Sauce
1 tsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp minced fresh rosemary
1/2 cup orange marmalade
4 tsp balsamic vinegar

Heat oil in a small saucepan. Add the garlic and rosemary and cook on low heat until fragrant and sizzling (about 30 seconds). Stir in marmalade and vinegar and heat through to combine. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Mango Chutney Sauce
1/3 cup mango chutney (recommended: Major Grey's)
4 tsp rice wine vinegar
1 tsp minced fresh cilantro

Combine all ingredients in a small bowl with a whisk. Serve.

My Notes:
If you want to roast it in the oven, preheat your oven to 350 degrees and roast pork until 145-150 degrees on an instant-read thermometer. If you wanted to add vegetables to your meal, add carrots, parsnips and red onions tossed in olive oil and seasoned with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Layer the vegetables on the bottom of your roasting pan, creating a "bed" for the pork to lay upon. One complete meal with 1 dirty pan to wash!

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