Let me start by saying it’s good to be home. I had a *long* workweek back in Lincoln, NE, which ended up being just a bit longer when my flight on American was cancelled. At least I was “stuck” with family in Omaha… Things could’ve been much worse, for sure. I used that extra night in Omaha to cook dinner for my parents and my grandmother, and I went with one of my favorite recipes – Apricot-Glazed Pork Tenderloin from the April 2005 issue of Everyday Food. I’ve decided to try another week of themed postings, so I’ll be sharing my top quick meals this time around.
I love this recipe because it really is fast and easy with a short ingredient list, yet the results are flavorful and visually impressive enough for company. I’ve made this at least 6 times (maybe more), which says a lot since I rarely make the same thing twice.
I started by placing 2 pork tenderloins (about 12 ounces each) on a rimmed baking sheet lined with foil. I rubbed each tenderloin with 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil (1 tablespoon total) and seasoned them with salt and pepper. I broiled the tenderloins 4 inches from the heat source for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, I made the apricot sauce. In a small saucepan, I whisked together 1 jar (12 ounces) of apricot preserves and 1/4 cup of spicy brown mustard. I cooked the mixture over medium heat until the preserves melted, about 4 minutes. I transferred half of the sauce to a small bowl for brushing and covered the pan to keep the remaining sauce warm.
After the pork had broiled for 10 minutes, I removed it from the oven and brushed it with half of the apricot sauce. I broiled it again until it was blackened in spots and the meat temperature had reached 150F, 10 minutes more.
I placed the pork on a cutting board and loosely covered it with foil, allowing it to rest 5 minutes before slicing. I served the pork drizzled with the remaining sauce.
This recipe produces delicious results, truly. It’s just amazing to me that you can take 5 ingredients and 30 minutes and end up with such a fantastic meal. I like to serve this with one of my favorite quick sides – fresh green beans. I use the second half of the broiling time to trim 1 pound of green beans and bring a pot of salted water to a boil. I boil the green beans during the pork’s resting time (5 minutes), drain them, and then immediately toss them with butter, salt, and pepper. Mmmm!
TIPS: If you’ve never purchased pork tenderloin before, the first time can be a bit intimidating. I usually buy pre-packaged Hormel pork tenderloin, though I’ve had great luck with the Central Market meat case lately. Sometimes you can find individually-packaged tenderloins at about the weight you need (just buy 2), but I’ve ended up buying the thicker, heavier packages on several occasions. I was really surprised when I opened my first “big” package to see what I thought was 1 piece of meat fall into 2 pieces (Kari, I know this happened to you, too!), but it’s normal. Just make sure you buy plain pork… The packaged tenderloins often come pre-marinated.
Recipe link: Apricot-Glazed Pork Tenderloin