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Monday, April 2, 2012

Ginger Orange Pork Tenderloin

Wow.... It's been such a busy Spring already.... such little time to play around in the kitchen!  Between baseball and gymnastics schedules, work, family, house, and a new family situation, I feel like I've been gone for a really long time.
This pork is so flavorful, yet easy to make.  The ginger and the citrus are welcome playmates to the pork and are sparkly on the palate.  I added some Buttered Pecan Sweet Potatoes (see recipe and post on Dec 21, 2011) and a bag of steamed Asian vegetables on the side.

Click here for Printable Recipe 
Ingredients:
marinade....
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp freshly grated ginger
  • 2 Tbsp orange zest
  • 2 Tbsp honey
  • can accommodate from 1 to 3 pork tenderloins, trimmed

glaze...
  • 1 cup apricot preserves (or orange marmelade or even apple jelly)
  • 2 Tbsp freshly grated ginger
  • 2 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
  • salt and pepper
Step-by-step
Marinade
Mix everything and allow the pork (trimmed of silver skin and external fat) to marinate for at least one hour.  You could certainly do this in the morning and let the pork marinate in the fridge for up to 8 hours and cook it in the evening.  If you are only doing it for an hour, I recommend letting the meat sit out during this time to come to room temperature while marinating.  Allowing the meat to come to ambient temperature will give you more even cooking, rather than trying to sear/cook meat on a hot grill that is cold on the inside.
1 cup OJ

1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

The easiest way to peel ginger is with the edge of a spoon!
Use a grated with larger "teeth"
1 Tbsp grated ginger

Use a microplane to get the zest of the orange.  DO NOT get ANY of the pith (the white stuff) as it is very bitter.  You ONLY want the bright orange outer layer.. where all of the oils are.

2 Tbsp orange zest
2 Tbsp honey. 
Tip - if people in your family suffer from allergies (pollen, etc), buy LOCAL honey.... honey made around your area.  The bees will have pollenated local plants, thus producing a honey that has somewhat of an immune boost for you!

Whisk the marinate together.

Make sure you trim the pork of all fat.  (My kids won't eat it if they see fat on it)

My favorite way to marinate meat is to throw the meat and marinade in a ziptop bag.  After removing the excess air, the marinade will surround and bathe the meat so that you don't have to fuss with it as much - turning it, etc.
Glaze
Add all the ingredients together in a small saucepan.  Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer until a syrupy consistency has been reached.
1 cup preserves.  You can use apricot preserves, apple jelly, or orange marmelade.  Whichever you have on hand.
2 Tbsp freshly grated ginger.  We want to mirror the flavors from the marinade into our glaze.

2 Tbsp soy sauce.

2 Tbsp Dijon mustard

salt and pepper to taste.

Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer until it reaches a beautiful, syrupy consistency.  Then just turn it off.  Use about a third of this glaze (in a SEPARATE dish please) to baste the meat as it cooks.  Do not serve the glaze you use for basting to your family after you've been putting it on the raw'ish meat with the basting brush.  If you forget, you need to at least bring it back to a boil for a couple of minutes before serving it.

After removing the pork from the marinade, sear on a hot grill.  Do not baste until you have seared that particular side.
Sear!

After turning the pork over, you can now baste the side that has ALREADY been seared.  Ideally, you want to turn the meat until each side is seared and has lovely grill marks.

Baste about every 3 - 5 minutes until the pork reaches an internal temperature of about 145 degrees. Again, don't serve your family THIS glaze after putting it on the meat.  Use the one from the stove!

PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE do NOT cut it right away when it comes off the grill.  All the juices will run out!!! Please let it "rest" for about 10 minutes covered in foil if you like to allow the juices to redistribute.  If you cut it too soon and the juices run out, you will end up with DRY meat!  We want JUICY meat!

Cut the meat on a bit of a bias in about 1/2 " slices.


Arrange the slices on a platter and drizzle with the glaze.  Serve with orange slices (to mirror the flavors of the marinade) and extra glaze on each person's plate.  Those are red pepper flakes on the oranges.  A little razzle dazzle for the taste buds!
If you don't have a grill, or there's inclimate weather, etc., you could easily do this pork in the oven.  After searing the pork in a pan on all sides first in a little oil, I would set the oven on about 400 F, insert an instant read thermometer into the thickest end, and cook in the oven until 145 degrees.  Remember, the heat will continue to rise (to about 150 F) when you take it out and allow it to rest.  Baste the meat about every 5 minutes. Instant read thermometers take all the guesswork out of cooking meat and allow your focus to shift to the other things going on.  So worth getting one!

Looking for more great pork recipes?  Visit my Recipe Index for lots of ideas to cook with/for your family.  And here are a few great pork recipes:



Written Method - 
Marinade
Mix everything and allow the pork (trimmed of silver skin and external fat) to marinate for at least one hour.  You could certainly do this in the morning and let the pork marinate in the fridge for up to 8 hours and cook it in the evening.  If you are only doing it for an hour, I recommend letting the meat sit out during this time to come to room temperature while marinating.  Allowing the meat to come to ambient temperature will give you more even cooking, rather than trying to sear/cook meat on a hot grill that is cold on the inside.

Glaze
Add all the ingredients together in a small saucepan.  Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer until a syrupy consistency has been reached.  After removing the pork from the marinade, sear on a hot grill.  Do not baste until you have seared that particular side.  If you don't have a grill, or there's inclimate weather, etc., you could easily do this pork in the oven.  After searing the pork in a pan on all sides first in a little oil, I would set the oven on about 400 F, insert an instant read thermometer into the thickest end, and cook in the oven until 145 degrees.  Remember, the heat will continue to rise (to about 150 F) when you take it out and allow it to rest.  Baste the meat about every 5 minutes. Instant read thermometers take all the guesswork out of cooking meat and allow your focus to shift to the other things going on.  So worth getting one!

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