This Maple Glazed Pork Tenderloin was one of the four dishes that I contributed to the last Potluck Dinner Party I was invited to. You see, whenever I attend such parties, I always have to make sure that there will be at least some kind of protein that I can eat on the table. What better way to make absolutely certain of that than by catering my own?
I used to be a HUGE fan of cold cut platters but that was until I finally came to realize just how much crap really goes into making them. And I’m not talking about the kind of “crap” that usually turns most people off, you know, like the fact that they use a lot of “unwanted” parts, such as head, tongue, heart, head, etc. That much I actually very much agree with now. What I’m talking about is all the sugar, emulsifiers, stabilizers, artificial flavoring, colorants and preservatives that get added to most commercially prepared deli meats.
I now prefer to make my own “cold cuts” at home. Granted, they are a bit more work and won’t keep for quite as long, but they are so much tastier, and healthier, too!
This particular Maple Glazed Pork Tenderloin, for instance, takes a few days to make as you have to first marinate the meat, then cook it, cool it and let it dry for an entire night before you can finally eat it. But we’re not talking hours of hard work here… it’s all mostly sitting time.
All you need to do is plan a little bit ahead of time.
A few days before your party, place the pork tenderloin in a non-reactive shallow dish that’s just large enough to accommodate the meat and about a cup of liquid. You could also use a large resealable plastic bag, if that was easier for you.
Now make the marinade and pour it over the pork tenderloin. Move the meat around to make sure it’s completely coated, cover and place in the refrigerator to marinate overnight. If you are using a resealable bag, make sure to place it in a large plate or dish so it catches any eventual leaks. These kinds of accidents are never fun to clean…
Every now and then, flip the pork tenderloin while it’s marinating to ensure even flavoring.
When the pan is nice and hot, remove the tenderloin from the marinade, let it drip for a few seconds and place it in the skillet. Sear the meat on all sides until a dark golden crust develops, about 2 to 3 minutes per side.
As you can see, things might get pretty dark at the bottom of that skillet, as some of the sugar will invariably burn. Don’t worry about it, as long as the meat itself isn’t burning, it’s fine. Simply scrape and remove those burnt bits once we’re done searing the meat.
You then want to add the marinade and reduce heat to medium-low.
Continue cooking the meat for about 20 to 25 minutes, turning the tenderloin every now and then to ensure even cooking and glazing…
…until there is no more liquid in the pan, save for the fat.
I suppose that if you wanted to eat this right now, you could very well serve it hot, with a side of fresh greens or something. I have no doubt that it would be fantastic!
But if what you are after is a healthy deli meat replacement, transfer your glazed tenderloin to a plate and refrigerate it uncovered until the next day. This will give that beautiful glaze a chance to dry out a little bit.
The next day, take your pork out of the ice box and slice the meat on a diagonal as thinly as you can.
Arrange the slices nicely on a serving platter, garnish with lettuce leaves and fresh herbs if you so desire and take this platter to your party to share with your friends and family.
Don’t you dare taste it at this point though, ‘cuz if you did, chances are you wouldn’t want to share anymore… I know I came *this* close to changing my mind and not bring it to the party after all.
I think next time I make this, I’ll double the recipe. That way, I’ll get to keep some for myself and use it as a quick snack, to eat alongside my eggs for a little bit more protein at breakfast, or even to top a fresh salad for a quick and refreshing lunch option. Perfect for this time of year, when the temperature is getting hotter and stickier by the day…
And you know what? Why wait for a party?
You can very well whip this up anytime you want! I can guarantee you won’t regret it.
- Place the pork tenderloin in a non-reactive shallow dish that’s just large enough to accommodate it, or in a large plastic resealable bag.
- Put all the other ingredients in a small mixing bowl or glass measuring cup. Mix very well with a flat whisk until well combined.
- Pour the marinade over the pork tenderloin, toss it around to make sure it’s completely coated, cover and place in the refrigerator to marinate overnight. If using a resealable bag, make sure to place it in a large plate or dish to catch any potential leaks.
- Flip the pork tenderloin once or twice while it’s marinating to ensure even flavoring.
- In a large heavy skillet set over medium-high heat, add a few tablespoons of heat stable healthy cooking fat such as ghee, lard or avocado oil. When the pan is nice and hot, remove the tenderloin from the marinade, let it drip for a few seconds and place it in the skillet. Sear the meat on all sides until a dark golden crust develops, about 2 to 3 minutes per side.
- Remove any burnt bits from the pan and then add the marinade; reduce heat to medium-low and continue cooking the meat for about 20 to 25 minutes, turning the tenderloin every now and then to ensure even cooking / glazing, until there is no more liquid in the pan, save for the fat.
- Transfer the meat to a plate and refrigerate uncovered until the next day.
- Slice the meat on a diagonal as thinly as you can and arrange on a serving platter. Garnish with lettuce leaves and fresh herbs if desired.