In my previous posts here, I have confessed my fondness for bourbon (as a beverage and an ingredient) and for pork tenderloin, so when I found a recipe that combined the two, it was really only a matter of time before I got around to trying it.
I don’t remember how I stumbled across it originally, but since the website I originally found it on gave credit to the Kentucky Derby Museum Cookbook, I may have been looking for a mint julep recipe or something. Unfortunately, I love the smoked pork tenderloin I do so much, that it took a while to finally try this one.
We were staying out in Palm Springs as a base camp for hiking Mount San Jacinto, and had just picked up a few pork tenderloins on sale before our trip. I knew we wouldn’t have my smoker available, but was bringing my portable Keg-a-Que, so thought this would a good excuse to try a straight grilling recipe for the pork loin. I even made the marinade at home before we left, putting it in a tupperware container, so I wouldn’t have to drag all the component ingredients out. This tactic would work well for a dinner while camping as well, where storage was at a premium, and meal prep is something to be minimized. You could put the marinade straight into a ziplock with the pork loin before you left, and minimize the prep and dishes even further.
The marinade/sauce was quite easy, and the flavor was great. I’m quite certain I could also use it as a base marinade for smoking the tenderloin in the future, but if you are pushed for time or don’t have a smoker, this is a great recipe as written.
- ¼ cup bourbon (don’t use the good stuff)
- ¼ cup soy sauce
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- ¼ cup Dijon mustard
- ⅛ cup vegetable oil (original recipe called for ¼ cup)
- 3 cloves minced garlic
- 1 tsp fresh minced ginger root (or ¼ tsp powdered ginger)
- 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
- Pork Tenderloin (original recipe called for two 1 pounders, I used one 18 ouncer)
- Combine all ingredients in a bowl or measuring cup or straight into a gallon sized ziplock bag and stir or whisk to combine.
- Put tenderloin in ziplock bag with marinade, refrigerate at least four hours, and up to overnight.
- Pour marinade into pan, and boil for at least two minutes, to kill any raw meat ickiness floating around in there. Continue to simmer to reduce to a saucy consistency.
- Place tenderloin on hot grill for 15-25 minutes, rotating to cook all sides equally, and basting the cooked parts with the boiled/sterilized marinade.
- If you have a meat thermometer, cook to 165 degrees, but you can generally tell when a relatively cut of tenderloin is cooked through. Try not to overcook it.
- Remove from heat, cover with foil for 10 minutes or so.
- Carve into ¼ – ½ inch slices and ladle sauce over the top of the loin. Serve extra sauce on the side for the plates, according to preference.