I love cooking dinner outside when the weather is warm (and even when the snow is on the ground - but I prefer soft grass and cool breezes) - and one of my favourite things to grill is a pork tenderloin. They have great texture and flavour, and their long, thin shape makes them easy to toss on the barbecue.
I was craving something sticky-sweet, and a pork tenderloin is far leaner than a rack of ribs. For the sauce, fancy molasses and some good BC apple cider did the trick - I found this recipe in one of the Crosby's Molasses e-cookbooks - you can download them for free here. Molasses is often overlooked for savoury dishes, but it works perfectly in sweet barbecue marinades and sauces, adding an extra depth of flavour compared to brown sugar or corn syrup. I've used it to glaze a ham, for sweet sticky sauce for baked chicken, and on ribs - this sauce would be equally fab on ribs, too. Just sayin'.
I made two, so that the second could be sliced thin and made into grilled molasses-cider pork sandwiches with arugula on a long, buttered baguette, to pack for a road trip. Picnics by the side of the road, at a picnic table in the trees or planted on a big rock with your feet in the river, are the best, aren't they? or on the soft sand at the beach? Dining al fresco is one of our favourite things to do during the summer months, no matter where we wind up.
This recipe is pretty simple - pour the marinade ingredients into a big zip-lock bag, add the pork, seal it and leave it in the fridge overnight (or freeze it ahead of time - the marinade will protect the pork from freezer burn) - when you take the meat out to grill, you could simmer the remaining marinade on the stovetop - let it cook for a few minutes, which will cook it through and thicken it up to brush over the tenderloin as it grills, or dribble over your sliced pork or your sandwiches. It makes a really simple, delicious dinner with the very best kind of leftovers - the ones you want to eat!
Sticky Molasses-Cider Pork Tenderloin
Adapted from the Crosby's Molasses Family Favourites e-book - the original called for bourbon, but if you're feeding the family, you can swap apple cider.
1/4 cup Crosby’s fancy molasses
1/4 cup apple cider, juice or bourbon
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup grainy mustard
3 garlic cloves, crushed
2 tsp. grated fresh ginger
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 pork tenderloins
Combine all the ingredients in a large ziploc bag, squish it around with your hands to blend and coat the meat well, and marinate in the refrigerator overnight.
Cook on a preheated grill, turning frequently, for 15 to 25 minutes, brushing with sauce, until the internal temperature is 165°F. Slice in 1/2-inch thick slices to serve as a main course, or in thinner slices to make sandwiches. Serves 6 or so.
* This post was generously sponsored by Crosby's Molasses - but I chose the recipe and the words and thoughts are my own. Thanks, Crosby's!