It’s no secret that I worship and adore pork tenderloin. It’s lean and super tender and just plain delicious…if cooked the right way and with the right ingredients, that is.
Even with all my tried-and-true pork tenderloin recipes I’ve shared in the past, this roasted maple-glazed pork tenderloin is way, way up there in my favorites. Not only is it incredibly simple, the sweet maple flavor with the smoked paprika and hint of ginger is stunningly tasty. It’s that sweet and savory combo, gosh darn it. It gets me every single time, especially when it involves liberally glazing (four times!) succulent roasted pork.
I’ve served this a few ways; it’s pictured with these lovely salt-crusted rosemary potatoes and we’ve also enjoyed it with our favorite cheesy potatoes. Throw in a steamed vegetable, dinner roll if you are so inclined, and/or a fruit or green salad and wow, that’s one delectable meal. As in, if you make it? Invite me over pretty please.
- 1/2 cup pure maple syrup (not imitation or pancake syrup), divided (meaning you'll use half at first and save half for later in the recipe)
- 1/4 cup molasses, light or mild
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 tablespoon table salt
- 2 teaspoons ground black pepper
- 2 pork tenderloins (1 1/4 to 1 1/2 pounds each)
- 2 tablespoons vegetable, canola or coconut oil
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Stir 1/4 cup maple syrup, molasses, vinegar, paprika and ginger together in a liquid measuring cup or bowl; set aside.
- Whisk cornstarch, sugar, salt, and black pepper in small bowl until combined. Transfer the cornstarch mixture to a rimmed baking sheet. Pat the pork tenderloins dry with paper towels, then roll in cornstarch mixture until evenly coated on all sides. Pat or shake off the excess cornstarch (really important or the excess coating can get gummy).
- In a 12-inch nonstick skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat shimmering and hot. Place both tenderloins in the skillet, leaving at least 1 inch in between and cook until well browned on all sides, 5-6 minutes total.
- Transfer the tenderloins to a lightly greased oven-proof wire rack set in rimmed baking sheet. If you don't have a rack that size, the tenderloins can be placed on a lightly greased baking sheet - the coating on the undersides of the pork may be a bit soft after baking but it will still work fine.
- Pour off any excess grease/fat from the skillet and return it to medium heat. Add the syrup mixture to the skillet, scraping up any browned bits with a wooden spoon, and simmer the mixture until it is reduced slightly, 1-2 minutes.
- Transfer 1 1/2 tablespoons of the hot glaze to a small bowl and set aside. Using the remaining glaze, brush each tenderloin with approximately 1 tablespoon glaze. Roast the pork for about 15-20 minutes, until an instant-read thermometer inserted in thickest part of tenderloins registers 130 degrees. Brush each tenderloin with another tablespoon glaze and continue to roast another 4-6 minutes until an instant-read thermometer inserted in thickest part of tenderloins registers 135 to 140 degrees. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and brush the pork with the remaining glaze. Let the pork rest for 10 minutes.
- While the tenderloins rest, stir the remaining 1/4 cup maple syrup into the reserved 1 1/2 tablespoons glaze (you may need to warm the reserved glaze slightly if it has thickened). Brush each tenderloin with the glaze (it's ok if there is some remaining; read on). Slice the pork into 1/4- to 1/2-inch slices and serve with the remaining glaze.
Recipe Source: adapted from the Cook’s Illustrated Cookbook (used ground ginger, added red wine vinegar, reduced the amount of maple syrup, etc.)