June 18, 2016 by Lauren
There are just some cuts of meat that speak to me. Pork tenderloin is so amazingly versatile, easy to cook, super low calorie, and tastes delicious no matter what you do to it. This post covers cooking it inside in a saute pan, but my favorite way is actually on the grill (post coming soon!). Pork tenderloin accepts flavor very easily and had very little fat so it can dry out fast, this recipe is designed to work with both those things. It does have a little kick, though I wouldn’t call it “spicy” and you can certainly go light on the jalapeno the first time.
Click on any picture below to see them larger and get a play by play (click any picture to close and return):
Pineapple Jalapeno Pork TenderloinActive Cook Time: 45 minutes Recipe Adapted From: Cook’s Country Skillet Suppers
- 3/4 cup pineapple juice
- 1/4 cup lime juice
- 1/3 cup light brown sugar, packed
- 1 tablespoon molasses
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 jalapeno, seeded and minced
- 1-2 lbs. Pork Tenderloin (see notes)
- 1/2 cup water (see directions)
- 2 tbsp Olive Oil
- Salt and pepper
- Mix the glaze by pouring the pineapple juice, lime juice, brown sugar, molasses, cayenne pepper, and jalapeno into a small bowl and whisking – set aside.
- Prepare the pork loin by removing it from the bag. They are usually sold 2 per bag. Cut off as much of the “silverskin” as possible – it’s chewy later. Pat each loin dry and salt.
- Heat olive oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Once at temperature, put the loins in and let sear. Turn as each side browns (I like to think they have 4 “sides” but that’s iffy), cooking about 10 minutes total.
- Once the loin has browned, pour in the glaze and scrape up any brown bits from the pan.
- Cook the loin until it reaches an internal temperature of 140*, about 10 minutes. This step can vary depending on the thickness of your tenderloin. I highly recommend buying an instant read thermometer. Mine has proven SO useful and worth every penny. Once it reaches 140* remove it to a cutting board and tent for 10 minutes.
- While cooking your tenderloin, the glaze may start to come together. If your glaze is coming together (getting thicker) but your pork isn’t up to temperature yet, add some water or extra pineapple juice to the glaze. If I have super large tenderloins I’ll even cook it covered for a while. If your pork reaches 140* and your sauce is too loose, simply remove the pork from the pan and finish cooking your glaze.
- The glaze is completed when you drag a spatula through it and it doesn’t immediately “fill in” behind you. Don’t overcook this sauce as the molasses and brown sugar will turn bitter really quickly.
- Cut the pork into medallions, about 1/2″ thick. The bigger parts of your tenderloin should be slightly pink (trust me, even the FDA says it’s ok). Serve next to sauce if you’re worried about spice, or pour it right on top!
The pineapple juice and lime (both pretty powerful acids) in this play so nicely with the spiciness of the jalapeno and cayenne. As usual, America’s Test Kitchen thought about the fact that there needed to be some long-slow heat (cayenne) and some fresh heat (jalapeno).