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Day By Day© by Chris Muir.


Wednesday, January 09, 2008

BBQ Pork Tenderloin

yup, we did the Christmas bbq out back. it wasn't shorts weather, but i didn't need a coat, either. nice day for a bbq. hell, anytime is a nice day for a bbq, even if it's snowing outside. so we did a couple of pork tenderloins. almost 19 pounds worth. most of the meat ended up being "seal-a-mealed" and either given to the dinner guests as a take home treat, or tossed in the freezer for later consumption. i've eaten a couple of meals from the freezer packs, and it's still damned good.

i started talking about this in this post, where i mentioned that vegetarians tremble at the mention of my name. that post has a picture of the tenderloins right after being placed on the grill.

i've blogged about bbq'ing pork tenderloin before here, but i used a different rub and sauce this time. both are good. damn good. but i'm not a slave to any one recipe.

here's the recipe:

  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup kosher salt
  • 2 tbs salt free seasoning mix
  • 2 tbs Old Bay seasoning
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder

bbq sauce/gravy:
  • 1 pint orange juice (fresh squeezed if possible)
  • 2 tbs coarse dijon mustard
  • 2 tbs honey
  • 3 tbs apricot jam or preserves
  • big pinch of salt
  • pepper to taste.. that means about 15 twists on my pepper mill. your milage may vary
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme ... my herb garden is still producing. nice thing about living in a temperate climate
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary
  • enough port wine to turn the sauce red. in this case, about 4 glugs. sorry, no precise measurements around here, but i'm guessing at about 1/3 to 1/2 cup. i used tawny port, but i'm betting a nice ruby would work just fine

pork tenderloin. i used two whole tenderloins. in reality, for a holiday meal with all the fixings, that would have been enough for about 32 people. or 15 teenagers.

how: the night before, mix all the rub ingredients together. place the pork on a big sheet of aluminum foil. pack the rub all over the meat, top and bottom. rub it in. you don't need to have a 1/2 inch layer of rub. just enough to lightly coat the meat. wrap tightly in foil and refrigerate overnight.

the next day, take out the meat and let come to room temperature. i usually do this before i fire up the grill, that way it's warmed by the time the fire is ready.

while the briquettes are firing up, start the glaze/sauce/gravy, call it what you will.

in a saucepan over high heat, add all the ingredients, whisk to thoroughly mix, and bring to a boil. reduce the heat to medium and reduce the sauce to about 1/2. mix frequently, since there are a lot of things here that will scorch. when done, pull from the heat and run through a fine mesh kitchen sieve to remove what's left of the herbs. you should have a nice thick sauce.
save about 1/2 of the sauce for use while serving. since this is so good, you may actually want to double the recipe, just to make sure there's enough left after saucing the meat to put on the table. i didn't. i wish i had.
using a brush, slather the sauce over the meat.
separate the coals for an indirect fire, and toss on a couple of big hunks of mesquite charcoal. not enough to cook with, enough to flavor the meat. too much mesquite will add too much smoke flavor the meat. i know Texans that would grumble, but it's about the meat and sauce, not the smoke in this case. i just wanted a hint, not get hit over the head with the mesquite.

turn the meat over and rotate so the sides get even heating. i'd say every 15 to 20 minutes will do it. rotating isn't important if you are only cooking one, but two tenderloins tend to kind of hang over the coals a bit. if you don't turn and rotate, one side will be overcooked.
sauce every time you turn the meat, until you run out of sauce. when the meat hits about 160-165 with a thermometer, pull it from the grill. let it rest at least 10 minutes before slicing thinly. pour the reserved sauce over the sliced meat, and serve.

here's what it looks like just before taking off the grill.
christmas tenderloin
click to select other sizes. look at picture in original size only after eating a full meal.

as always, if you try this recipe, or it inspires you to try something different, please let me know how it turned out. i'm always looking for fresh and clever ideas to improve my own cooking skills and recipes.

for a complete list of my online recipes, follow the link here

update the 176th Carnival of Recipes is up. some damned good looking ones this week.

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Blogger Unknown said...


I'll post my favorite rub on my blog.

1/10/08, 12:24 AM  
Blogger reddog said...

Those look as big as loins. Where did you find those? That must have been one big hog.

1/10/08, 8:46 AM  
Blogger bothenook said...

here's the link to Mike's Rub he mentions in the first comment.
and wick, those tenderloins came from Costco. big as hell. tasty as hell, cheaper to buy one whole loin than two little cut up and wrapped packages.

1/10/08, 9:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How can you call it barbecue when the recipe says take a piece of pig...

Just kidding. Those loins looked great and I'll have to try the rub.

1/10/08, 10:36 AM  
Blogger California Grill Kid said...

Typical costco trip. Go in for batteries. Come out with $200 worth of meat for grilling.

My little

1/11/08, 10:21 PM  
Blogger Jay said...

My wife has discovered that you can take the remains of a pork tenderloin, pull it, and make a pretty decent traditional Carolina BBQ out of it. And, traditionalists will say that unless you're cooking a pig for several days in a pit (which is barbecueing) what you're doing is grilling.

As for me, I don't care, as long as it tastes good.

1/12/08, 6:46 PM  
Blogger bothenook said...

Jay, i've heard all the "controversy" about grilling vs. bbq'ing.
here's my take... call it what you will, but if it involves fire, meat, and the great outdoors, it's all bbqing to me.
oh, and how about posting the "process and recipe" on your blog? sounds like a piece of info the rest of us would like to share!

1/13/08, 11:57 AM  
Blogger WillyShake said...

great...i'm at the office and now i'm drooling over theses recipes and my stomach is grumbling--damn you! LOL. Thanks!

1/15/08, 1:33 PM  
Blogger TCP said...

Pork tenderloin is incredible. So versatile. My favorite is barbecued on a cedar plank, and served with a pineapple salsa with a little kick from some minced jalapeno. Delicious.


2/28/09, 11:41 PM  

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