Wednesday, June 12, 2013

bourbon-marinated pork tenderloin

Wednesday, June 12, 2013
We've had this bourbon for QUITE some time, I promise!

Marinating is a new thing for me.  Too many times I've glanced over recipes requiring a marinade and forgotten them, mostly because I felt that I just couldn't be bothered to knock the ingredients of a marinade together.  The irony of my laziness is that a properly-timed marinade (meaning, one has marinated the food for the amount of time suggested, not a mere half hour before dinner) can be a time-SAVING device, and certainly has the potential to push a meal from ordinary to exceptional.  Yes, you do have to take the time (preferably in the morning) to make the marinade, but after that, your work for what is usually the main course of your dinner is essentially done.  It's true that a fussy marinade loaded down with many ingredients is understandably daunting for a busy mom just trying to get a decent dinner on the table.  There are some great, tasty recipes out there, however, which are really worth the effort.

I started rethinking marinading while reading Dinner A Love Story, a great foodie blog that focuses on having great meals that the family can eat together.  Jenny (and her husband, Andy) not only come up with wonderful recipes, but also have lots of hints on how to save time and work with picky eaters.  I should also tell you that neither of them are particularly judge-y on the occasional meal out.  In fact, when writing about meal planning, Jenny encourages a dinner out or prepared item from Trader Joe's (or from whatever grocery you frequent) at least one night a week, just to make things easier.  

The pork tenderloin recipe from their new cookbook is literally one of the most delicious things I've ever eaten.  We've made it many times, and it is rare to have even a morsel left over.  The marinade is a cinch-takes less than five minutes to make, and everything is neatly put away in a plastic bag.  It helps that we've really been enjoying bourbon this year, so our marinade is made super classy and delicious with the addition of more than decent bourbon. 

Bourbon-Marinated Grilled Pork Tenderloin, adapted from Dinner: A Love Story, by Jenny Rosenstrach

1/4 cup bourbon
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons brown sugar
3 tablespoons olive oil
2-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
1 pork tenderloin (about 1 pound)

In a large zipper-lock bag, combine the bourbon, soy sauce, sugar, oil, and ginger.  Add the pork and marinate for at least 2 hours and up to 4.  When you are ready to grill, remove the tenderloin from the bag, reserving the marinade, and grill it over medium-hot coals for 15-20 minutes, turning every 5 minutes, until the middle is firm but not hard to the touch.  (A meat thermometer should read 140 degrees). Add the marinade to a small saucepan and bring to a boil; boil until it becomes slightly thickened, about 2 minutes.  Slice the pork on a cutting board and transfer to a platter, spooning the sauce over the top.  (Side note: I've never actually followed through with this last step-can you imagine how good it would be?)

Bonus: Check out this post with Jenny's marinading suggestions.  I too, want to marry marinating.

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