A tender and juicy pork tenderloin, seasoned with a nice Cajun rub, then wrapped in smoked bacon and more rub. Roast it to a golden brown with some sweet and tangy Cane Syrup Sauce and you have an outstanding main dish that is quick and easy. Just follow these simple step by step directions and you’ll be enjoying the Roasted Pork Tenderloin with Cane Syrup Sauce before you know it.
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What is Pork Tenderloin?
This is a cut of pork that is unbelievably tender and juicy and cooks up very quickly in the oven or on the grill. Cut from the loin of the pig, it is a very lean and boneless cut of meat. It has a naturally mild flavor and responds to rubs and marinades very nicely. Usually sold in a two-pack, you can cook one and save the other or cook them both together. One of the best things about cooking pork tenderloin is how quickly it cooks. Once it hits the oven or grill, it will be ready in under 30 minutes. Versatile, tender, juicy and quick-it’s perfect for a weeknight dinner but it’s special enough for to be the main feature in an elaborate special dinner. Check out the Hints and Tips section below for more about pork tenderloins.
Here is what you need
Here is what you do
First…you have a beer. Even simple recipes go better when you are prepared. That starts with preparing the cook and the ingredients. Pop a beer and while you drink it read the recipe all the way through. If you have all of your ingredients prepared before you start and you know what to do with each one of them, then this will be a simple, no-angst undertaking.
Prepare the tenderloin
Generally, pork tenderloin comes two to a pack and the total weight ranges from 1 ¾ to 2 ½ pounds in general. Decide if you are cooking both tenderloins or only one. Rinse the tenderloins under cold water and pat dry with a paper towel. It is not necessary to trim a pork tenderloin but I always trim off the silver skin by sliding a sharp filet knife under the silver skin and slice it away from you. I also trim off any loose items.
Apply a generous amount of rub on all sides and ends of both tenderloins. Let this sit for about 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, place both tenderloins together with the thin end of one matched to the thick end of the other to form a single unit. Use the smoked bacon to “tie” the tenderloins together. Attach one end of a bacon slice at one end with a toothpick and wrap the slice around the tenderloins on an angle. When the entire bacon slice has been wrapped, start another slice of bacon at its end with a toothpick stuck between both slices. Continue this until the whole tenderloin is wrapped. Apply more rub liberally over the bacon and set aside. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
Roast the tenderloin
Prepare a baking pan with a thin coating of oil or nonstick spray. Place the bacon-wrapped and rubbed pork tenderloin on the baking pan and set it into the preheated oven. Roast the tenderloin for about 15 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove the pan from the oven and pour Cane Syrup Sauce over the tenderloin. Return the pan to the oven and roast another 5 to 10 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 140 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove the pan from the oven, cover loosely with aluminum foil and let the pork rest for about 5 to 10 minutes. The internal temperature will rise to about 145 degrees during the resting period, which is perfect.
To serve the tenderloin
When ready to serve, slice the tenderloin into approximately ½” thick medallions of pork and bacon. Place the medallions on a plate and spoon more Cane Syrup Sauce spooned on top.
Hints and Tips
Can I cook this on the grill?
Absolutely, pork tenderloin is quite delicious when grilled. Set your charcoal or gas grill for zoned cooking (heat in one area and an area with no direct heat under it) and a medium-high temperature (425-degree Fahrenheit). Prepare the tenderloin according to the instructions, then place the bacon-wrapped and rubbed tenderloin on the cool side and roast for about 20 minutes, turning the tenderloin halfway through. Check the internal temperature with an instant-read thermometer. When the IT is about 130, brush on some Cane Syrup Sauce and continue to roast until the IT is 140 degrees, which should take another 5 minutes or so. One important tip-go by the internal temperature to determine the doneness, don’t totally rely upon the elapsed time. You can also use the reverse-sear method by placing the bacon-wrapped and rubbed tenderloin directly over the hot part of the grill for 5 to 10 minutes, turning a few times, to sear the tenderloin. Once seared, move the tenderloin to the cool side and continue to roast as directed. Be aware that pork tenderloin cooks very quickly so pay close attention to it regardless of the cooking method.
What do I look for when I buy a pork tenderloin?
The pork tenderloin should be a rich pink color. I believe a visual inspection of the tenderloin is the best way to judge if it is fresh. Most grocery stores offer pre-marinated tenderloins. My advice is to stay away from those. First, the marinade usually has a high-sodium level and the flavoring is “one size fits all”. A plain tenderloin is easy to flavor yourself and you can do it your way. Another important reason to stay away from pre-marinated tenderloins is that you can not see the color of the tenderloin to judge its freshness.
There are usually a pair of tenderloins weighing up to about 2 ½ pounds wrapped in cryo-pack. You should keep them in their wrapper in the refrigerator until needed, but not longer than about 3 days. If you aren’t ready to cook them by that time, just place them in the freezer in their original cryo-wrapping and they will last several months. If you decide to only cook one of the tenderloins you can freeze the other in airtight wrapping or use a vacuum sealer.
How do I store leftovers?
You can keep leftover roasted pork tenderloin in the fridge for 4-5 days. Remove the toothpicks and place the tenderloin in an airtight container. To reheat, wrap in aluminum foil and place in a 350-degree Fahrenheit oven for about 15-20 or until warmed all the way through. Individual slices can be reheated in the microwave. Use short durations of cooking time so that you don’t overcook the tenderloin in the microwave,
How do I know when the tenderloin is done?
According to the National Pork Board and the US Department of Agriculture, pork should be cooked to an internal temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit for medium-rare and 160 degrees for medium. Here is more information about handling and cooking pork than you thought you needed, right from our friends at the USDA. It used to be that pork had to cook until all the pink was gone, but modern techniques and diets for raising pigs now permit pork to be served with a little “pink”. Since the tenderloin will still continue to cook after it has been removed from the oven, take it out when the IT is 140 (for medium-rare) or 155 degrees (for medium), then cover it loosely with aluminum foil and allow it to rest for 5 to 10 minutes. The IT will rise about 5 degrees during this period. Invest in a reliable instant-read thermometer like this Thermopen from ThermoWorks (of which I am an affiliate). Cooking by time can return mixed results as the oven temperature, size of the meat and many other factors can affect the cooking time. Use time as a reference, but rely on the internal temperature to let you know when meat is ready.
Try these other Sweet Daddy D recipes with Cane Syrup Sauce:
Here’s another great pork tenderloin recipe:
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Pork Tenderloin with Cane Syrup Sauce
Here’s What You Need
Here’s What You Do
Prep the tenderloins
- Whether you are using one or both of the tenderloins, follow the same instructions.
- Rinse the tenderloins under cold water and pat dry with a paper towel.
- Trim any silver skin and lose fat from the tenderloins.
- Apply a liberal coat of Cajun Rub to all sides of the tenderloins and let it rest for 15 to 30 minutes.
- If using two tenderloins, match the thin end of one to the thick end of the other and wrap as directed.
- Wrap a single layer of smoked bacon around the tenderloins and attach each with toothpicks as needed.
- Apply another liberal coating of Cajun Rub on top of the bacon and set aside for about 15 to 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Prepare a baking pan or sheet by applying a light coat of non-stick spray and a sheet of parchment paper.
Roast the tenderloin
- Place the wrapped and rubbed tenderloins on the prepared baking sheet.
- Place the baking pan in the preheated oven and roast for about 15 minutes or until an instant-read thermometer returns 120 degrees.
- Remover the baking pan from the oven and pour Cane Syrup Sauce on top of the entire tenderloin.
- Return the baking pan to the oven and continue to roast for about 10 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 140 degrees.
- Remove the pan from the oven and let the tenderloin rest for about 5 to 10 minutes.
- To serve, slice ½” thick medallions of pork and bacon and serve on a plate with more Cane Syrup Sauce spooned on top.