Bourbon-Mustard Glazed Pork Tenderloin with Roasted Butternut Squash Salad

A match made in heaven...Bourbon-Mustard Glazed Pork Tenderloin and Roasted Butternut Squash Salad. Yes indeed, I'm gonna make these two together again!

This week we’ve had quite a warm spell and my plans to make either my recipes for either split-pea soup or chicken noodle soup—soup being one of my favorite meals this time of year—went by the wayside when the temps went up to the mid-60’s and then 70 degrees. Really? In January? This time last year most folks here were racing for the grocery store like the non-snow savvy southerners that we are, trying to out-buy each other in the milk, bread, salt and chili-making ingredient categories, and battening down our hatches for what turned out to be a significant snow storm that shut Atlanta down for several days….not that it actually takes snow to do that, as you already know if you live here!

Seriously though, it’s been kinda nice to be outside and have it feel like March or April, and in fact, if it weren’t raining, we’d be grilling out tonight. But since fire, charcoal and wet don’t go together too well, I decided to crank up the oven and make this truly grand pork tenderloin recipe from Damon Lee Fowler’s New Southern Kitchen cookbook. He serves this delicious pork tenderloin with his fresh apple chutney which sounds like it would be pretty awesome, but in truth I’ve never made it because I like the tenderloin so well by itself! Any leftovers are great for sandwiches, in a salad with fresh fruits and greens, and as a truly fabulous pizza topping with some caramelized onions, a little fresh thyme and some grated aged gouda…that is, if you actually HAVE any left over!

I wanted to make something to go along with this that had complimentary flavors— perhaps a salad with seasonal veggies—and then remembered how much I’ve enjoyed this Roasted Butternut Squash Salad with Warm Cider Vinaigrette recipe from Ina Garten. This luscious salad is made from butternut squash roasted with a tiny bit of maple syrup, then dried cranberries are added to soften with the squash during the last 5 minutes of roasting. The shallot and apple cider vinaigrette comes together quickly on the stove top, then you just combine the salad greens with the squash, berries, toasted walnuts and cheese, and toss with a little of the vinaigrette. It’s terrific with the pork and it’s a great recipe to have on hand…it also makes a tasty and light vegetarian meal by itself. I’ve made this with soft goat cheese instead of the parmesan and it’s wonderful, just toss everything with the vinaigrette before adding the cheese, then sprinkle the cheese on top to avoid a creamy mess. Any leftover vinaigrette is lovely to use over future salads. In this case, I think a salad made with leftover pork, plums or apple and the rest of this vinaigrette would be pretty darn special!

Bourbon-Mustard Glazed Pork Tenderloin
(Ever so slightly adapted from Damon Lee Fowler’s New Southern Cookbook)

1 pork tenderloin (about 1 1/2 to 2 lbs. total)
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup turbinado, raw or cane sugar
1/4 cup bourbon
1/4 cup Dijon mustard

Wash the tenderloin under cold running water and pat dry. Put it in an oblong platter or casserole that will just hold it comfortably. Sprinkle the meat generously with salt and freshly ground pepper. In a small bowl, dissolve the sugar in the bourbon and whisk in the mustard. Pour this on top of the tenderloin, turning until well coated. Set aside for at least 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, position a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat to 450 degrees F. LIft the pork out of the glaze, allowing any excess to drain off onto the platter, and reserve the glaze. Place the tenderloin into a lightly greased (DO grease the pan, I’ll tell you why later) close fitting open roasting pan or casserole and place into the upper third of the oven. Roast for 15 minutes or until the glaze is beginning to brown lightly. Reduce the heat to 400 degrees F, and roast, basting very lightly every now and then with the reserved glaze, then a bit more basting just before the pork is done and just cooked through or reaches an internal temp of 160-165 degrees F, about 30-35 minutes.

When the pork is done, remove it from the oven and let it rest for 10 minutes. Remove the meat from the pan to a cutting board and thinly slice across the grain, then transfer the slices to a warm platter. Return any accumulated juices to the roasting pan and stir the pan juices until they are smooth. Serve the meat with the pan juices drizzled over.

Note: The first time I made this, I was so clever. I thought “why take the meat out of the glaze when I’m just going to spoon it back over anyway?” Duh, lots of sugar + bourbon + mustard + high heat = BURNED! I looked in the oven and didn’t think it was as bad as it actually was…until the smoke alarm went off! As the meat was resting and my husband was trying to disarm the alarm by taking out the batteries, I was opening and closing the kitchen door to try and “fan” out the smoke and smell. The meat was fine but it seemed like it took a year for the smell to go away. I kept the dish that I never got all of the burned sugar out of as a symbol and a reminder of my brilliance. The lesson learned was two-fold: Although the recipe doesn’t call for it, do use a bit of olive oil to grease your dish before you put in the drained pork and place it in the oven and it will help with the cleaning process later. Also go very lightly with the basting initially, just a bit along the top of the meat and not enough to run too much into the pan, then as you get closer to the meat being done, baste with more of the glaze and it’s less likely to get too toasty, leaving you with some nice pan juice for drizzling!

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42 thoughts on “Bourbon-Mustard Glazed Pork Tenderloin with Roasted Butternut Squash Salad

  1. Smoke alarm? Why, Betsy, maybe it’s a Northern thing but in my home that’s known as the dinner bell. It seems the only time it isn’t sounding is when it’s replaced by the doorbell because I’ve ordered in. I made some whole grain mustard recently and have been itching to try it in a pork recipe. Thanks to you, I’ve just found the recipe. Thanks for the tips about the glaze & pan. Still, I think I’ll take the batteries out of the smoke alarm beforehand. Just in case …

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    • 🙂 Hahahahahaha! Dinner bell, that’s priceless, I love it! I’m keeping that one! I’ll bet your homemade whole grain mustard will be terrific in this recipe…and take it up a notch for sure. I’ll confess, I kept jumping at every little sound while the pork was cooking tonight…I think I have a permanent case of the jitters from that incident!

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    • I’m guessing you’re not fond of bourbon Sharyn, and I can understand that. I really didn’t like the taste until just recently, and still don’t really want to drink it, but this isn’t overly bourbon-y, just flavorful. The Butternut Squash salad and the vinaigrette are really, really good, too! I know you’d like them…if you feel inclined. 🙂

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      • True, I’m not a bourbon fan, but things go beyond that: there are alcoholics in my family, recovering and otherwise, so bourbon in dinner is not happening. I do use spirits and wine some in cooking (Mom doesn’t have a drinking problem, but no longer drinks). We do cook pork loin frequently and I love the flavor of mustard.

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  2. I love Ina Garten recipes.. I think I have every one of her books.. I love your versions here and they would be so perfect together. My favorite part is your fire alarm going off, hilarious!! I have so much spilled/baked on grease in my oven… I do this all the time:)

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    • I really love her recipes, too, Barbara, she always has great ideas. I do have to cut back the fat in some of them, but her flavors are truly wonderful. That was quite a harrowing experience with the smoke alarm and not quite the way I like to “test” mine! Sounds like our ovens are kindred messy spirits! 🙂

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  3. What a lovely recipe – we eat lots of pork here but often it´s very plain. A dish like this would make a wonderful change 🙂 Love the story of the smoke alarm – I think we can all admit to something like that happening. I´m terrible for leaving tea towels near the hob and setting them on fire 😉

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    • I’m glad I’m not alone in the kitchen/smoke/fire category. I guess if one cooks long enough… Thank you so much for the compliments and I think you’d love the flavors of this pork. It would probably be great grilled outdoors, too, thus avoiding any smoke alarms or sticking to the pan! 😉

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    • Hi Asmita, thanks for stopping by! It is a really great salad…so full of flavor color, and really quite delicious. I’d never have thought I’d say that about the combo of butternut squash in a green salad! I’m hopping over to check out your blog right now…

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  4. Betsy, your recipe sounds great with the bourbon glaze. What do they say about great minds…I just did a pork tenderloin with a mustard sauce but won’t be posting it for awhile. I can’t wait to try your recipe the next time I make a pork tenderloin. I tend to line all of my roasting pans with non-stick aluminum foil…it really makes clean up easy and absolutely nothing sticks.

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    • Thanks, Karen, I think you’ll really like the bourbon mustard glaze and I look forward to your tenderloin with mustard sauce! It must be a tenderloin time of year. Thanks especially for your tip about the non-stick aluminum foil…I didn’t know there was such a thing, but I sure am getting some if I can find it. My husband with thank you, too, since he won’t have to scrub the pan!

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    • I know…I used to really not like the taste of bourbon, in fact it made me kinda sick, but I seem to have gotten over it with a vengeance…at least in cooking, and with the mustard in this sauce it’s divine, and makes me want to try it on other things…like chicken, maybe salmon?

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  5. What a wonderful and delicious recipe, I don’t eat alot of pork,it’s just usually the final item on my minds recipe/shopping list…but will have to make it number one to try this recipe!

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    • Hi Yvette, nice to “see” you again and thanks for your comments. As I was just “saying” to Eva, I’m thinking this sauce/marinade might be good on chicken or salmon, perhaps grilled. Since you are in summer now I believe, you probably have perfect weather for grilling!

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  6. Your pork recipe looks great. I didn’t get an email notification about this post or your unplugged award, so I’m going to sign up again just in case. I’ve made that salad, and really enjoyed it. I’m a big Ina Garten fan too — I have all of her books!

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    • Interesting…and I’m so sorry the emails didn’t get to you. I know some others have had this issue with their subscribers, too, and I never got a definitive answer as to why this happened at the first of the year…or at all for that matter. WP says for me to tell folks to resubscribe and reconfirm the subscription…which is great IF you know who isn’t getting the emails in the first place! Ah well, I can’t complain too much as they do host for free and I wouldn’t be here without them! 🙂

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      • I just also noticed that even if you click to “follow” someone, you still have to go into your dashboard under blogs you follow and tell it to send you emails from that person. That’s a bit different from if you go under the subscribe button and put in your email to subscribe to get emails, just fyi in case you hadn’t noticed that!

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    • Hi Jed, and welcome! I’m so glad you found me and I remember seeing you on John’s site and making a note to visit…then as often happens with me, I get busy with work or sidetracked and didn’t write down or bookmark who to go see next, so thank you for beating me to the punch! BBQ with this glaze would be a great way to go. Not only adding that lovely smoky taste, but also saving your pan and your eardrums if the alarm goes off! I’m trying the grill when the weather permits. Cheers to you and I’m going now for a visit! ~Betsy

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