This ten­der­loin gets an as­sist from dark brown sugar, pa­prika

The Hamilton Spectator - - LIVING - EL­IZ­A­BETH KARMEL

As its name im­plies, the ten­der­loin is one of the most ten­der cuts of pork, and comes from the full loin.

It’s mild in flavour and takes well to rubs, mari­nades and sauces. Ten­der­loins range in weight from 10 ounces to 1½ pounds. I pre­fer the smaller 10- to 12-ounce ten­der­loins and look for those when I am shop­ping for meat.

I love coat­ing the ten­der­loin with my sim­ple “crusty” bar­be­cue rub of dark brown sugar, salt, pep­per and pa­prika. The sugar in the rub helps to cre­ate a nice crust on the pork, and thus the name. Af­ter ap­ply­ing the rub, I sear the ten­der­loin over di­rect heat on both sides and then move it to in­di­rect heat to fin­ish cook­ing. Depend­ing on the size of the ten­der­loin, the en­tire cook­ing time will be be­tween 15 and 20 min­utes, mak­ing it per­fect for a quick week­day meal.

If you are us­ing a meat ther­mome­ter, cook the ten­der­loin to a medium end tem­per­a­ture of 145 to 150 F. Don’t be alarmed if the in­side is still a bit pink. This is the way that pork to­day should be served. If you cook it un­til it is well done, it will be dry and much less tasty. Once the meat rests for three to five min­utes, slice it on the di­ag­o­nal and serve with a gen­er­ous slather of Jezebel Sauce.

If you aren’t fa­mil­iar with Jezebel Sauce, think of it as the less pop­u­lar south­ern sis­ter to Hot Pep­per Jelly.

Jezebel Sauce is thought to have its ori­gins along the Gulf coast, where it ap­pears in com­mu­nity cook­books as far back as the 1950s. Grow­ing up in North Carolina, I saw it served as an ap­pe­tizer, spooned over cream cheese, and ac­com­pa­nied by crack­ers. But I al­ways thought that it was beg­ging to be served with pork. Re­gard­less of where it came from, it is very good with crack­ers and cream cheese but it makes an amaz­ing sauce for grilled pork and sausages.

The un­usual flavours of sweet pineap­ple, zippy horse­rad­ish and the heat of dry mus­tard com­ple­ment the smoky grilled pork ten­der­loin.

Tra­di­tion­ally, Jezebel Sauce is made with pineap­ple pre­serves and ap­ple jelly, but lately, I have had a hard time find­ing pineap­ple pre­serves so I made it with puréed canned pineap­ple and ap­ple jelly. The tex­ture is a bit looser but I like the tang of the un­cooked pineap­ple.

RICHARD DREW, THE AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

Depend­ing on the size of the ten­der­loin, the en­tire cook­ing time will be be­tween 15 and 20 min­utes, mak­ing it per­fect for a quick week­day meal.

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