This tenderloin gets an assist from dark brown sugar, paprika
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.
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.