If you like a lingering bourbon flavor in meat, you will have to use this marinade the next time you prepare pork. The bourbon flavor comes through just enough to notice but not enough to overpower the meat.
One of my very favorite Southern cookbooks is The New Low-County Cooking by Marvin Woods. The jacket liner of his cookbook says, “There’s a whole world of flavor packed into an eighty-plus-square-mile area surrounding the cities of Charleston and Savannah. It’s called the Low Country of South Carolina.” It’s a great area to visit for cuisine and beautiful scenery. Marvin Woods transforms standards into updated dishes, which leads to this recipe for Bourbon-Soaked Pork Tenderloin. Actually, his recipe is intended for pork chops but I had pork tenderloin and used it instead.
The marinade in this recipe is a super tenderizer for the pork with the end product being tender and succulent. If you are apprehensive about using bourbon, substitute it with apple, cranberry or grape juice, sparkling cider, vegetable or chicken broth. After the pork marinates for 36 hours or so, it can go on the grill, as Woods does, or in the oven, my way. Then brush it several times with the Brown Sugar Honey Glaze while roasting.
Bourbon is really the only distinct American spirit, according to Woods, with most of it coming from Kentucky. I know that for a fact as I grew up in Louisville, and there are countless distilleries in the surrounding area. Check out this post that was made just after I began blogging.
I learned a lot about bourbon as a great family friend was a Federal inspector over-seeing many distilleries ~~~ he had so many stories for us and samples too, in unlabeled bottles!
Bourbon-Soaked Pork Tenderloin with Brown Sugar Honey
1 (2 pounds) boneless pork tenderloin
Brown Sugar Honey Glaze
For the bourbon marinade:
1 cup bourbon
¾ cup orange juice
¼ cup lemon juice
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon salt
In medium bowl, stir together all the marinade ingredients.
Place the tenderloin in a deep baking dish.
Pour the marinade mixture over the pork, cover, and refrigerate for at least 24 hours and up to 36 hours, turning occasionally.
Remove from refrigerator and place in roasting pan.
Roast pork for about 40 minutes or until thermometer inserted into center of pork registers 160 degrees.
During the last 10 minutes, brush with the Brown Sugar Honey Glaze several times.
Brown Sugar Honey Glaze:
¾ cup honey
¼ cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
1 tablespoon lemon juice
½ tablespoon grated fresh ginger
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon Marv Spice*
In a saucepan, combine the honey and brown sugar and cook over low heat, stirring frequently, until the sugar is dissolved.
Stir in all the remaining ingredients.
Simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Cover and refrigerate for up to 3 months.
Marvin Woods: This flavorful sauce with an Asian accent can be used in place of most barbecue sauces. I especially like it on spare ribs, pork and lamb.
*Recipe for Marv Spice:
1 tablespoon ground nutmeg
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon celery salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
In a small bowl, mix all of the ingredients together until combined.
Store in airtight container for up to 6 months.
Marvin Woods: I use this spice mixture in my macaroni and cheese as well as in fish, chicken and meat dishes that I feel can use a touch of inspiration.
This is especially delicious for all you pork and bourbon lovers!
Be sure to visit my friend, Linda, at My Kind of Cooking! She’s hosting a great giveaway now ~ one of her cookbooks and cute kitchen towels.