Pork tenderloin is a quick-cooking cut of meat that has less fat than beef and more protein than chicken breasts. I’m always on the look-out for pork tenderloin recipes and this is a really good one from the New American Heart Association Cookbook.
As stated in the cookbook, “A dry herb rub flavors the pork and makes a nice crust. You may want to stop right there, or you can go one step further and add the tangy mop.” I’m telling you; do not stop at the rub! It is a great blend of herbs and does make the tenderloin crusty but, the apricot and mustard duo in the mop is magnificent. And, adding the vinegar, honey and remaining ingredients makes it only better.
The cookbook proclaims that chicken and beef roasts are delicious with both the rub and the mop sauce. Try the mop sauce alone on its own over vegetable kebobs, beef, poultry, firm fish fillets or shrimp. I second that with the mop sauce ~ it’s great on chicken and vegetables also, and I will be trying it on seafood soon!
Here’s the good recipe:
Herb-rubbed Pork Tenderloin w Dijon-Apricot Mop Sauce
1 tablespoon dried rosemary, crushed
1 tablespoon dried thyme, crumbled
2 teaspoons coarsely ground pepper
2 teaspoons paprika
2 teaspoons celery seeds
2 (1-pound) pork tenderloins, all visible fat removed
Vegetable oil spray
Dijon-Apricot Mop Sauce
1 teaspoon canola oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
½ cup cider vinegar
¼ cup honey
¼ cup apricot preserves
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
In a small bowl, stir together the rub ingredients.
Using your hands or a spoon, rub the mixture evenly over the pork and set aside.
For the mop sauce, heat a small pan over medium-high heat.
Pour oil into the pan and swirl to coat the bottom.
Cook onion for 2-3 minutes, or until soft, stirring occasionally.
Stir in the remaining sauce ingredients and bring to a boil.
Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
(You may wish to reserve ½ cup of the sauce to use as a dipping sauce for the pork.)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Lightly coat a baking sheet with vegetable oil spray.
Place tenderloins on the pan and into hot oven.
Using a brush, baste pork several times during baking time with the sauce.
Bake until 150 degrees on an instant-read thermometer, or to your liking.