Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Sesame Pork Tenderloin

This recipe is an interesting picture of the evolution of my cooking. I first tried it about 15 years ago in an electric oven and it was good. Then we tried it on a gas grill and it was even better. These days, we do it on a charcoal grill and it is phenomenal.

1 1/2 pounds pork tenderloin
1/4 cup hoisin sauce
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup honey
2 teaspoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon garlic
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon ginger
1 teaspoon sesame oil

Original Instructions
Mix all ingredients except pork. Marinate pork in mix for 2 - 24 hours. Remove and drain marinade. Roll each piece of meat in sesame seeds (coat). Preheat oven to 500 degrees and cook for 20 minutes until pork has an internal temp of 150 to 155. Slice across the grain and serve with fried rice. Drizzle sauce on sliced pork and rice. [NOT OUR RECIPE! We lost the original source somewhere along converting from Meal Master to MicroCookbook to when we finally settled on BigOven years ago.]

Now, we do the same thing but...

We substitute 1 teaspoon of molasses and 2 teaspoons of sugar for the brown sugar. It's roughly the same as 2 teaspoons of brown sugar but I swear it makes a difference. I like to add a bit of sriracha sauce for heat. Usually tenderloins come 2 to a pack so I do one with sriracha and one without (for the wimps.....errrrrr.....those of faint pallet).

QUICK TIP: In a hurry and don't have time to marinade the length of time that you need? Steal a page from the molecular gastronomes and vacuum seal the meat and marinade together to speed up the process   [Update 2012 - I don't buy into this any longer.  Tried it several times with different set ups, not convinced it does anything.]

Sear the tenderloin on each of the three sides (most of them are roughly triangular in shape) close to a hot fire and then remove to indirect heat to finish cooking to 145 internal. We pulled it off at 140f and let rest for 10 minutes.

ANOTHER TIP: Use way more sesame seeds than you think you'll need. Believe me, 75% of them will fall off with the grilling and turning. If you need to, add more during the cooking process with a mixture of honey, soy sauce, and seeds.

Serve with your favorite fried rice....

It's also good to hold back a bit of the marinade (before contaminating it with the meat) to use as a dipping sauce.
We made it for the first time in a long time tonight and damn......this is good stuff!

Sesame Pork Tenderloin