Saturday, March 4, 2017

A Most Favorite Recipe

Bourbon Marinated Pork Tenderloin

Today I realized that I needed to post this recipe again. It's been a few years since it's been on the blog. We are having it for supper tonight. (I borrowed a finished photo from an earlier blog post.) But what pushed me to share it again is that Mommy and Jessica have both made it this week, too. All three of us picked this recipe in a single week. Three times in one week might be a record. This pork tenderloin is right at the top of our all-time "best recipes" list.

On Tuesday night, Mommy prepared dinner for J-Daddy's boss and a few co-workers. She had to keep an eye on Baby Girl and Little Sister while she cooked, so a tried and true recipe was a must. On Friday, Jessica took dinner to a dear friend. And this pork tenderloin was her choice. We are having the pork tenderloin tonight because it was on sale last week at the grocery store.

Mommy's menu was pork tenderloin (she doubled the recipe and used the oven directions) served with macaroni and cheese, sauteed apples, roasted asparagus, rolls, and a blueberry pie. She worked out a detailed cooking schedule in advance to get everything done on time. That meant doing as much early preparation as possible. She still had to do school pick ups that day. The pie was baked the night before. The sauteed apples were done a little early and kept warm in a slow cooker until serving time. The mac and cheese was prepped that morning and it was ready to bake late afternoon.

When she entertains, Mommy writes down her schedule in detail to hopefully avoid surprises. She keeps a notebook of menus that includes each recipe and the cooking schedule for each "company" meal. She is building quite a collection of meal plans that will be used again and again. I suggested that she add the guest list and the date to make it fun in years to come.

For her Meal Train delivery yesterday, Jessica prepped the tenderloin on the grill. Her meal included roasted vegetables (Brussels sprouts, butternut squash and red onion) and creamed corn casserole, along with a dessert. In addition to taking the meal, they stayed to share it, providing some welcome company.

When there was a cake fiasco the afternoon the dinner was to be delivered, this clever girl made a quick adjustment. The cake, while still delicious, had overflowed the pan. Jessica cut the cake into cubes and layered them with fresh berries and whipped cream into pint Mason jars. She turned the disaster into individual desserts. That was probably more fun than the original cake!

Tonight we are having the pork tenderloin with roasted asparagus and baked potatoes while we watch the SEC women's basketball tournament on TV. Then I'll put one of those tenderloins into the freezer for later. That's like money in the bank, as far as I'm concerned!

A dirty recipe page usually means the recipe is a good one.

If you look carefully at the cookbook page pictured above, you might notice that the recipe posted here is slightly different. We've made this so many times over the years that we've adjusted it to suit us--less black pepper and no added salt. And current best practices say not to rinse meat. Just pat it dry.


2-1/2 lb. pork tenderloins (usually one package contains 2 tenderloins and is about this weight)
3/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
1/2 cup bourbon
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup canola or vegetable oil
4 garlic cloves, minced (I used 2 teaspoons of jarred minced garlic)
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon white pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
Pat tenderloins dry.

Combine soy sauce and remaining ingredients in a gallon ziploc plastic freezer bag or shallow dish. Add tenderloins. Seal bag or cover dish and chill 4-12 hours. Turn once or twice while they marinate. Remove pork from marinade, discarding marinade.

Grill, covered with grill lid, over high heat (400 to 500 degrees) for 30 minutes or until meat thermometer inserted into thickest part of meat reads 155 degrees, turning occasionally. Remove from heat; cover with aluminum foil and let stand 10 minutes or until thermometer reads 160 degrees.
It's also good cooked in the oven, if you don't have a grill, or if it's raining,
Put tenderloins in an oven that has been preheated to 400 degrees for 30-40 minutes, until thermometer reaches 155-160 degrees. Let rest before serving.

It does a mother's heart good to see that her daughters have become excellent cooks, but more importantly, to see that they are thoughtful, hospitable people. Well done, children.

*Thanks to both daughters for sharing their food photos.


  1. What a clever fix for the dessert. I bet it made folks feel special! Recipe sounds delish.

    1. Hands down, it's our favorite pork recipe. And wishing right now I had a jar of her dessert!


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