Maple-Brined Pork Tenderloin

Scott Boggs keeps his pork tenderloins extra-juicy by soaking them in a spiced, maple-sweetened apple cider brine; the sugars in the syrup caramelize as the meat roasts.

  • Active:
  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 10 to 12 servings
  • Time(Other): plus 6 hr brining

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Ingredients

  • 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns, plus freshly ground black pepper, for seasoning
  • 6 whole cloves
  • 4 allspice berries
  • 3 juniper berries
  • 1/3 cup kosher salt, plus more for seasoning
  • 2 cups apple cider
  • 1/2 cup pure Grade A dark amber maple syrup
  • 1/3 cup maple sugar (See Note)
  • 6 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 6 thyme sprigs
  • Four 1 1/4-pound pork tenderloins
  • 1/4 cup canola oil

How to make this recipe

  1. In a medium saucepan, toast the 1 teaspoon of black peppercorns with the cloves, allspice and juniper over moderate heat until fragrant, 2 minutes. Add the 1/3 cup of salt and the apple cider, syrup, sugar, garlic and thyme to the saucepan and bring just to a simmer, stirring. Add 3 cups of cold water and pour the brine into a small roasting pan; let cool. Add the pork tenderloins, cover and refrigerate for 6 to 8 hours.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350°. Drain the pork, discarding the brine. Pat the pork dry and season lightly with salt and pepper. In a very large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of the canola oil until shimmering. Add 2 of the pork tenderloins and cook over moderately high heat, turning, until browned all over, about 8 minutes. Transfer the pork to a rimmed baking sheet. Wipe out the skillet and repeat with the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil and 2 tenderloins.
  3. Transfer the pork to the oven and roast for about 18 minutes, turning twice, until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the meat registers 140°. Transfer the pork to a cutting board and let rest for 10 minutes. Slice the pork and serve.

Notes

Granulated maple sugar, which is made from reduced maple syrup, is avail-able at specialty food stores or online at crownmaple.com.

Suggested Pairing

Spicy, dark-berried Italian red.

Photo © Michael Turek Published February 2013





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