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Maple And Bourbon Glazed Pork Tenderloin With Pecans

www.inkandembers.com

That little difference in the breeze is back, and noticeable, I might add. It’s like a subtle whisper over your shoulder, letting you know that the seasons are in transition. The traditional flavors of the Fall raise up and demand attention. What you do with them is up to you. Myself, I’m choosing a pork tenderloin that’s glazed with maple and bourbon barbecue sauce, then topped with chopped pecans. Tasty, full of mouth pleasing textures, it satisfies while ushering in some of those traditional autumn flavors, and it starts with the sauce.

It’s easy enough, making use of a half cup each of ketchup and maple syrup. A quarter cup of bourbon is included, as is a good tablespoon of dijon mustard, a couple of freshly minced garlic cloves, and a couple of tablespoons of brown sugar. Add all of these together in a small saucepan and bring up the heat.

Keep stirring while the sauce is melting together, bringing it to just before the boiling point. Then let the sauce simmer for about five minutes or so to reduce and start to show that thick consistency of a good, sticky glaze or syrup. It’ll thicken a bit more as it cools, so even if it looks a little runny, just trust it to tighten up on its own.

While the sauce is cooling, season the tenderloin with your favorite rub, and get it on the grill over direct heat. Sear it well on all sides, rolling and shifting it over the fire to get a nice crusty outer char.

Once your satisfied with the sear, move the pork tenderloin to the indirect side of the grill and start painting the glaze on. Fill all the crevices formed by the chargrilled rub. Get the ends, the sides, and as far underneath as you can, Give the meat some alone time to glaze over with the tasty sauce. Occasionally brush it again, rolling the meat over to get the other sides. You’ll likely be able to see your brushstrokes in the glaze, letting you know that this sticky sauce is working as planned, hanging wherever you paint it on, caramelizing and coating the entire tenderloin. Repeat as often as necessary until the pork reaches the 160° mark.

Take the pork off the grill, and while it’s still hot and sticky, push or roll those pecan pieces all over and around to form an additional layer of flavor on this tenderloin. I used chopped, but a finer grind would also be great, giving a more complete crust. It depends on how much crunch time you’re looking for. There are no wrong answers here.

This is a taste of fall in one bite, with the sweetness of real maple syrup, the layers of charred oak, subtle vanilla and smoke from the bourbon and hardwood fire, and the finishing crunch from the pecan coating.

Because Life Is Better Wood Fired