Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Balsamic Pork Tenderloin

Welcome to my first recipe! I love, love LOVE to bake and equally love to search on Pinterest. My problem is that I almost always tweak recipes I find, then can't remember what I tweaked the next time I search for the recipe. Therefore, I decided to start my very own recipe blog to keep track of my recipes and to share them with you. Problem solved!

I got my initial idea for this recipe from Let's Dish and changed just a few ingredients. I will try to always link to the original recipes to of course credit where I found the recipe (always cite your work!) and in case you prefer the original over mine. I change a lot of ingredients to either make a dish healthier, take out foods I'm allergic to, or cater to my oh so very picky boyfriend.

It's finally starting to be "fall" here in Phoenix and I've been dying to dust off my crock pot and start making some hearty fall dishes.

Today is Balsamic Pork Tenderloin. Start off with a 1 to 2 pound pork tenderloin, you can use frozen or fresh, just add some extra time in the crock pot if starting frozen.

Dan and I LOVE garlic so I chopped 3 large cloves of garlic, you can do more or less, whatever your preference.

I coated the tenderloin in fresh ground pepper, kosher salt, cumin and Trader Joe's South African Smoke, which is a blend of paprika flakes, sea salt, garlic (yes, MORE garlic), and basil. You can just add paprika and basil if you don't have this amazing blend on hand.

Once you've packed on all the flavor, add a half cup of water surrounding the tenderloin. 

Next is my favorite part about crock pot cooking, turn it on low and walk away for 6-8 hours while it works its magic!

After a full day of slow cooking, you'll be left with an amazing, juicy, tender piece of pork. But we're not done yet!  We're going to add the glaze during the last hour of cooking. I already have a balsamic glaze on hand that I'm going to mix with a little bit of soy sauce and honey. If you can't find balsamic glaze, you can mix together a little bit of brown sugar and corn starch to balsamic vinegar and reduce.

Take a brush or a spoon and every 10 to 15 minutes during the last hour of cooking, baste the tenderloin with your glaze.

Once the pork is finished in the crock pot, it should look something like this...

Carefully remove the pork onto a cutting board.  It will be VERY tender, so be careful to not let it fall apart.  Let the tenderloin rest for a few minutes so all those wonderful juices stay in the meat. Wait patiently, the delicious smell will make it difficult to resist.

The pork will slice very easily and even start to shred towards the end. Don't worry, it will still taste amazing. Drizzle whatever remaining glaze you have left and ENJOY!

Balsamic Pork Tenderloin
1-2lb pork tenderloin (if using frozen, cook 8 hours in the crock pot)
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
1/4 teaspoon Trader Joe's South African Smoke (or 1/4 teaspoon basil and paprika)
1/2 cup water

1/4 cup balsamic glaze
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon honey

Place pork tenderloin in crock pot. Rub garlic, salt, cumin, pepper and Smoke seasoning onto pork. Add 1/2 cup water surrounding the pork. Cook on low for 6-8 hours. Mix balsamic glaze, soy sauce and honey together in a bowl. During the last hour of cooking baste the glaze on the pork every 10-15 minutes. Remove from crock pot and let rest a few minutes. Slice and enjoy.

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