October 17, 2016
Jamaican Pork Tenderloin ♥ A much needed update
This is one of my most posted recipes over the years starting in 2010, when I was a virgin to blogging.
Back then, like most, newbies started their blog for the same reason we all did. To have a digital recipe book of our favorites. Only difference was I was updating and posting on foods that I needed to eat in order to live. You see, I was on the teeter-totter to full blown Diabetes.
I refused to take medication, food was what I knew and what was killing me could also be my savior.
I have come a long way since then. The diabetes disappeared, my sugar is under 90 and am off all those requisite meds you take when you are obese. Cholesterol, blood pressure and asthma.
One thing I do know is there is no cure for diabetes, and although I am healthy now, I can not continue the eating habits I had before I got normal.
Medical science has come a long way. Now the world knows about Celiac's disease, the benefits of eating vegan (not just because of political & personal preferences), the Glycemic Index, what sodium levels should be, the definition of additional sugars and everyone can just about understand nutrition labels.
It's a good time to be in control of our health.
What does all that have to do with this dish? Well, besides the fact that it's delicious, doable in 30 minutes, it also remains a good dish for gluten intolerance, pre-diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol and it's lean and low in calories.
It sorely needed an update.
I don't know about you but if you have never cooked a pork tenderloin, you need to make this your first attempt. It's so fool-proof, I made my first tenderloin for a dinner party and it has remained my go-to for years. Got so, I can make this without reference to a written recipe.
Have I ever tried this recipe with poultry or seafood? Not yet. I am afraid that without the benefit of a pork product to flavor the sauce, it wouldn't be as user friendly.
The title is a little bit misleading. Not a typical Jamaican dish like Jerk, it does have the warm spices associated with that iconic dish except they are mixed into a marinara sauce.
Trust me, it is totally people friendly. Kids will ask for seconds.
It reheats well so a good take-in lunch for work and if you make the two tenderloins in a package, the second one freezes beautifully.
I always serve mine with long grain & wild rice (for the sauce) but roasted potatoes would work well and even mashies would do.
Let's get cooking.....
Jamaican Pork Tenderloin
makes 4 servings
* 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
* 1 pork tenderloin, about 1 1/2 pounds
* salt & pepper
* 1 cup basic marinara sauce, homemade or favorite jarred
* 2 tablespoons lite brown sugar
* 1 teaspoon each cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, thyme, cumin and coriander
* 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
* 2 small bay leaves
* 1/4 cup dry vermouth or white wine
* 2 pats of unsalted butter
* Salt & pepper to taste
Heat an oven-proof skillet and your oven to 375°.
When the skillet is hot all the oil, season the pork with salt & pepper and brown the meat on all four sides, about 3 minutes each side.
Mix the brown sugar, all the spices and the pepper with the marinara sauce. Add the bay leaves.
When the pork is browned, pour the sauce over, cover with foil and bake for 35 minutes.
After 35 minutes, remove the pan from the oven, place the pork on a platter and cover with foil.
Turn the heat back under the skillet, add the vermouth to the sauce, and simmer for three minutes. Remove the bay leaves and swirl in the butter. Taste for salt & pepper.
To serve: Slice the pork and pour the sauce over the slices.
If you try this with other proteins, drop me a line and let me know how it went.