Blackberry-Balsamic Pork Tenderloin
Just when I think having twins couldn’t possibly be any more amazing, I discover something new that just makes my heart explode. Last week it was the babbling they do at each other, apparently understanding what the other is saying. The week before that it was that when one learned to climb the stairs, the other one insisted he do it too (with much less ease, grace, and a lot more grunting). And the week before that it was their love for chasing each other around in their walkers. Can you imagine anything cuter than two tiny babies chasing each other with extraordinarily fat legs? Heart explosion.
But this week I came to an extra extra special realization. From now until who knows how long, probably the end of time, when one gets sick – so will the other. Awesome. Sure, regular siblings have similar challenges, but twins just CONSTANTLY gravitate toward one another. They play with the same toys. In fact, the only toy they ever want is the one that the other one is currently playing with/slobbering all over. So the germ swapping is immediate, unavoidable, and miserable. And yet somehow it was so cute to watch them respond so differently to the same cold…one acted like someone amputated his leg and that there was no way he was coming out of this alive, while the other just continued smiling, squealing, and stuffing his face with McDonald’s pancakes. Two very different boys, two very distinct heart explosions.
In the midst of all this sickness, I decided to make grilled marinated pork tenderloin. Why? Because it tastes great with wine.
If you decide to make this – and you won’t regret it – make sure you leave enough time for marination. Is that even a word? I doubt it. Pork is one of the few meats that really does take on a 24 hour marinade perfectly; it infuses flavor without making the meat gummy or overly saturated. I recommend at least 8 hours, but if you can swing 24, do it. Plus, if you’re making this for a summer BBQ, how great to have your main dish basically done before guests arrive? All you have to do is pop it on the grill. You will LOVE this sweet and flavorful pork.
Recipe (serves 4-6)
- 2 pork tenderloins
- 1 cup blackberry preserves
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup soy sauce
- 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 crushed bay leaves
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Mix all the marinade ingredients in a large ziploc bag, add the pork and refrigerate for as long as you can, up to 24 hours. Mine was probably actually more like 27 when it was all said and done. Then, you can grill the pork tenderloin perfectly and easily using this 7-6-5 method. It works perfectly. Heat the grill to high. Remove the pork from the marinade (reserve the extra if you want to reduce to a sauce). Place the pork on the grill, cover, and leave undisturbed for 7 minutes. Flip the pork over, cover and grill for 6 more minutes. Turn the grill OFF, and let sit in the covered grill for 5 minutes. The pork should register about 140, then you can remove from grill, cover with aluminum foil and let rest for 10 minutes (it will keep cooking a bit here and raise about 10 degrees). Our grill gets SUPER hot – like hard to keep below 500 hot – so I usually only leave it in the last phase for about 4 minutes. If your grill stays closer to 400, I would do the full 5. But even when I do the full 5, the pork is not too overcooked or dry. Anyway, that’s the way to do it. If you want, you can reserve the extra marinade and reduce down on the stove for 10 minutes or so and serve with the pork. Make sure to bring it to a boil for at least 10 minutes since it was hanging out with the raw pork.