Finley, John Mug-DNK!.jpg


This pork tenderloin recipe uses a stovetop-to-oven method that produces a good crust and a succulent and tender interior. If the tenderloins don’t fit in the skillet initially, let their ends curve toward each other; the meat will eventually shrink as it cooks. Make sure to cook the tenderloins until they turn deep golden brown, or they will appear pale after glazing.

3/4c Grade B maple syrup, divided

1/4c molasses, light or mild

2Tbl bourbon or brandy

1/8tsp ground cinnamon

1/8tsp ground cloves

1/8tsp cayenne pepper

1/4c cornstarch

2Tbl sugar

1Tbl table salt

2tsp ground black pepper

2 pork tenderloins (1-1/4lb – 1-1/2lb)

2Tbl vegetable oil

1Tbl whole-grain mustard

Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 375 degrees. Stir 1/2c maple syrup, molasses, bourbon, cinnamon, cloves, and cayenne together in 2c liquid measure; set aside.

Whisk cornstarch, sugar, salt, and black pepper in small bowl until combined. Transfer cornstarch mixture to rimmed baking sheet. Pat tenderloins dry with paper towels, then roll in cornstarch mixture until evenly coated on all sides. Important note: Thoroughly pat off excess cornstarch mixture.

Heat oil in 12-inch heavy-bottomed nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until just beginning to smoke. Reduce heat to medium and place both tenderloins in skillet, leaving at least 1 inch in between. Cook until well browned on all sides, 8 to 12 minutes. Transfer tenderloins to wire rack set in rimmed baking sheet.

Pour off excess fat from skillet and return to medium heat. Add syrup mixture to skillet, scraping up browned bits with wooden spoon, and cook until reduced to 1/2c, about 2 minutes. Transfer 2Tbl glaze to small bowl and set aside. Using remaining glaze, brush each tenderloin with approximately 1Tbl glaze. Roast until instant-read thermometer inserted in thickest part of tenderloins registers 130 degrees, 12 to 20 minutes. Brush each tenderloin with another tablespoon glaze and continue to roast until instant-read thermometer inserted in thickest part of tenderloins registers 135 to 140 degrees, 2 to 4 minutes longer. Remove tenderloins from oven and brush each with remaining glaze; let rest, uncovered, 10 minutes.

Mustard Glaze

While tenderloins rest, stir remaining 1/4c maple syrup and mustard into reserved 2Tbl glaze. Brush each tenderloin with 1Tbl mustard glaze. Transfer meat to cutting board and slice into ¼-inch-thick pieces. Pass extra mustard glaze at the table when serving.

Pair this dish with Rancho Sisquoc’s 2017 Santa Barbara County Riesling, coming from estate vines over 45 years old, which continue to deliver uniquely mature wine. Soft and mellow scents of tea and honey lead to zesty citrus balanced with flavors of sugary meringue, and hints of ginger spice, leaving the palate clean, fresh and ready for more. With 3.2% Residual Sugar, it will complement the mustard glaze quite nicely. 2019 San Francisco International Wine Competition Gold Medal Winner. Enjoy!

John David Finley is a free-lance writer and author of the cookbook, Sacred Meals from our Family Table, which features Santa Barbara County wines. He can be reached at


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