Recipe: Maple-Glazed Pork Tenderloin

Adapted from a recipe in the May 2009 edition of Cook's Illustrated and on page 408 of The Cook's Illustrated Cookbook. Prepared for dinner on, September 30, 2012.  Makes 4 servings.

This recipe can be used with two pork tenderloins without changing the quantity of the other ingredients.


¾ cup maple syrup
¼ cup molasses
2 tablespoons bourbon or brandy
⅛ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 pinch ground cloves
1 pinch cayenne pepper
¼ cup cornstarch
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon salt
2 teaspoons pepper
1 pork tenderloin (1¼-1½ pounds)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon mustard (preferably Dijon or whole-grain)


  1. Stir together ½ cup molasses, bourbon (or brandy), cinnamon, cloves, and cayenne and set aside.
  2. Mix cornstarch, sugar, salt, and pepper then transfer it to baking sheet.
  3. Heat oven to 375° with a rack in the middle position.
  4. Pat the tenderloin dry, roll it in the cornstarch mixture, then pat it to remove excess cornstarch.
  5. Heat oil in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until just smoking.
  6. Reduce heat to medium and brown all sides of the coated tenderloin, about 10 minutes.
  7. Move the tenderloin to a wire rack set on a rimmed baking sheet.
  8. Pour fat from skillet and discard.
  9. Add the syrup mixture to the skillet and cook over medium heat, scraping the bottom of the pan to loosen the browned bits, until reduced to about ½ cup.
  10. Set aside 2 tablespoons of the glaze in a small bowl.
  11. Brush the tenderloin with about 1 tablespoon of the remaining glaze and roast until the internal temperature reaches 130°, 12-20 minutes depending on the thickness of the tenderloin.
  12. Brush the tenderloin again with about 1 tablespoon of the glaze and roast until the internal temperature is 145°, 2-3 minutes.
  13. Remove tenderloin from the oven, brush with the remaining glaze and let it rest, tented loosely with aluminum foil, for 10 minutes.
  14. Stir the remaining ¼ cup of maple syrup and mustard into the reserved glaze.
  15. Slice the rested tenderloin into ½-inch slices and serve with the mustard glaze on the side.
Add cinnamon, cayenne, cloves, and bourbon to a maple syrup and molasses mixture.

Coat the tenderloin with the corn starch mixture then pat to remove excess.

Brown the coated tenderloin in vegetable oil over medium heat.

Remove the tenderloin and rendered fat from the skillet then cook the maple syrup mixture, scraping the brown bits from the bottom of the skillet, reducing it to about ½ cup.

Roast the tenderloin, coating it with the glaze, until it reaches an internal temperature of 145°.

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