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sliced sweet tea pork tenderloin on a plate

Sweet Tea Pork Tenderloin Recipe

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings: 6
Calories: 1080kcal
The Best Pork Tenderloin Recipe is a mix of the best flavors. It starts with the sweet tea pork tenderloin brine, next is the perfect dry rub for pork, then you cook the pork tenderloin in the oven, and finally sear it at the end. Top it off with a tasty honey bourbon sauce and serve it with Pimento Cheese Grits! 
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Ingredients

For the Sweet Tea Pork Loin:

  • 2 pork tenderloins 1 pound each
  • 2 quarts sweet tea
  • ¼ cup kosher salt
  • ¼ cup Worcestershire Sauce
  • 8 black peppercorns
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 6 sprigs fresh thyme
  • ½ cup Pork Dry Rub see recipe below
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter unsalted

For the Pork Dry Rub:

  • ½ cup brown sugar firmly packed
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons smoked paprika
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper freshly ground

For the Honey Bourbon Sauce:

  • ½ cup honey bourbon
  • 1 cup beef broth unsalted
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper freshly ground
  • Kosher salt to taste
  • 1 tablespoon cold water
  • ½ teaspoon arrowroot or cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon butter unsalted
  • Serve with Pimento Cheese Grits Click for Recipe!

Instructions

For the dry pork rub:

  • Whisk all ingredients together and keep in an airtight container. When ready to use, sprinkle the meat with a liberal amount of the seasoning and rub it in. Be sure to cover the entire surface. Allow the meat to rest at least 2 hours in the fridge (or overnight). Cook the meat as desired.

For the Honey Bourbon Sauce:

  • Bring honey bourbon, broth, bay leaf, thyme and black pepper to a full boil over medium heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until sauce is reduced to ½ cup. Taste and season to taste with kosher salt. Mix the cold water and cornstarch and add to the bourbon sauce. Return the sauce to a boil and cook 1-2 more minutes or until mixture has thickened to the consistency of warm syrup. Add butter and whisk until smooth.

For the Sweet Tea Pork Tenderloin:

  • In a large stockpot, combine sweet tea, salt, Worcestershire Sauce, peppercorns, bay leaves, garlic cloves and fresh thyme. Stir until salt is dissolved. Submerge the pork tenderloins in the brine and refrigerate 4-8 hours. *Note: If using thicker, larger tenderloins, the pork should be marinated at least 8 hours, but not longer than 24 hours.
  • When ready to cook, heat oven to 275°F. Spray a metal rack with nonstick cooking spray and set it over a rimmed cooking sheet that has been covered with foil.
  • Remove the pork from the brine and pat dry with a paper towel. Rub the Pork Dry Rub over the entire surface of both pork loins. Place the pork loins on the rack leaving at least a 2-inch space between them.
  • Place the pork in the preheated oven, and cook 35-45 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 140°F on a meat thermometer.
  • Remove the pork from the oven; set aside.
  • Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add 2 tablespoons oil and 2 tablespoons butter. When the oil shimmers, carefully add the pork, again leaving space between the two loins. (Note: If the skillet is too small, sear one pork loin at a time.)
  • Sear the pork on all sides, checking the internal temperature often - I find 150° with a 3 minute rest is best. (*See note re: pork temperature guidelines.) Keep in mind the pork will continue cooking about 3 minutes after removing from the heat source.
  • Once the pork has reached the desired internal temperature, transfer it to a cutting board to rest, about 3-5 minutes.
  • Slice the pork into ½-¾” medallions.

To serve:

  • Drizzle with Honey Bourbon Sauce and serve over Pimento Cheese Grits (recipe link in notes)

Video

Notes

*Note: Here are good guidelines for cooking pork:
  • Medium-Rare: 145°-149°F
  • Medium: 150°-154°F
  • Medium-Well: 155°-159°F
  • Well Done: 160°F
Serve with Pimento Cheese Grits

Nutrition

Calories: 1080kcal | Carbohydrates: 55g | Protein: 126g | Fat: 31g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Cholesterol: 404mg | Sodium: 6170mg | Potassium: 2674mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 49g | Vitamin A: 2185IU | Vitamin C: 4.5mg | Calcium: 107mg | Iron: 8.4mg