Recently, I have found myself reading, looking at, and sometimes purchasing cookbooks that are a compilation of cooking magazines throughout the year. I have frequently read and used Cooking Light annual recipe collections. For this particular recipe, I found myself looking through a collection of Food and Wine recipes. The recipe appeared to have an additional step (brining) that I don’t often take the time to do, but this one turned out quite nicely.
I did make a couple adjustments to the recipe — primarily in that I (with the help of my dad), grilled the tenderloin at the end instead of following the recipe instructions: to brown and then bake them.
Maple-Brined Pork Tenderloin
1 tsp whole black peppercorns, plus freshly ground black pepper, for seasoning
6 whole cloves
4 allspice berries
3 juniper berries
1/3 c kosher salt, plus more for seasoning
2 c apple cider vinegar (original recipe called for apple cider, but I misread it)
1/2 c maple syrup
1/3 c maple sugar
6 garlic cloves, peeled
6 thyme sprigs
2 1 1/4 lb pork tenderloins (recipe called for 4)
In a medium saucepan, toast the peppercorns with the cloves, allspice, and juniper over moderate heat until fragrant, 2 minutes. Add the kosher salt, apple cider, syrup, sugar, garlic, and thyme to the saucepan and bring just to a simmer, stirring. Add 3 c cold water and pour the brine into a small roasting pan; let cool. Add the pork tenderloins, cover, and refrigerate for 6 to 8 hours.
Preheat the grill to about 350. Drain the pork, discarding the brine. Pat the pork dry and lightly season with salt and pepper. Place on the grill and cook until internal meat temperature arrives at 140 degrees, about 30 minutes.
Let sit a few minutes (up to 10) and then slice and serve.