Brown Sugar Balsamic Pork Tenderloin

A few nights ago I made a delicious Brown Sugar Balsamic Pork Tenderloin, whose recipe called for a crock pot. What could be easier, right? The photo on Pinterest looks like this:

Ingredients:
 
1 (2 pound) boneless pork tenderloin (or regular pork loin)
1 teaspoon ground sage
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 clove garlic, crushed
1/2 cup water
 
Glaze
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons soy sauce
 
Directions:
Combine sage, salt, pepper and garlic. Rub over roast. Place in slow cooker with 1/2 cup water. Cook on low for 6-8 hours. About 1 hour before roast is done, combine ingredients for glaze in small sauce pan. Heat and stir until mixture thickens. Brush roast with glaze 2 or 3 times during the last hour of cooking. Serve with remaining glaze on the side.

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So, as the recipe called for, I cooked the tenderloin in my crock pot for about eight hours. Then I made the sauce, on the stove, and it thickened nicely in a short period of time. As I went to brush the tenderloin with the sauce, things got a little more challenging. First of all, there was still water in the crock pot, so I wasn’t sure how that was going to affect the flavor of the dish.

I also like pork tenderloin to be a little crispy on the outside (grilled outside is my favorite way to make it), so I decided to take it out of the crock pot to brown it in an electric pan for a few minutes while the sauce soaked in and glazed the meat.

This is where I ran into another logistical problem because after all that time in the crock pot, the meat was so tender that it pretty much fell apart. What went into the crock pot as two tenderloins came out as four fragile pieces. But they browned nicely in the pan, and the glaze was delicious.

My only problem was that the meat came out so stringy that it wasn’t easy to slice at all. We ended up putting what amounted at that point to pulled pork into buns and eating sandwiches instead of the nice sophisticated presentation I had planned in my head. Also, after the 8 hours in the crock pot plus time in the pan, the meat was a little dry.

I would make this recipe again, since the glaze was so yummy, but I think I would cook the tenderloin in a more traditional way, either on the grill or in the oven, and then just coat it with the glaze toward the end.

Recipe originally found on Pinterest.

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