I love to make dinner for my family. I hate trying to come up with new options of something to prepare, especially on work nights.
I am constantly scouring the internet and my cookbooks looking for recipes that offer me several things:
3. Ingredients I most likely already have in my kitchen.
This recipe for Balsamic Pork Tenderloin met all my conditions. What I like most about this is that it’s made in the slow cooker. This doesn’t make me lazy…just smart! My husband and son walk in the door hungry in the evenings. This allows me to get a meal on the table almost before they can ask “what’s for dinner?” I also love walking through the garage to get into the house and smelling dinner already underway.
I found this recipe on another blog, and I’m so sorry, I did not save the link. I will hunt for it and if found, will update this post. So, let it be said I cannot take full responsibility for the yumminess of this dish. I borrowed it. The recipe is below. As always, any changes, tweaks or added ingredients will be marked in bold.
- 1 2-3 pound boneless pork tenderloin (I buy these two at a time from Sam’s Club, so almost always have one in the freezer)
- 1 cup chicken or vegetable broth (I used chicken)
- ½ cup balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce (I used low-sodium)
- 1 tablespoon honey
- ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes (I think I probably added a tad more. My method of measuring, unless baking, is often by sight. We also like spicy.)
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
Place pork tenderloin into slow cooker. In a large measuring cup or small bowl, mix together all remaining ingredients. Pour over pork and set the timer for your slow cooker. (4 hours on High or 6-8 hours on Low)
Once the pork tenderloin has cooked, remove from slow cooker with tongs into a serving dish. Break apart lightly with two forks and then ladle about ¼ – ½ cup of gravy over pork tenderloin. (See Cook’s Note below.)
Store remaining gravy in an airtight container in the refrigerator for another use.
- My slow cooker does not have a timer. As I’m never home in four hours, I cooked this on low. It cooked for slightly more than eight hours.
As soon as I arrived home, I removed the pork from the gravy and set aside. I increased the setting to high and added 2 tablespoons of cornstarch dissolved in cold water to the gravy. I let this simmer to thicken while I prepared the side dishes and waited for everyone to get home. This could easily be reduced on the stove top, but I was being lazy. When I was ready to serve, I spooned a small amount over the platter of pork.
- This recipe, although quite good, was a little acidic or “twangy” tasting to me and needed a little sweetening. As my husband is diabetic, adding sugar or increasing the honey is not the best option. I think I would maybe decrease the amount of vinegar and Worcestershire just a tiny bit. Not enough to miss it, but just enough to cut the twang. Using a better quality balsamic than what I had in the pantry that day might help, as would adding just a pat of real butter to “soften” the sauce. (Yep, I’m southern. I like to cook with butter).
- I made this a two-slow cooker meal by making baked potatoes in another slow cooker. I discovered this little helpful hint from a friend a few years ago and love it. Just wash and pierce several potatoes. Place them in a slow on low and cook all day. This works best for larger potatoes. All I had this day was some smaller ones and they overcooked slightly. Larger potatoes come out perfectly.
- To complete the meal, I served steamed green beans.
All in all, I really enjoyed this recipe and my family seemed to as well. It will definitely make a return to my table. I might even try cooking the potatoes in with the pork. I hope you enjoy.
Until next time…
NEXT WEEK: Chocolate Fudge Cookies with Peppermint Butter Cream