Piggy-Backed

WHAT is for dinner?

This is a question I’m often left pondering. I find myself in a recipe-creating rut, making the same dishes on repeat (you can’t seriously eat spaghetti & meatballs every night, can you . . . or can you?). Variation fuels inspiration—and after this last serving of meatballs—we’ll shift focus to new ingredients, and get the creative juices cooking.

Usually my protein of choice is chicken, not because I dislike other meat, but because it’s light & easy to work with. Whether it’s chicken enchiladasstewtacoscasserolesaladsoupstripspitas, or giant roasted birds, it’s time to expand the repertoire!

bourbon porkloin - 026I still wanted a light protein, but one hearty enough to marinate for max flavor. Seeing that pork tenderloin was on sale (and it’s been ages since I’ve made one), pork made the cut. One of my favorite dishes is Southern-style pork chops—infusing a little sweet with some salty. However, our meat is boneless, so I opted to first marinate in a tangy sauce, pan-sear, and then roast to perfection (well, let’s hope so).

Tonight we’re officially having pork loin with a Bourbon & apricot-infused sauce, and that’s not all folks. I make mashed potatoes often, but what else could we have? Keeping with the Southern influence, I decided a coleslaw mix would bring acidity and crunch. Then my eyes caught the batch of biscuits I made a day ago and . . . it’s all coming together! I’ll serve our pork with a creamy slaw ON a toasted biscuit. We’re piggy-backing our pork loin, open-faced, sandwich-style!

Introducing Bourbon Apricot Pork LoinSlaw Cheddar & Chive Buttermilk Biscuit. There’s something about the sweet tang of apricot, with the savory biscuit, and crisp coleslaw—and I’m ready to eat already!

Let’s see what we get:

5 from 1 reviews
Bourbon Apricot Pork Loin (slaw & biscuits)
Pork loin never had it so good! Sweet & savory sauce pairs perfectly with cool coleslaw & a toasted biscuit. A great alternative to standard pork chops!
Serves: 1 lb pork loin, ~4-6 servings
Cook time: 
Total time: 
What to get:
  • 1lb pork tenderloin (lean)
  • 3T canola oil (or grape seed oil)
  • 2T chopped chives (garnish, optional)
Pork Loin Marinade:
  • ½ cup prepared coarse mustard (can use dijon or creole also)
  • 2T Worcestershire sauce
  • ½ cup apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ cup, oil (canola, grape seed or EVOO)
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped finely
  • ½ tsp dried thyme leaves
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
  • ¼ tsp coarse ground black pepper
Pan Sauce for Pork:
  • 1T unsalted butter (for sautéing onion)
  • 2 oz Bourbon (like Maker’s Mark)
  • 3T apricot preserves
  • 1T sweet white onion, finely chopped
  • pinch of sea salt
  • dash cayenne pepper
Southern Coleslaw:
  • 10 oz green cabbage, very finely shredded (I buy a 10-oz pre-shredded bag)
  • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp granulated sugar
  • 1T prepared coarse mustard
  • ¼ tsp ground black pepper
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
  • ½ cup mayonnaise (I only use Best Foods/Hellman’s!)
Cheddar Chive Biscuits (make ahead):
  • Recipe: http://www.dinnervine.com/2015/03/cheddar-chive-buttermilk-biscuits/
What to do:
Make dinnervine Cheddar-Chive Biscuits ahead:
  1. Recipe: http://www.dinnervine.com/2015/03/cheddar-chive-buttermilk-biscuits/ (can make biscuits while tenderloin marinates to also save time).
Marinate Pork Tenderloin:
  1. Rinse & pat dry pork tenderloin & preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Whisk together all marinade ingredients in a large bowl, add tenderloin, turning in mix to coat completely.
  3. Cover pork loin with plastic wrap & allow to marinate for at least 40 mins (let come to room temp in marinade before cooking on stove).
Make Slaw (ahead):
  1. In a bowl whisk together: mustard, mayo, salt, pepper, sugar & apple cider vinegar & transfer to small skillet on stove to warm briefly (low).
  2. Place thinly-shredded cabbage into a bowl, drizzle with sauce from pan, tossing to coat well, set aside in refrigerator until plating.
Sear Pork Loin:
  1. Pre-heat large skillet (medium heat) on stove & add ~3T oil, then pan-sear pork (both sides) on medium-high heat (pouring all marinade juices on top) until sides begin to brown. Avoid moving roast until sides are seared & roast pulls away from pan easily (~6 minutes/side).
Make Pan Sauce (& finish roasting pork):
  1. Transfer seared pork onto a rimmed, foil-lined baking sheet & continue to cook pork in oven until meat is no longer pink @ thickest part & meat thermometer reads ~165 degrees (about ~15-25 mins).
  2. While roast finishes, make pan sauce on stove by sautéing onion in butter for several mins, add Bourbon, apricot & pinch of sea salt, dash cayenne and stir and simmer on low heat to combine, stir occasionally.
  3. When roast is done, drizzle some of the prepared sauce over top to coat/glaze (reserve remaining pan sauce for plating on biscuit), and remove roast from oven.
  4. Let glazed roast cool on pan ~15-20 mins to rest, then slice about ~3.4 inch thick.
Plate & Serve:
  1. In toaster oven (or conventional) toast pre-baked cheddar biscuits (one/serving) until slightly crispy, remove from oven to cool partially.
  2. Plate a toasted biscuit, top with helping of chilled coleslaw, a few pork loin slices & finish by drizzling some remaining pan sauce & chopped chives.
Notes:
The components of this can be made ahead, separately. You can use day-old biscuits since we toast them again in the oven. Also, marinating the pork loin ahead imparts great flavor. If you need to save time & make pork ahead (and have stored in the refrigerator), make sure to let tenderloin come back to room temp before reheating (I recommend heating-up in skillet with a little white wine or broth). The coleslaw can also be made ahead and chilled.

By first pan-searing we achieve a flavorful crust, and easily finish in the oven (allowing the meat to remain tender, yet cooked thoroughly). By drizzling the tenderloin with warm pan-sauce, we achieve a nice glaze. Did I mention we get to eat a biscuit for dinner?!

This recipe started as an unexpected union, but proved a satisfying solution to the occasional dinner-downer. All of this creativity sure tasted good—hope you’re able to enjoy some too!

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Welcome to the dinnervine!

Thank you for visiting the dinnervine! In the words of Julia Child, "People who love to eat, are always the best people," and I couldn't agree more. I hope you enjoy these dishes as much as I did making them. Here's to creating new recipes and memories with friends & family, cheers! 

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