When California cuisine meets down-home Southern charm, the result is Calibama Cooking. The brainchild of chef Lori Rogers (also known as “Chef Lorious”), the cookbook features crave-worthy comfort food recipes inspired by Rogers’ family roots in the Deep South and her own West Coast upbringing. Here, Rogers shares one of her “fail-proof weekday dinners,” Garlic and Brown Sugar Pork Tenderloin.
Garlic and Brown Sugar Pork Tenderloin
SERVES 6, COOK TIME: 25-30 MINUTES
The garlic and brown sugar make for an amazing flavor combination. Pork tenderloin is like a hidden gem in the meat aisle. It cooks relatively quickly (30 minutes or so), and it receives flavors very well. You can get dinner on the table with gourmet quality and amazing flavors in under an hour! —Chef Lorious
For the pork tenderloin:
- olive oil, for coating skillet and pork
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 2 pounds pork tenderloin
For the sauce:
- 1 cup butter (2 sticks)
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 5 cloves garlic, chopped
- 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 bunch thyme sprigs
- 4–5 fresh sage leaves
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- Coat bottom of an ovenproof skillet with olive oil and heat over medium-high heat.
- In a large bowl, combine salt, pepper, brown sugar, and olive oil. Add pork tenderloin, and coat completely with the mixture.
- Place coated pork in skillet with hot olive oil, and sear on all sides for 5–7 minutes. Do not cook it completely; just get the outside golden brown. Be sure to turn the pork frequently so all sides can get evenly browned. Remove pork from pan and set aside.
- Make the sauce: Melt butter in same skillet. Add brown sugar, garlic, parsley, and salt. Bring to a boil, and add thyme sprigs and sage leaves.
- Return pork to skillet with sauce. Place a lid on skillet, and bake for 20 minutes.
- Remove pork from oven, and let rest 5–7 minutes before slicing. Top with the sauce from the pan.
Top Tips from Chef Lorious:
- Be sure to let the tenderloin rest when you remove it from the oven—the resting time is important to let the juices stay inside the meat. If you cut it too soon, the juices will run out, and you’ll miss out on the goodness that you just baked into it.
- If you don’t have an ovenproof skillet to cook the entire dish in, transfer the pork and sauce to a roasting pan or baking dish before putting it in the oven.
Garlic and Brown Sugar Pork Tenderloin is excerpted from Calibama Cooking © 2019 by Lori Rogers. All rights reserved.