Jack Daniels & the Other White Meat

We absolutely love the simplicity of this recipe for Pork Tenderloin with Mustard Sauce.  With just three ingredients, the marinade for the tenderloin has big flavors of bourbon and soy sauce with some sugar for good measure; they all get happy together and soak overnight.  The unusual flavor combination is delectable, and the outside of the tenderloin gets a sweet, crispy crust when grilled.  The meat stays tender and juicy, and has subtle flavors from the marinade.  When you pair it with the creamy mustard sauce, which only takes about ten minutes to make, it’s an unforgettable dinner.  Our friend Chris shared the recipe with us a long time ago, and it’s still a favorite go-to, especially for company.  I give her credit for this recipe but it is adapted from the California Heritage Cookbook from the Junior League of Pasadena (1976).

There is also a funny story about the mustard sauce.  A long while ago I was hospitalized due to some complications (no, that’s not the funny part).  David was ragged from the stress, Mom had flown out to help and they were back at the house making this for dinner.  He knew the marinade recipe by heart and had just pulled the tenderloin off the grill when they both realized the mustard sauce wasn’t made yet.  In a panic, he called the phone in my hospital room to ask where the recipe was.  Despite my morphine stupor, I somehow knew – with clarity – exactly where to find the scribbled recipe.  It’s all about the food for me! 

Now back to the mustard sauce ingredients – it is full of delicious flavors but isn’t tart as the name might suggest; the cream that is added at the end rounds out any tartness.  The flavors are rich and bright from dry mustard, stone ground mustard, sugar, salt, rice wine vinegar, egg yolks and half & half.   The directions call for a double boiler to cook the sauce but I don’t have one.  I use two of my sauce pans, one large and one smaller that sits just on top (see picture); the trick is to make sure the water doesn’t touch the bottom of the top pan, for an indirect and gentle heat source.  As for the side dish, I’ll either make some jasmine rice or roasted vegetables (cauliflower – as shown in main picture – or potatoes, or carrots).

This is one of our top five favorite recipes and I am happy to share it with you.  May you enjoy it as much as we have!

Eat well and share the love!

Pork Tenderloin with Mustard Sauce
Recipe: Melissa Schenker/Foodie for Two
Adapted from: California Heritage Cookbook from the Pasadena Junior League (1976)
Serves two foodies

Marinade for Pork Tenderloin
½ cup bourbon/whiskey (I use Jack Daniels)
½ cup soy sauce (low-salt)
3 tablespoons sugar
1 pork tenderloin, 3/4 to 1 pound weight
Mustard Sauce (makes about 1 cup)
1½ teaspoons dry mustard
2 tablespoons stone ground mustard
1 tablespoon sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
2 egg yolks, lightly beaten
½ cup half & half

Marinade & Pork Tenderloin:
Add the bourbon, soy sauce and sugar to a large ziploc bag and mix together; gently squeeze bag until most of the sugar is dissolved.  Add the tenderloin, turn bag over a few times to coat meat completely and place bag on a plate in case it leaks.  Refrigerate overnight (or a minimum of 8 hours), turning bag over a few times.

Mustard Sauce:
In a double boiler pan, add a few inches of water to the bottom pan, cover with the top sauce pan and heat to a light rolling boil over medium heat.  Add all the ingredients, except the half & half, to the top sauce pan and cook, whisking constantly, until thick – about 3 minutes.  Slowly add the half & half and continue whisking until sauce thickens, about 5 or 6 minutes.  Transfer to a glass bowl and refrigerate until needed; sauce can be refrigerated for up to 3 days, stored in a sealed container.  Serve at room temperature.

Barbecue the tenderloin on medium-low heat for 30 to 40 minutes until no longer pink in the center (finished internal temp of 160 degrees F). Drizzle marinade over tenderloin while cooking; do not re-use marinade with cooked pork. 

When tenderloin is done, transfer to a cutting board, cover with aluminum foil and let rest for five minutes.  

To serve, slice pork into ½” slices, arrange on a platter and serve mustard sauce on the side.

  • Don’t have a double boiler pan?  Just use two of your saucepans.  Select a large and medium sauce pan, making sure the top pan sits just inside the rim of bottom pan. 

4 responses to “Jack Daniels & the Other White Meat

  1. Yum, Yum, Yum! Mark and I are truly excited because once we get into our house we are going to try out all your yummy recipes. I can’t wait! Everything looks good and this especially is making my mouth water. 🙂

    • This is perfect to christen the new grill and simple to put together. I am happy to pass it on to you and yours. It will probably become one of your favorite go-to recipes. And congratulations on buying your first home!

  2. Ahhhh Melissa, another favorite of ours. Although we haven’t had this in a while we will be having it again soon….Maybe when you come out for your visit. I seem to be stumped as to the vegetable to have with this wonderful dish and now I have options. Love having options! I will come up with some wine pairings and we can try those out together.

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