You slept through your alarm clock, you wore a hat to your son’s T-ball game last night and now you have to go to school with “hat hair” because there’s no time to shower. The slow-cooker meal you planned to throw together before work so dinner would be simmering when you came home never made it to the slow cooker. You arrive to school just in time, only to remember, ugh, today is an evaluation day. In the middle of presenting your lesson in front of your new boss, you look down and realize … you’re wearing two different shoes. And so it goes, stumbling and forgetting, trying to get your day in tune, but feeling slightly off-key all day. Finally your work day ends and you can head home and reboot.
After a hard day like this, when nothing seems to have gone right, what you need is something that’s simple and quick. You just need something to go smoothly. What you need is some bourbon … to pour over a pork loin, of course.
This recipe for Bourbon Pork Loin from LaughCryCook.com is rich and decadent and ready in 30 minutes. The alcohol cooks off, so you can feed it to the whole family and pack leftovers in your lunch for the next day for a little midday, totally appropriate happy hour. If you don’t have bourbon on hand or don’t keep alcohol in your house, you can substitute pineapple juice or even Dr. Pepper.
Bourbon Pork Loin
Serves 3 to 4 (easily doubled for a bigger group or leftovers for school lunches)
- 1 small pork tenderloin
- 1½ teaspoons Cajun seasoning (like Tony’s Chachere’s Creole Seasoning)
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon butter
- ¼ cup bourbon, whiskey or scotch (or pineapple juice or Dr. Pepper)
- Heat oven to 350 degrees.
- Rub the pork tenderloin all over with Cajun seasoning and brown sugar.
- Put oil and butter into an iron skillet (or other ovenproof skillet) over high heat. Once the oil is very hot, put the tenderloin into the pan, turning heat down a bit, and brown until golden on all sides, turning with tongs. Don’t worry about getting it done in the middle, just get it pretty and brown on the outside. Remove pan from heat.
- Pour bourbon all over the pork and roll the tenderloin in the juices now in the pan. Cover lightly with foil and place in the oven. Cook for about 20 minutes or until just done in the middle. Pork loin is often overcooked and this is what makes it tough. If you have a meat thermometer, cook until it registers 140 degrees. Remove from oven. Let it sit for at least 5 minutes, covered, to let juices redistribute.
- Slice in thin slices just before serving, ladling a little of the pan juices over it.
This dish is delicious with baked sweet potatoes and a green veggie or salad.
This recipe and the pictures were originally published by Becky Johnson on LaughCryCook.com (reprinted here with permission). If you are a WWII history buff or enjoyed the Band of Brothers series, you’ll enjoy Becky Johnson’s accompanying story of visiting Normandy with Buck Compton and Don Malarkey, two of the paratroopers portrayed in the Band of Brothers TV series.
Rachel Randolph is a mom to a busy toddler boy and a wife to an even busier high school football and baseball coach. She is co-author of We Laugh, We Cry, We Cook, a food memoir written with her mom, and their upcoming book Nourished: A Search for Health, Happiness, and a Full Night’s Sleep (Zondervan, January 2015). She also blogs at www.TheNourishedMama.com and www.laughcrycook.com.