Plum Sauced Pork Tenderloin

By • August 14, 2009 19 Comments

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Author Notes: I love pork tenderloin, especially grilled. And even better the next day in a sandwich, to be perfectly honest. This recipe came about when I wanted to use some Plum Sauce I had canned. I've reworked the recipe to skip the canning step. MrsWheelbarrow

Food52 Review: The plum sauce seamlessly blends elements of jam (ginger and sugar) and pickling (mustard seeds and vinegar). And when made with red plums from the Greenmarket, it makes for a vivid and glistening sauce. After searing the tenderloins, you begin basting the meat with the sauce. You want the sauce to caramelize without burning, which takes some finesse -- don't worry if you don't get it right the first time. After grilling and letting the meat rest (an important step), you slice it and serve it with the sauce, a combination we loved. But make sure you taste the meat without the sauce, too -- the tart plum glaze on the edges is sublime. - A&MThe Editors

Serves 6, can be doubled or tripled

Plum Sauce

  • 1 pound pitted, chopped plums - I prefer prune plums, but earlier season plums will make a lovely, but more tart, sauce
  • 1/2- 3/4 cups dark brown sugar, depending on the sweetness of the fruit
  • 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup finely minced onion
  • 1 minced jalapeno or other hot pepper, depending on personal preference for heat, leave seeds & ribs in (hotter), or remove
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seed, cracked
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon candied ginger
  • Salt & Pepper


  • 2 boneless pork tenderloins
  • Canola or other flavorless oil
  • Salt & Pepper
  1. Make the sauce: Bring all ingredients except plums to a boil.
  2. Stir in the plums. Reduce heat and simmer very slowly until thick and syrupy, about 45 minutes.
  3. Depending on your preference for consistency, either puree in small batches in the blender, blend with a stick blender, or mash with a potato masher.
  4. The sauce may be made two days in advance. It will make more than you need, and you might find yourself tempted to dip an eggroll in it, or serve it with goat cheese.
  5. Fire up your grill. Bank the coals on one side, so that one half is very hot, and one half can be used for indirect cooking. If you have a gas grill, this is much easier.
  6. Pat pork tenderloins dry. Lightly salt and pepper all over.
  7. On the hottest part of the grill, brush a little oil or spray with PAM so the pork won't stick. Sear the pork on all sides.
  8. Move the pork to the indirect heat, brush liberally with some plum sauce, and cover the grill for about 8-10 minutes. Total cooking time, including searing is 15-18 min. If you have a thermometer, cook to 155•.
  9. Heat some plum sauce in a small saucepan on the stove.
  10. Remove the pork from the grill and tent with foil, allowing the meat to rest for 5-10 minutes.
  11. Slice the tenderloins. Pool the plum sauce on the plate, and serve with four or five slices of tenderloin fanned on top. I usually serve this with garlic-y greens or baby bok choy and rice.

More Great Recipes: Pork|Entrees

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