Maple Glazed Pork Tenderloin

The glaze in this recipe has an interesting combination of maple syrup, molasses, bourbon, cinnamon, and cloves with a bit of heat from the pepper. Some mustard is added to the glaze to create a sauce that is passed when serving.
Based on a recipe from Cook's Illustrated, J. Kenji Alt, May & June 2009.
Prep Time25 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Resting Time10 mins
Total Time1 hr
Course: < 30 Min Prep w/Longer Cook Time, 45 - 60 Minutes to Table, Main Course - Pork
Servings: 6 servings
Author: Catherine Christiano



  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons molasses
  • 2 tablespoons bourbon or brandy
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • pinch ground cloves
  • pinch cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon table salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground black pepper
  • 2 pork tenderloins 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 pounds each
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil


  • 1 tablespoon whole-grain mustard
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup


  • Adjust oven rack to middle position and preheat to 375 degrees F. Place a wire rack in a rimmed baking sheet.
  • In 2-cup liquid measuring cup, combine 1/2 cup maple syrup, molasses, bourbon, cinnamon, cloves, and cayenne pepper. Set aside.
  • In small bowl, whisk together cornstarch, sugar, salt, and black pepper. On work surface, lay out a layer of paper towels about the size of a baking sheet. Sprinkle cornstarch mixture evenly over paper towels. Using new paper towels, pat tenderloins dry, then roll in cornstarch mixture until evenly coated on all sides. Thoroughly tap off excess cornstarch mixture (any excess will leave gummy spots on the tenderloins).
  • Heat oil in 12 inch cast iron skillet over medium heat until just beginning to smoke. Reduce heat to medium and place both tenderloins in skillet, leaving at least 1 inch in between. Cook until well browned on all sides, 8 to 12 minutes or less if tenderloins are small. Transfer tenderloins to wire rack set in rimmed baking sheet.
  • Pour off excess fat from skillet and return to medium heat. Add syrup mixture. Using whisk scrape up browned bits and cook until reduced to 1/2 cup, about 2 minutes. Set aside 2 tablespoons glaze in small bowl to make sauce at the end.
  • Brush each tenderloin with approximately 1 tablespoon of remaining glaze. Place tenderloins in oven and roast until instant-read thermometer inserted in thickest part of tenderloins registers 130 degrees, 12 to 20 minutes. Brush each tenderloin with another tablespoon glaze and continue to roast until instant-read thermometer inserted in thickest part of tenderloins registers 150 degrees, approximately 4 minutes longer.
  • Remove tenderloins from oven and brush each with remaining glaze; let rest, uncovered, 10 minutes.
  • While tenderloins rest, make the sauce. To the small bowl with reserved 2 tablespoons glaze, add 1/4 cup maple syrup, and mustard. Whisk to combine. 
  • Brush each tenderloin with 1 tablespoon mustard sauce. Transfer meat to cutting board and slice into 1/4-inch thick pieces. Serve immediately, passing extra mustard sauce.