Ever have one of those meals that was just doomed from the start? This was one of those meals.
Sunday lunches are particularly hard for me in general. We all come home from church starving and I just can't seem to get lunch on the table fast enough. I've tried all sorts of things to hurry the process along like setting the table before we leave for church and assigning everyone a job to help with lunch when we get home. Those things do help but they haven't completely solved the problem.
A few weeks ago, I thought I had it figured out. My plan was to wake up at the crack of dawn turn on the on the crock pot so lunch would be perfectly cooked and ready to eat when we walked in the door after church. I found an amazing recipe for pork carnitas on pinterest. I was ready.
I had my recipe and my ingredients ready to prep my pork in the crock pot container so that I would have to do was pull it out of the frig, drop it into the crock pot and turn it on. Unfortunately, as I gathered my ingredients, I realized that I was missing one crucial component to Pork Carnitas - Salsa. How could I make carnitas without salsa? I was really looking forward to trying that recipe but I decided it would be better to choose another recipe rather than try to make it without salsa or try and substitute something else. Balsamic pork tenderloin recipe to the rescue. I had all the ingredients on hand so I got my pork all prepped put it in the crock pot, tucked it away in the frig and I went to bed.
As if by fate, I woke up in the middle of the night (around 2ish) so I got up out of bed and in my sleepy stupor I took the crock pot bowl out of the frig, plopped it into the pot and turned it to low. I crawled back in bed and I was overwhelmed with the sensation of gratification - knowing that our lunch was already well underway. I drifted back to sleep feeling very proud of myself.
I woke up early Sunday morning but I lingered in bed longer than usual because I knew that I didn't have to get up and make lunch preparations before church. I took deep breaths to try and catch a whiff of the sweet smell of roasted pork lofting from the kitchen to the bedroom. Surely my nose must not have been awake because I didn't smell ANY pork cooking. I got myself out of bed and went into the kitchen to find my crock pot sitting on the kitchen counter - UNPLUGGED! Ugggggg! I went from feeling like super-mom to epic failure in a matter of seconds. Now I had NO lunch for after church and no time to make a change.
Ben came to my rescue. He suggested that we stop by Subway on the way home from church and picked up sandwiches for lunch. I plugged the crock pot in as we walked out the door and we had the pork for dinner instead of lunch.
Since I was completely frustrated by my crock pot pork experience, I didn't take my normal number of pictures so you'll just have to use your imagination.
Balsamic Glazed Pork Tenderloins
- 2 pork tenderloins (about 3lbs total)
- 2 tsp ground sage
- 1 tsp salt
- 3 cloves garlic, pressed
- 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
- 1 cup water, divided
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1 Tbsp corn starch
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 2 Tbsp soy sauce
For the Pork:
In a large crockpot, lay tenderloins on bottom. Rub sage, salt and pepper on top. Pour 1/2 cup water in bottom of pot and add the pressed garlic. Cover and cook on low for about 6 hours.
In small microwave safe bowl, mix 1/2 cup water with brown sugar, cornstarch, balsamic vinegar and soy sauce. Heat for 1 minute, whisk and heat an additional minute. Mixture should be thickened.
Pour half of mixture over pork tenderloins and continue cooking an additional hour (or two).
Remove pork from crock pot and let cool slightly.
Shred with hands or forks.
I served my pork with tortillas and barbeque sauce. It didn't really measure up to the Pulled pork that I cook on my Big Green Egg but it was easier. It really would have been even better if I had remembered to plug in the crock pot so we could have had it for lunch instead of dinner. Everything tastes better when your starving.