We like to drink while cooking. Give us a good glass of Pinot Noir while we are waiting on a braise to finish or an ice-cold beer while we are standing over a grill.
We’ve never been known to sip tea while cooking, but cooking with tea is one of our favorite things to do.
It’s our sincere hope that you’ve already dug your mugs out of the cupboards plenty this winter to enjoy the bounty of our January box that featured Tea Forté teas, their pitcher set for iced tea and their platinum infuser. We hope you’ve been snuggling up by a roaring fire, tasting through the samples the box provided.
Now, it’s time to expand your thoughts when it comes to tea. It’s fantastic as a marinate, particularly for pork. Here is a quick, easy, deliciously Southern recipe to get you started, but keep experimenting. There’s a lot you can do with a glass of tea in your actual recipes, from food to fine cocktails.
Sweet-Tea-Marinated Pork Tenderloin
Feeds : 4 people, as a main with sides
Ingredients for Marinate:
1.5-pound pork tenderloin
2 cups strongly brewed tea, cooled to room temperature**
1 cup brown sugar
1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
1/2 Tbsp. cumin
1 Tbsp. dijon mustard
3 cloves of smashed, roughly chopped garlic
**Use any black tea for this marinate. Or, try the Tea Forté African Solstice or the Blueberry Merlot to add a depth of flavor
Method for Marinate:
Combine all ingredients except the pork in a bowl. Stir to combine well. Make sure the sugar is mostly dissolved. Put the pork in a ziplock bag, pour marinate over it, close and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.
Pre-heat oven to 400-degrees. Take pork out, set on a plate and dry it off with a paper towel. Drape a fresh paper towel over it. Let it come up to almost room temperature. When the meat is almost room temp, heat an oven-safe skillet with oil to hot, but not smoking. Sprinkle the pork with salt and pepper, and any additional spices you want, like thyme or rosemary. Sear pork on each side, about 2 to 3 minutes per side. You want that nice char on the outside. Slide the skillet into the oven for about 20 minutes.
Make sure to check it every 5 to 10 minutes. Depending on how thick it is, it may cook in less or more time. A meat thermometer should read 145-degrees when inserted into the thickest portion of the meat. When it’s done, let it rest on a cutting board for 10 minutes before slicing and serving.
Serve with a side of biscuits and Three Little Figs jam.