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Sometimes recipes materialize as a cause of inspiration and creativity and sometimes they’re born out of necessity. This sheet pan pork stunner falls somewhere in the middle. While I’d love to just wax poetic about winter citrus season and how much I love that every market I visit is overflowing with oranges, grapefruits and everything in between, that’s not the full story behind this dish’s inception. TBH, I live in a tiny studio apartment with a closet-sized kitchen (and a shoebox-sized closet). Other than requiring me to store many of my Dutch ovens and appliances under by bed, having a small kitchen has forced me to think smarter to create big meals with little space.
Case in point, this sheet pan pork tenderloin, marinated in a sweet and smoky citrus glaze, get roasted in the oven alongside garlicky broccolini for a one-pan wonder. By adding the veggies partway into cooking the pork your able to have them both finish at the same time to save you the energy of adding an extra sheet pan to wash. (Oh, did I not mention that I don’t have a dishwasher either?)
The power of grapefruit and orange spans far past flavor in this marinade. The acid from the juice helps tenderize the pork, resulting in a super-succulent tenderloin that sings with the perfect balance of spice, sweetness and brightness. While high-acid marinades are ideal for short term marinating (1 hour in this recipe), be careful of leaving your protein in them too long. The citrus juice will begin to break the meat down past tender and into the realm of mushy.
My favorite part of this recipe is that it can be tweaked and prodded as much as you’d like. Trying to keep it Kosher? Swap in boneless, skinless chicken breasts for an equally lovely meal. Can’t get your hands on broccolini? Use another fast-roasting green vegetable like good ol’ broccoli or green beans. Just be aware that this recipe is about the dance between the protein and veggies, timing both carefully to have them finish simultaneously.
Prep time 75 minutes
Cook time 25 minutes
Yield: Serves or Makes 4-6
Preheat oven to 450°F and line a sheet pan with parchment paper. In a large bowl, whisk brown sugar, ¼ cup of the olive oil, paprika, coriander, cayenne, grapefruit and orange zests and juices, half of the grated garlic, salt and pepper until smooth. Add tenderloins and toss to coat. Cover and let sit at room temperature for 1 hour to marinate.
Meanwhile, in a separate bowl, toss broccolini with the remaining olive oil and grated garlic, lemon juice and zest, salt and pepper.
Transfer tenderloins to prepared sheet pan and drizzle each with 1 tablespoon marinade, discarding the rest. Roast for 10 minutes, then remove pan and add prepared broccolini around the tenderloins. Return to oven and continue to cook until and instant-read thermometer registers 145° when inserted into pork and broccolini is crisp-tender, 15-20 minutes more.
Remove from oven and let pork rest 5 minutes before slicing. Transfer to a platter with broccolini and serve immediately.
*If you’re blessed with thicker than usual broccolini, feel free to return to oven for another 5 minutes while the tenderloins rest on a cutting board.