Pork Tenderloin with Blueberry-Bacon Barbecue Sauce

Blueberries really are the #1 Super Food.  Let's face it, naturally blue food is quite scarce on this planet and  is one of the reasons blueberries are so unique. It has been found that blueberries contain one of the highest levels of antioxidant activity in comparison to all other fruits and vegetables. It's truly a food we should eat more often. 

Blueberries dark, blue color comes from a pigment called anthocyanin, which are full of polyphenols.  The darker blue color means the polyphenol count is higher, making the antioxidant more powerful.  Blueberries have been found to slow aging, fight disease, protect against bladder infections, have anti-inflammatory effects in regards to heart disease and cancer and can help improve brain-function.  Do you really need anymore convincing?

I am so lucky to live here in the Willamette Valley of Oregon, where the cool climate allows these berries to grow so beautifully and prolifically.  We love going to the u-pick farms and spending the morning picking the plump little guys off the bushes.  They are nothing like what you find in the stores, these berries are humongous! And we love them.  Love them!!

It's really a shame that when we think of blueberries, we immediately go to...muffins, oatmeal, ice cream or pancakes....not that there's anything wrong with those, I just think we can be even more creative....

So in comes this Blueberry-Bacon Barbecue Sauce.  Wow, it's fantastic.  I still had blueberries left-over from our summertime blueberry picks and wanted to use them up...but in a creative way.  I was craving sweet and savory, and this sauce was born.  In a way, it has a little of a relish-esque texture, as you can taste the little bits of bacon in there.  It's tangy, smokey and sweet all in one, and pork tenderloin is the perfect vehicle to inhale this sauce with...in fact it's perfect.

And since we're talking about healthy choices, let's note, pork tenderloin is full of B vitamins, has less saturated fat and is much cheaper than say, beef tenderloin.  Truly, this is the perfect meal.  You must make it soon, for your health of course.

Pork Tenderloin with Blueberry-Bacon Barbecue Sauce
Serves six

For the sauce:
Adapted from Cuisine at Home
3 slices thick cut bacon, diced (I used my favorite local bacon from Carlton Farms)
1/2 cup minced shallots
1 jalapeno, seeded and minced
2 cups fresh blueberries
1/2 cup packed golden brown sugar
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 Tablespoon Dijon stone ground mustard
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 Tablespoons lemon juice

For the pork:
From Noble Pig
2 (1-1-1/4 pounds) pork tenderloins (2-2-1/4 pounds in all)
Kosher salt
Fresh ground pepper
1 Tablespoon olive oil

Fry bacon on low until slightly crispy; remove bacon to a paper towel leaving the bacon grease in the pan.  Saute shallots and jalapeno in the bacon grease over medium heat until soft, about 2 minutes.  Add blueberries, sugar, vinegar, mustard, garlic powder, salt, lemon juice and cooked bacon.  Simmer until blueberries have split and sauce thickens slightly, about 3 minutes.

Transfer mixture to a blender or food processor; pulse until pureed.  Return sauce to pan so you can warm it slightly when the meat comes out of the oven.

For the pork, remove the silver skin, if any, from the pork tenderloin and season the meat generously with salt and freshly ground pepper.

Preheat oven to 425o F. Heat a large oven proof skillet (if you don't have an oven proof skillet use a regular one, you will just have to transfer pork to a baking tray or dish for the oven) over high heat, then add oil. Add pork and sear on all sides, turning meat with tongs, about 2 minutes total.

Place meat thermometor in the thickest part of the tenderloin and place skillet or baking tray into the oven. Cook until thermometor reads 145o F (about 20 to 25 minutes) depending on the thickness of the tenderloin.

During the last 5 minutes of cooking, brush a little of the sauce on the tops of the tenderloins, just enough to adhere to the meat.  Serve the rest of the sauce on the side.

Remove tenderloin from the oven and loosely tent with foil and let sit at least 5 minutes before cutting on a diagonal into 1/2" thick pieces and serve.
~If you don't have a wireless meat thermometor, I highly suggest getting one. Your pork tenderloin will NEVER be dry.  Worth every penny!!

Dinner was really good.

Two Years Ago: Quick Marinated Flank Steak
Three Years Ago: Green Salad with Smokey Buttermilk Ranch Dressing

Post a Comment

9 Comments and 1 Reply

  1. Lynda 1

    This looks wonderful! I was also wanting a good blueberry BQ sauce, so this is going to work nicely.

  2. Love that photo of the boys picking!

    I have been experimenting more lately with blueberry sauces for savory foods. The flavor is definitely unique. I’m loving how your version has BACON (what don’t I love with bacon?). This is the perfect topping for pork.

  3. Laura 3

    Looks fantastic! Is there any way you can make the sauce ahead of time and refrigerate/freeze/can it?

  4. Mrs. L 4

    Blueberries and bacon? Are you kidding me? AWESOME! I now know whats for Sunday dinner this week.

  5. Noble Pig 5

    Yes, just warm it slightly before serving.  However, I have not frozen the sauce so I can’t vouch for that method.

  6. Christine 6

    Made this recipe last night an I was in heaven! I was nervous it was going to be too sweet but it was the perfect amount. Can’t wait to make this sauce ALL summer long!

  7. Noble Pig 7

    Glad you liked it.  I even tried using less sugar when I made it but the balance was off.  So yes, it’s perfect as is. Glad you enjoyed it!

  8. Angela 8

    hey! this looks amazing. in fact, i just published a post on my blog with my recipe for Bacon Blueberry Goat Cheese Walnut Salad and linked to other awesome bacon/blueberry recipes… this one was one of them! kudos to you for being superbly awesome. here’s the link with your shout-out – link to wp.me

  9. WOW!! That does sound quite AWESOME!! It is Blueberry Season right now in East Texas! My friends have A Blueberry Farm and I handle their web page… hope you don’t mind if I share this recipe!! Blueberry BBQ Sauce sounds awesome!!


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

 Notify me of followup comments via e-mail.

You can click here to Subscribe without commenting