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Slow-Cooker Teriyaki Pork Tenderloin

Why This Recipe Works

Cooking a lean roast like pork tenderloin in a slow cooker is tricky because it can quickly turn overcooked and dry. We discovered that nestling two tenderloins side by side, alternating the narrow and thicker ends, helped to insulate the meat and prevented it from overcooking. Once we had the method in hand, we flavored the pork with a teriyaki glaze, made with equal parts sugar and low-sodium soy sauce and seasoned with fresh ginger, garlic, and mirin. To ensure a properly clingy glaze, we simply thickened the sauce with some cornstarch over medium heat, glazed the pork with the thickened sauce, and ran the pork under the broiler before serving. To prevent the pork from overcooking under the broiler, we remove it from the slow cooker just shy of 145 degrees. Because they are cooked gently and not browned, the tenderloins will be rosy throughout.

Ingredients

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cup low-sodium soy sauce
cup sugar
2 tablespoons mirin
½ teaspoon grated fresh ginger
1 garlic clove, minced
2 (12-ounce) pork tenderloins, trimmed of all visible fat
1 ½ teaspoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon water
2 scallions, sliced thin
1 teaspoon sesame seeds, toasted

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Instructions

Serves 4

Check the tenderloins' temperature after 1 hour of cooking and continue to monitor until they register 140 degrees. You will need an oval slow cooker for this recipe. Serve with rice.

1. Combine soy sauce, sugar, mirin, ginger, and garlic in slow cooker. Nestle pork into slow cooker, side by side, alternating thicker end to thinner end. Cover and cook until pork registers 140 degrees, 1 to 2 hours on low.

2. Adjust oven rack 6-inches from broiler element and heat broiler. Transfer pork to aluminum foil–lined rimmed baking sheet. Transfer cooking liquid to small saucepan and bring to simmer over medium heat. Whisk cornstarch and water together, then whisk into cooking liquid and simmer until thickened, 3 to 5 minutes.

3. Brush pork heavily with glaze and broil until spotty brown on top, about 5 minutes. Transfer pork to carving board, tent loosely with aluminum foil, and let rest for 5 minutes. Slice pork 1/4 inch thick, drizzle with remaining glaze, and sprinkle with scallions and sesame seeds. Serve.