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"Ham" for Two

Photo: Kelsey Hansen

Active time 15 mins
Total time 24 hrs, 35 mins

Serves 2 (serving size: 6 ounces cooked pork)

Holiday ham leftovers take weeks to finish. Instead, prepare a basic one pound pork tenderloin just as you would prepare a ham. The result is a traditionally brined, brown-sugar-coated "ham" for two in just one day. It even comes out pink! This recipe uses pink brining salt from Williams Sonoma, but you could use Prague #1 instead. 


  • 2 3/4 cups water
  • 1/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon curing salt
  • 1 (1 lb.) pork tenderloin, trimmed
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons black pepper

How to Make It

  1. Place water, sugar, and salts in a saucepan over high heat stirring until sugar dissolves, 4 to 5 minutes. Let cool to room temperature.

  2. Place pork in a nonreactive bowl or glass baking dish. Pour brine over pork. Refrigerate 24 hours.

  3. Preheat oven to 400°.

  4. Place pork on a rack in a roasting pan. Roast at 400° on the middle rack of oven for 10 minutes. Combine syrup and pepper; brush pork with maple mixture. Continue cooking pork until a thermometer inserted into the pork registers 130°, about 15 to 18 minutes, brushing with maple mixture every 5 minutes. Turn broiler to low. Continue cooking pork until a thermometer inserted into the pork registers 140° and pork is pinkish brown and caramelized, about 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from oven. Let stand 10 minutes. Slice and serve with remaining glaze.