Monday, January 11, 2010

Roasted pork tenderloin

If I were to wager a guess, I'd have to say I cook pork tenderloin about once a month. In the summer, I toss it on the grill; but when the weather doesn't permit, I'm not afraid to roast it. In some ways, I consider this cut of meat fairly idiot-proof. And though (as a born and bred California girl) I prefer my meat on the grill, this is just as tasty and tender—if not more so—when oven roasted.

As a bit of an aside, I'm not a huge fan of marinades—some cuts of meat (flank steak is one example) simply beg for a marinade to add flavor and tenderness, but I find when cooked properly, pork tenderloin is more than capable of standing on its own.

I don't have a "recipe" to share here, as much as a technique. And as far as cooking techniques go, this one is fairly simple.

First, I buy my pork tenderloin wherever I can find it. At the butcher, at the grocery store; and honestly, since most of the time it's a pre-packaged cut (I think one brand I see often here is Hormel) it doesn't matter. I do, however, prefer the cut that gives you two thin tenderloins, rather than one thicker one. There's no way to know what's in the package until you open it, so it's a bit of trial and error.

Anyway, here's what it looks like out of the package:

Once it's in the pan, I rub the meat with some good olive oil and a flavorful roast seasoning. I really like Snyders Prime Rib seasoning, but I can't find it here so I make my mom buy it from her butcher and ship it to me. Yes, it's that good.

I add some rosemary—fresh if I have it, dried if I don't—and since I had some fresh pearl onions on hand tonight, I tossed those in the pan too.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees and roast (turning once or twice) for about 45 minutes, or until the internal temp reads 160 degrees. I add a little water or white wine about 15 minutes before taking the meat out of the oven—just enough to cover the bottom of the pan. The liquid creates a nice au jus that you can pour over the meat, or use as a base for gravy.

After the meat comes out of the oven, let it rest for about 10 minutes before carving.

I served mine tonight with an orange and feta cheese salad, stuffing, peas and applesauce. Four adults, an 8 year old, and there wasn't a slice leftover. Come to think of it, there wasn't ANYTHING leftover.


  1. What? I must not have gotten my dinner invitation in the mail. ;-)

    Looks delicious. I'm with you in that I prefer the packages that have the two thinner tenderloins.

  2. Perfect! I'm a huge pork tenderloin fan too, so this will be a nice addition to my repertoire.

  3. You gave me this recipe via email a few months ago and it was one of the most delicious dinners I'd ever made - and easy! I served TC's crock pot applesauce with it and...YUM!