A pork tenderloin is such a versatile and amazing piece of meat to cook. You really only need a probe thermometer to get it perfect - it's really forgiving! And it accepts all kinds of flavors. I tend to always season my pork tenderloins in a more traditional way - mustard and herbs - but you can really go nuts. :D
Read on and let me walk you through how to make the most perfect pork tenderloin.
Step 1: Ingredients:
- a pork tenderloin
- olive oil
- herbs & spices of choice
- mustard or another sauce you're fond of
- salt & pepper
One tenderloin will serve four people.
Step 2: Apply Your Seasonings and Preheat
Preheat your oven to 400 F.
For a pork tenderloin, I like to use mustard to bind the spices to the meat. If you don't use mustard, oil works well!
For this one, I used a good amount of salt and pepper, several pinches of paprika, three of rosemary, and a pinch each of garlic and onion powder. The mustard is just a few teaspoons.
This is really all up to you - but remember, it is better to over-season instead of under-season! There's a lot of meat in the middle that won't get direct seasoning.
Once you've added your spices and binder, rub the tenderloin all over. I like to pop it in the fridge for a little bit before cooking, but you can do it right away, too!
Step 3: Sear the Tenderloin
This is optional, but I think the flavors are better and it looks nicer in the end. :D Heat a pan over medium high heat with a little oil in it, and quickly sear all sides of the tenderloin.
Once it's seared, put it on a lightly oiled baking sheet or pan.
Step 4: Cooking + Resting
Insert a probe thermometer the middle of the thickest part of the pork. You'll be cooking your tenderloin in a 400 F oven for 15-20 minutes.
You want your tenderloin to reach 140 F. At that point, pull it out of the oven and put it on a plate to rest. I like to rest it for 5-10 minutes.
NOTE: Cooking it to 140 F will result in slightly pink pork. This is safe and fine! If it really bothers you, take it to 145-150 F and then pull out and rest.
Step 5: Slice and Serve!
Slice it thinly and serve! I made some caramelized onions to go with it for dinner. :D