This is kind of an accidental fancy pants recipe, but sometimes you need to pull out your fancy pants and show them off. So, here’s a good reason to.
I usually opt for pork loin rather than pork tenderloin because it’s bigger and about half the cost per pound. This time, though, the store only had tenderloin, so I had to go with that. I can’t say that I’m disappointed though, because this tenderloin is so incredibly tender and juicy that my meal was pure heaven… and it will continue to be as I eat the rest for lunch over the weekend. You can make this with a regular pork loin, although you’ll likely have to cook it longer in the oven to achieve doneness.
Cost aside, the preparation of this tenderloin is super easy. The marinade has only a few ingredients and cooking takes minimal effort. Had I been on top of my game I would have used some of the marinade to make the pan sauce, but I was a bit distracted and threw it away. Therefore, I had to add new ingredients to make the pan sauce. Pan sauces are pretty easy and malleable, so you can just kind of wing it or just skip it all together. I only made it because I planned to serve my pork over a bed of baby greens and I wanted the sauce as a sort of dressing. Anywho.
Make this. It’s super-flavalicious, easy, and still a fraction of the price of a restaurant meal, even if more expensive than my usual!
Soy Dijon Pork Tenderloin
- 1⅓ pounds pork tenderloin $6.84
- 2 Tbsp dijon mustard $0.12
- 2 Tbsp soy sauce $0.04
- 3 Tbsp olive oil, divided $0.36
- 1 Tbsp brown sugar $0.02
- 1 clove garlic, minced $0.08
- 10-15 cranks freshly cracked pepper $0.05
- 1 Tbsp butter $0.10
- 1 Tbsp dijon mustard $0.06
- 1 Tbsp brown sugar $0.02
- 1 cup vegetable broth* $0.13
- Stir together the dijon mustard, soy sauce, 2 tablespoons olive oil, brown sugar, pepper, and minced garlic in a bowl. Place the pork tenderloin and prepared dijon marinade into a large zip top bag. Massage the bag to make sure the marinade covers all surface of the tenderloin. Refrigerate for at least two hours.
- When ready to prepare the tenderloin, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Remove the excess marinade from the tenderloin and then when the oil in the skillet is hot (it should look wavy on the surface), add the tenderloin to the skillet. Cook the tenderloin for about five minutes on each side or until golden brown. Remove the skillet from the heat.
- Transfer the browned tenderloin to a baking sheet covered in foil. Bake the tenderloin in the preheated oven for 30 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 145 degrees.
- While the tenderloin is baking, prepare the pan sauce. Add the butter to the still warm skillet (heat off) and allow it to melt. Either add ¼ cup of the marinade or 1 tablespoon each of dijon and brown sugar to the skillet. Also add 1 cup of vegetable broth. Place the skillet over medium heat and whisk the mixture until all of the browned bits on the bottom of the skillet have dissolved off. Allow the mixture to simmer, whisking occasionally, until the volume has reduced by about half (about 15-20 min). NOTE: Never re-use the raw, uncooked marinade and never marinate at room temperature.
- When the tenderloin is finished, allow it to rest for 5-10 minutes before slicing. Spoon some of the pan sauce over top and slice into 12-16 pieces. Serve with more pan sauce.
Step By Step Photos
First mix up the marinade – dijon, soy sauce, olive oil, pepper, minced garlic, and brown sugar (I added the brown sugar after this photo was taken).
And here is the mixed marinade (brown sugar included). This stuff was seriously so good that I think I’m going to have to make a salad dressing version.
This is the pork tenderloin that I used. Make sure not to get one that is pre-marinated. Sometimes you can catch these on sale and then just freeze them for later – wish I had done that because they’re not cheap! …but they are so succulent.
Put the marinade and tenderloin in a zip top bag and mush it around until everything is covered. Let it marinate in the refrigerator for at least two hours. You can do this before work in the morning and let it go for 8 hours, if you want.
When it’s time to make dinner, heat one tablespoon of olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. When it’s nice and hot, remove the excess marinade from the tenderloin and add it (the pork) to the skillet. The reason you want to remove the excess marinade is because the more wet you add to the skillet the more it will splatter… I did not take that precaution and made a huge splattery mess. Cook the tenderloin for about 5 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Also, preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
After you’ve browned the tenderloin, put it on a baking sheet covered with foil (for easy clean up) and pop it in the preheated oven. Roast it for about 30 minutes.
While the tenderloin is roasting, you can make the pan sauce. If you still have the bag of marinade, you can add some to the skillet along with 1 tablespoon of butter and one cup of vegetable broth. If you don’t have the marinade, add 1 tablespoon each of dijon, brown sugar, and butter, along with one cup of vegetable broth. Whisk and heat the mixture over medium heat until the browned bits have dissolved off of the bottom of the pan. Continue to let the sauce simmer until it has reduced in the volume by about half (about 15-20 min). NOTE: Never re-use the raw, uncooked marinade and never marinate at room temperature.
After 30 minutes, the inside of the thickest part of the pork is 145 degrees. Allow the pork to rest for about 5-10 minutes before cutting it open. When you get a chance, invest in a basic meat thermometer like this. They’re inexpensive, available at most major retail stores, and will save you a lot of grief.
While waiting for it to rest, you can drizzle some pan sauce over top for extra oomph!
After 5-10 minutes, slice it into 12-16 pieces and serve 3-4 slices per person. Allowing it to sit for a few minutes after it comes out of the oven helps keep the meat moist and juicy… and this meat was OH SO JUICY.
I served mine over baby greens, but that’s just one option.
Recipes for the side dish and the complete meal break down will be coming later this weekend…