feasting with friends

No Fail Seasoned Pork Tenderloin

no-fail seasoned pork tenderloinAfter a weekend’s worth of heavy duty cooking and baking, I was looking for a simple weeknight meal for Glenn and I.  Mandy had returned to DC and Travis was working late.  The pickin’s were slim! A pork tenderloin is what the freezer offered me. I love tenderloins for a few reason: they cook fast, it’s a lean cut of meat, and the preparation methods are endless. Messing with the grill was not something I wanted to do on this night. I decided to give it a quick sear on the stove and finish it off in a hot oven. After scrounging in the spice cabinet, I decided to season it with salt, pepper, paprika, sage, onion powder and garlic powder. A simple glaze of grainy mustard and honey sealed the deal. It turned out great. The combination of seasonings with the glaze gave the exterior of the tenderloin a nice “bark”, or slightly firm exterior, which allowed a tender, juicy interior. A salad and leftover baked potatoes fried up on the stove rounded out the meal. Delicious & filling – yet not too heavy. [Which, in case you’re wondering, left room for dessert!] You may be wondering what makes this “No Fail”. The answer…a meat thermometer! I know, such a simple thing. But take it from someone who has “tried” to serve undercooked meat many times – use a thermometer. Let me repeat…use a thermometer! All you have to do is cook it until the thermometer registers 140°F, remove it from the oven and let it rest 5-10 minutes before serving. The temperature will continue to rise 5-10° during the resting period, which will give you a perfect tenderloin. Slightly pink in the center, and no where close to overdone. I remember years ago the masters of the kitchen always said pork had to be cooked a good 10 minutes past well done. Those days are gone – thank goodness. 140°F is the safe and tasty way to go. If you can’t get past a little pink in the center, go ahead a cook it until the temperature reaches 150°F…just don’t tell me 😉

Note: this recipe is so low-key, I didn’t even measure the seasonings. I simply used shakes or pinches or sprinkles until the tenderloin was coated to my liking. I then combined the mustard and honey and “dropped” the mixture on the tenderloin with a spoon, spreading it with the back of the spoon. Fancy, huh? Like I said before, I wanted a simple meal – this definitely fit the bill. Finally, feel free to use your favorite herbs, seasonings or glazes. The whole idea is to use what you have on hand to create a flavorful tenderloin to your liking.

1 pork tenderloin
garlic powder
onion powder
dried sage
1 Tablespoon + 2 teaspoons olive oil, divided use
1 Tablespoon stone ground mustard
1 1/2 teaspoons honey
1. Preheat oven to 425°F. Place the 2 teaspoons of olive oil in a small baking dish, set aside.
2. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a skillet [large enough to accommodate the tenderloin] over medium-high heat.
3. Season all sides of the tenderloin with either my combination of seasonings or your own.
no-fail seasoned pork tenderloin
4. In a small bowl, mix the mustard and honey until well blended. Thinly coat the entire tenderloin.
no-fail seasoned pork tenderloin
5. Place the prepared tenderloin in the hot skillet. Sear on all sides until lightly browned, about 10 minutes.
no-fail seasoned pork tenderloin
6. When the tenderloin is fully seared, place in the prepared baking pan. Roast in the preheated oven until internal temperature reaches 140°F. It will take 20-30 minutes, depending on the size/thickness of the tenderloin. Make sure you’re testing the temperature at the thickest portion of meat.
no-fail seasoned pork tenderloin
7. Allow the tenderloin to “rest” 5-10 minutes before serving.
no-fail seasoned pork tenderloin


  1. Pingback: Tenderloin Stuffed Baguette | feasting with friends

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