After 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.Ingredients: 1 pork tenderloin salt pepper garlic powder onion powder dried sage paprika 1 Tablespoon + 2 teaspoons olive oil, divided use 1 Tablespoon stone ground mustard 1 1/2 teaspoons honey Directions: 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. 4. In a small bowl, mix the mustard and honey until well blended. Thinly coat the entire tenderloin. 5. Place the prepared tenderloin in the hot skillet. Sear on all sides until lightly browned, about 10 minutes. 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. 7. Allow the tenderloin to “rest” 5-10 minutes before serving.