Marinated & Baked Pork Tenderloin was almost titled Idiot-Proof Pork Tenderloin because it is so tasty and yet so very easy to prepare.
Because it bakes in the oven, you don’t need a grill or need to worry about cooking at a too high or too low temperature. Marinate this baby for a few hours, brown it quickly in a pan, and pop it in the oven.
The flavor is amazing and the meat is SO tender.
Here’s what you need:
Pork Tenderloin (1-2 pounds), Olive Oil, Red Wine Vinegar, Soy Sauce, Worcestershire Sauce, Lemon, Garlic, Dried Mustard, Chicken Broth, Butter, and Pepper.
For the best flavor, this does need to marinate for at least 2 hours. Longer is even better so if you want to make this in the morning and let it soak in the fridge all day, all the better.
Make a quick marinade by combining 1/4 cup olive oil, 1/3 cup soy sauce (I’m using lite or low sodium), and 1/4 cup red wine vinegar.
Squeeze in the juice of 1 lemon.
For big time flavor, finely chop 4 cloves of garlic and add them to the bowl.
Add 2 Tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce…
and 2 teaspoons of dried mustard.
The last time I made this (last night) I ran out of dried mustard so I added a little dijon and it was just fine. I think the dried mustard adds a bit more of a kick to the flavor so if you have the option, go for the dried.
Season with a little freshly ground black pepper. Since this has soy sauce, I don’t personally add any more salt.
Whisk the marinade together then remove 1/4 cup of the marinade and reserve it for the sauce.
I’m pretty careful about not reusing marinades for pork and chicken. I know that you can boil them to reuse them safely but to me just reserving a little is a better and easier option. Plus, one less pan to wash.
Trim a 1-2 pound pork tenderloin of any thick fat or “silver” skin that might be on the outside. My store does a great job trimming their pork so I rarely have to do this step.
Place the pork and the marinade in a zip lock bag.
I like to put my bag in a bowl or baking dish before placing it in the refrigerator. This is a much better option than having your marinade leak all over the place.
Let it hang out for 2-4 hours.
When you are ready to cook, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Remove the pork from the marinade and throw the used marinade away.
Grab an oven proof skillet and quickly sear or brown the pork on both sides over medium high heat. This only takes about 2 minutes per side.
I’m using a non-stick skillet so I didn’t need to add any extra oil to the pan, the marinade that lingers on the meat had enough oil to brown it. If you have a regular pan, you might need just a tiny bit of olive oil so the meat doesn’t stick.
If you don’t have an oven proof pan, you can transfer your browned pork to a baking dish.
Place the browned pork in the oven and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes (for 1 pound) or up to 40 minutes for a larger sized tenderloin.
An instant read thermometer is your best tool for cooking pork. Take all of the guess work out of it.
Stick the thermometer through the END of the pork horizontally so that you get the temperature reading from the middle of the meat.
I like to cook my pork to about 150 -155 degrees. (145 is the new safe temp for pork down from the old standard of 160 so you have quite a bit of wiggle room.) 150 will give you tender, moist meat with just a tiny hint of pink.
Check out my oven mitt trick for being sure I don’t inadvertently grab the hot pan handle. Sometimes when I use a stove top pan in the oven, it’s way too easy to forget that that baby is scorching hot.
When the pork reaches 150, remove it from the pan to a cutting board and tent with foil. Let the pork rest for 5-10 minutes so the juices can soak back up into the meat.
While the pork rests, make a delicious and simple sauce with the pan drippings.
Add 1/2 cup chicken broth and the reserved 1/4 cup of marinade to the pan over medium heat. Bring to a boil and use a wooden spoon to scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan.
To finish the sauce, add a pat of butter (about 1/2 Tablespoon if you’re measuring) to make it nice and glossy. Cook the sauce until slightly reduced. This is more of an au jus pan sauce than a gravy so it is not very thick.
When the meat has rested, cut it into 1 inch slices. Add any juices that have accumulated on your cutting board to your sauce.
Serve the pork with a side of sauce.
1 pound of pork tenderloin made enough for 2 people plus one small leftover. However, this makes more than enough marinade for at least 2 pounds of pork.
This is such a simple and easy recipe that, while it is perfect for weeknights, I think it would also be great for bigger gatherings, dinner parties, or holidays. Because it bakes in the oven, you don’t have to stand around babysitting your dinner while everyone else is having fun.
Jim LOVED this so it is definitely going into the porky rotation in our kitchen.