Saturday, September 29, 2012

Pork Tenderloin with Mustard Sauce

My mother-in-law Judie made this for dinner once and I really liked it. Which kind of surprised me, because after years of being a vegetarian, the only other pork tenderloin I ever had was awful. After that, I just assumed it was pork tenderloin that sucked. Turns out it was just the recipe - or the chef - or maybe both (I won't mention any names). Now that I've had a few pork tenderloins, I think the biggest key to success is not drying it out. I found a method that claims to make the perfect pork tenderloin every time. So I used the marinade and sauce from this recipe, but I used the technique from the one below it. And I'll be damned if it wasn't the perfect pork tenderloin!

Serves 8

1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup bourbon
2 tablespoons brown sugar

2 ½ to 3 lb. pork tenderloin

1/3 cup sour cream
1/3 cup mayonnaise
2 teaspoons dry mustard (or to taste)
2 scallions, finely chopped 

1.      Mix marinade ingredients in a gallon size ziploc bag. Add pork and marinate for several hours, turning occasionally.
2.      Preheat oven to 325º F.
3.      Remove pork from marinade and bake in a roasting pan for 1 hour, basting occasionally with marinade.
4.      While the pork cooks, mix together the sauce ingredients until smooth. Adjust seasoning to taste.
5.      When ready, remove the pork from the oven. Let rest for 5 minutes; carve into thin slices and serve with sauce.

slightly adapted from Virginia Hospitality by the Junior League of Hampton Roads, Inc.


1 boneless pork tenderloin (or boneless pork loin)
salt and pepper (or dry seasoning or marinade of choice)

1.      Determine the EXACT weight of roast from the meat wrapper. Weight will determine how long to cook the roast.
2.      Preheat oven to 500-550º F. Remove tenderloin from refrigerator. Season meat as desired. Place seasoned meat in an uncovered roasting pan.
3.      Bake EXACTLY 5 1/2 minutes PER POUND. Adjust +/- according to your oven's accuracy and heat retention. Turn oven OFF and DO NOT open oven door for 1 hour. Remove from oven and let rest 5 minutes to redistribute internal juices. Roast will be done, very slightly pink in the center, and very moist.

-        The success of this cooking method will depend upon how accurate the temperature of your oven is and how well your oven retains heat. Adjust cooking time +/- according your individual oven.
-        For anyone questioning this method of cooking, it really does reach the proper internal temperature on a thermometer. If you have an oven probe or a thermometer that has a wire that goes through the side of the oven door, by all means use it and set alarm for 140-145 º F. It should go off before the hour is up. After resting 5-10 minutes, the roast should reach 145-150º F. According to Sara Moulton on FoodTV, salmonella is killed at 138º F, and 145º F is a safe temperature for pork, although the USDA recommends 160º F. (meat will be drier).
-        Cooking time is the same if you’re cooking more than one pork tenderloin. Just make sure the tenderloins are NOT TOUCHING each other so they are each cooking in their own separate space.

To make roasted vegetables along with the tenderloin, peel carrots and potatoes, and cut into about 1-inch cubes. Season as desired and drizzle with a little oil. Add vegetables to pan around (but NOT touching) pork tenderloin. Cook tenderloin as instructed above. The roasted potatoes and carrots should be done when the roast is done. You may need to adjust the size of the potatoes and carrots depending upon the weight of your tenderloin and how long you cook it.

from (submitted by BeachGirl)

adding bourbon to marinade
marinade (putting the bag in a glass
helps hold it up if you're by yourself)
pork tenderloin marinating
raw, marinated pork tenderloin

I decided to put it on a rack, just
to make sure it would cook evenly.
roasted pork tenderloin

My pork tenderloin was small (just under a pound), so
I cooked it for only 5 minutes before turning the oven off.

The only drawback of using this cooking method
is you don't get to baste the pork with the marinade.
sliced pork tenderloin (juicy)
mixing the mustard sauce

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