An Easter Feast for One
April 6, 2020 12:53 PM   Subscribe

I have a leftover pork tenderloin that I want to cook over the weekend for a mini-Easter feast for myself. I'm looking for recipes that aren't *too* complicated to use this pork tenderloin for. I'm also looking for suggestions for 1 extra side that'd go well the pork tenderloin.

I had my first experience cooking pork tenderloin this weekend, I made this recipe yesterday and wasn't that impressed with it. It didn't turn out terribly, there just wasn't much flavour.

I'm looking for another recipe to try! I don't have any requirements, but I'd prefer a relatively simple recipe. I do have an Instant Pot I can use. I don't have any restrictions, but I guess due to the stress related to, you know, a pandemic, I'm craving simpler... meat & potatoes-y recipes. I'll probably make a giant pot of mashed potatoes to go with this tenderloin, so maybe a "healthier" vegetable-based side would be nice.
posted by VirginiaPlain to Food & Drink (16 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
This is our go-to pork tenderloin recipe these days. It's exquisite, and really not that hard. We serve it sliced thick over a bed of cheese grits, with a simple bitter green salad on the side. I bet it would pair well with crispy roasted potatoes as well.
posted by saladin at 1:15 PM on April 6, 2020

I've made this loads of times with various fillings. It's a bit of work but always worth it.
posted by night_train at 1:27 PM on April 6, 2020

here's my fave pork tenderloin:

2 average size pork tenderloins

1/4 cup soya sauce
2 tbs chili sauce (sambal oelek) or bbq sauce
2 tbs liquid honey
1 tbs oil
1 tsp curry powder
2 cloved minced garlic
tabasco + worchestershire sauce to taste (generally 1tsp each)

mix ingredients in bag or container, add meat and marinate for 3 hours mininum. Roll around a few times.

Brown tenderloin on all sides in pan with some oil or butter - 5-10 minutes total panfrying. Roast in oven on grill pan at 425F until internal temp of 150, then let sit for 5-10 minutes before slicing outside of oven. Reduce marinating liquid into a glaze if you like - serve with brown potatoes.
Brown potatoes is a thing my family makes, you slice yellow potatoes into wedges (like 6s or 8s out of a potatoe) and then you put them in a glass pan with a BUNCH (like at LEAST a half cup) of salted butter, you salt and pepper them, and then you put the pan in the oven at 350 - let the oven melt the butter, stir the wedges around so they're butter coated everywhere, and then let them bake, only stirring them once every maybe 20 minutes or so? they take a little over an hour usually - you want a fork to just glide right through them and for them to be golden brown and crispy, and they will brown up on all sides and kind of self-fry in the butter. They're not healthy but they're just delicious.

if you don't cook with a meat thermometer I would guess the pork is about 25 minutes in the oven? but you might need to look up someone else's recommendation there, I'm not used to cooking by time instead of temp.
posted by euphoria066 at 1:29 PM on April 6, 2020

My favorite way to cook a pork tenderloin is to sprinkle it with seasoned salt, wrap it in raw bacon and roast it in a 400ish degree oven for maybe half an hour? Serve with honey mustard sauce, and along with steamed carrots in a honey-butter glaze and mashed potatoes. I made this for Christmas Eve dinner once and it was just special enough without being too much trouble.
posted by Serene Empress Dork at 1:37 PM on April 6, 2020 [1 favorite]

Put it in the slow cooker and braise it with Dr Pepper. Like how you make pot roast, only using Dr Pepper instead of broth and pork instead of beef. Makes incredible pulled pork.
posted by kevinbelt at 2:10 PM on April 6, 2020

Response by poster: I forgot to add that I don't have a slow cooker, but I'm sure that can be done in an Instant Pot?
posted by VirginiaPlain at 2:38 PM on April 6, 2020

TBH, I'd go with saladin's recipe. But the traditional way to cook them here is with onions and mushrooms and a pan gravy. I've used google translate on this recipe and edited a bit:
Fry the bacon on a pan in a little butter. When the bacon slices are slightly crispy, set them aside on a piece of paper towel.

Roast mushroom in the bacon fat and a little more butter, if needed, at high heat and with constant stirring. Then put mushrooms aside on a plate and turn down to medium / low heat, sauté the onions on the same pan, stirring until soft and crisp and set them aside on a separate plate.

Add vegetable broth, full cream, mushroom and chopped crispy bacon to the pan. Season with salt, pepper and thyme.

Simmer gently while roasting the steaks.

Cut the sirloin into good steaks of approx. 2 cm in thickness and press them slightly flat with the palm of your hand. Fry them on a new pan in butter, where they are first browned for a minute on both sides at high heat and then sprinkle with salt and freshly ground pepper, then cooked at medium heat for about 3 minutes on each side.

Arrange the sirloin steaks in a dish with the cream sauce and the soft onions, and a nice sprinkle of fresh thyme or parsley.
Mashed potatoes is a good side. As a child I always hoped we would get steamed spinach with a slice of lemon because I love spinach, but more often, we had French peas. Steamed broccoli is good too.
posted by mumimor at 2:59 PM on April 6, 2020

A very flavorful and simple technique I've used with both pork rib roast and tenderloin is to generously salt and pepper a tenderloin that you have patted dry, then paint the tenderloin with prepared mustard - I use dijon - and pat fresh herbs, rosemary, thyme and parsley, minced with fresh garlic thickly onto the mustard coating. I use a saucepan in which you've placed halved carrots across the bottom as a sort of rack for the meat. You want the meat to rest completely on the carrots.

Place in a preheated 400 oven loosely covered with foil. Splash a good glug of white wine, at least halfway up the carrots, in the bottom of the pan and roast for about 50 minutes to 1 hour. Add scrubbed and oiled chunked potatoes and onion halves around the meat partway through. Add wine if the pan is dry. You will still need a green veg or salad, but the carrots, onions and potatoes will be toothsome and there will be juice in the pan to spoon over the meat.

To give credit where it is definitely due, this is adapted from a terrific recipe book from 1974 called "The Store Cookbook" by Bert Greene and Denis Vaughan, which I have I tattered and cherished paperback copy of from 1974. If you can find a copy it is a rewarding collection of recipes and very, very funny, as they recall having a store in Amagansett, Long Island, where the wealthy summer crowd shopped for prepared food and for whom they catered charity dinners.
posted by citygirl at 3:27 PM on April 6, 2020 [1 favorite]

Huge fan of this recipe:

As for sides, potatoes, greens, roasted root veg, whatever you have around. I'd also read this:

Every good pork tenderloin I've ever had has been slightly "undercooked"--it's not. It's rosy and delicious.
posted by thack3r at 3:48 PM on April 6, 2020 [1 favorite]

Pork tenderloin is low on fat and connective tissue; slow cooking would not be my choice. You can adapt any recipe for beef tenderloin. My favorite is to slice rounds maybe 1.5inches thick, season liberally, and fry in a hot skillet with a bit of olive oil. Easy, fast, juicy. Make a roux 1st and have some wine or brandy ready to make a quick pan sauce.
posted by theora55 at 4:38 PM on April 6, 2020 [2 favorites]

I make this InstaPot Pork Tenderloin every couple weeks. It's great on rice though potatoes would be good too. It's not quite dump and push start but it's a one pot recipe and the other steps are just browning the tenderloin and thickening the sauce. I like green beans on the side. Freezes well too.
posted by Mitheral at 8:40 PM on April 6, 2020

I just made tenderloin steaks last night using the America's Test Kitchen style:

- preheat oven to 300
- cut tenderloin in half so you have two ends
- pound each end to 1" thickness
- cook in oven until 135 degrees, approx 20-25 min
- sear it in a skillet to put a crust on it (reverse sear)

Was really good!
posted by GamblingBlues at 5:10 AM on April 7, 2020

My simplest go-to for pork tenderloin is to cut it into medallions, season with Lawry's salt (see copycat recipe here) and pan fry.

My mom did this - she would pound the medallions thin, but I can't say that that makes any difference having tried both.
posted by plinth at 6:40 AM on April 7, 2020

I second the warning about slow-cooking lean cuts of meat. It's not optimal. The result will be edible, but disappointingly dry. Any of the suggested recipes with a short cooking time at a high heat is a good bet. You have a fillet; use it to its full potential! :)

I would either make schnitzels, or glaze it and roast it in the oven.

As far as sides go, I'm a big fan of cabbage, and cabbage and pork go particularly well together. Sauerkraut? Coleslaw? My go-to simple fresh cabbage salad: shredded cabbage + garlic salt to taste + a drizzle of olive oil. You can make it more fancy (and healthy, I guess) by adding grated carrot and/or radish.
posted by confluency at 6:58 AM on April 7, 2020

My personal go-to for pork tenderloin, particularly if it's just for me, is from Judith Jones' recipe from her "Cooking for One" book. She makes a paste of a smushed-up garlic clove, some salt, and one teaspoon each of mustard and grated ginger, and then smears that all over the loin about an hour before cooking.

Then it's just a roast - roast it at 375 for about 30 minutes. She suggests roasting some vegetables along with it in the same pan - a couple new potatoes, a carrot, a root vegetable or two, cut into chunks. Just toss those in olive oil and salt and scatter them around the tenderloin before you put the whole thing in the oven.

That would also take care of the other side for you. But I'd still consider another side of simple steamed asparagus if you can find it. Just a handful of asparagus stalks, steamed or simmered until crisp-tender, and served with a little butter and maybe a squeeze of lemon juice.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:04 AM on April 7, 2020

Or if you're interested I can let you know about the vegetable dish I'm making for my OWN Easter dinner - it's a super-simple sounding celery soup, that uses celery stalks and celery root both. I would need to double-check the recipe, but it's a super simple "chop them up and simmer in broth until it's done" kind of soup that sounded very comforting and easy.

(The other thing I'm having is a cassoulet, which is complicated as all hell.....)
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:06 AM on April 7, 2020

« Older Successful Bluejeans breakout sessions?   |   get/make transparent hard drive icons - why so... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.