Tuesday, May 17, 2011

How to Roast a Pork Tenderloin

Cheap Eat Challenge: Watch as our family of 6 tries to eat on $6/day.

I'm fairly new to the world of roast pork. I've done BBQ pork in the crock pot, which we love and I tried this recipe for pork adobo from Kalyn's Kitchen, which was wonderful. But the pot roasts I grew up on as a girl were of the beef variety. Not that there's anything wrong with that. I have many happy memories of those pot roasts. However, beef is significantly more expensive than pork. And I believed that if made right, a pork roast could be just as satisfying as beef.

Fortunately for you and me and all the other non-vegetarian cheapskates out there, I was right. The even better news: it's ridiculously easy to do.

1. Prepare a rub of oil, garlic, and whatever seasonings you like. Rosemary was suggested (and would have been amazing), but my rosemary plant kicked the bucket early this spring, so I used sage on half and tarragon on half. Both were great.
2. Pan fry your meat in vegetable oil for a few minutes on each side in a fairly hot pan.
3. Throw some veggies around it if you wish (I got them coated in oil and seasonings also) and pop it in the oven at 425 for 20-25 minutes and then flip it for another 10 or so. 
4. Take it out when the internal temp is 160 and let it rest for about 10 minutes.
5. Cut and eat. Drizzle some drippings on when you think no one's looking. It's good.

Roast Pork Tenderloin with Garlic and Sage
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 45 minutes
Cost: $8.85 for one from a more humanely raised pig

1 two to three lb pork tenderloin
3 Tbsp olive oil, divided (I'm sure canola would work too and it might smoke less when pan frying)
4 cloves garlic
2 rosettes fresh sage (by which I mean 2 clusters of leaves) or about 2 tsp dried sage
3/4 tsp coarse (mine was pretty chunky) salt (if using regular table salt, use 1/4-1/2 tsp)
1/4 tsp pepper

Preheat oven to 425.

Mince garlic and chop sage. Rub into oil and then rub the stuff all around your pork. It won't adhere perfectly or anything and that's okay.

Heat remaining oil in a cast iron skillet (or another skillet that can withstand some heat) on medium high. (If the oil is smoking like mad or your meat is burning, take it off the heat, turn the heat down, and then put the pan back on.) Cook on all sides until browned.

If using cast iron, put the whole thing in the oven. (Note: I first put 2 chopped red potatoes and 1 chopped onion in my hot pan with the hot oil and tried to get them nice and coated with oil and salt.)

Roast for 20-25 minutes on one side (I roasted mine for about 40 minutes on one side and when I took it out to flip it, it was done.) Flip it over and roast on other side for about 10-15 minutes or until internal temperature registers 160. I know I push this too hard, but buy yourself an instant read thermometer and save yourself some stress. 

Take out of the oven, cover with foil and allow to rest for 10 minutes. Cut into rounds and eat. The potatoes and onions will be beautifully flavored and browned on the underside from the oil and seasonings. They were delicious too. I poured a little of the drippings onto my meat and thought it was just to die for. 


  1. I have this really cool thermometer (I bought it because I saw one on Good Eats) that has a probe you can leave in the meat that is attached to a cord that plugs into a digital read out. So your meat is in the oven cooking, and you can tell exactly what temp it is w/o opening the oven. It's so cool. You can even program it to beep when it reaches a certain temperature. Pork tenderloin sounds really good!!

  2. I've heard tell of these fabulous thermometers. Perhaps I will ask for one for a Thanksgiving present--about how much do they cost?



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