Pork Tenderloin with Dijon Honey-Maple Sauce
My family loves pork tenderloin for dinner. And it’s relatively easy and inexpensive to make so I love it, too. But what makes it memorable meal versus an okay meal? In my opinion there are three simple but key steps to making a great dish. First is really marinating the pork first, for at least a few hours, to let those flavor seep in. In the marinade below I used a variety of flavors, some of which were used in the sauce as well. Second, you want to really get a crust on the meat. Even if you don’t grill it make sure to really preheat your skillet or sauté pan. I don’t like to use ridge pans when trying to achieve a crust. A plain, black iron skillet is my favorite. And finally make sure not to overcook the pork. A meat thermometer really helps in this case. To be on the very safe side you are supposed to cook pork to 160 degrees F. But if you cook it to that on the grill or on the stove it will keep cooking and quickly become a dry piece of meat that no amount of sauce (no matter how good it is) can save. So I prefer to cook the tenderloin to 140 degrees and then pull it and tent it with foil for 10-15 minutes, it will continue cooking and will reach 155 to 160. If you want to be extra careful not to get any pink then 145 before tenting but please don’t go past that. (don’t say I didn’t warn you:) Serve with a little sauce drizzled over the top and more on the side.
*Note: Shake the marinade off the pork before grilling and make sure not to use that for the sauce, as it’s contaminated from the raw meat.
- 1 lb boneless pork tenderloin, trimmed
- 2 Tablespoons dijon mustard
- 2 Tablespoons real maple syrup
- 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
- 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 3 large cloves garlic, smashed
- 1/4 cup canola oil
- 1/4 cup yellow onion, grated
- 1 Tablespoon rice wine vinegar
- 1 Tablespoon low-sodium Soy Sauce
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- pinch red pepper flakes
- Dijon Honey-Maple Sauce
- 2 Tablespoons dijon mustard
- 1 Tablespoon real maple syrup
- 2 teaspoons rice wine vinegar
- 1 Tablespoon honey
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 3/4 teaspoon sea salt or kosher salt
- Make sure the pork is trimmed of any excess fat and the silvery lining. Mix all the ingredients together and place into a resealable plastic bag. Put the pork inside, carefully seal the bag, and marinate for 4 to 24 hours in the refrigerator.
- Make the sauce in a new dish by whisking together the dijon, syrup, honey, rice wine vinegar and salt and pepper. Refrigerate for up to 2 days.
- Remove pork from fridge 20 minutes before cooking. Preheat the grill or a cast iron pan until hot. If using the grill rub the grill with a little canola oil first to keep from sticking. If using a saute pan or cast iron pan use about 1 Tablespoon canola oil in the pan.
- Shake off excess marinade and brown each side of the pork. The best way to brown it is not to move it for 2-3 minutes per side. The pork will stick to the pan or grill if it's not crusty and if you flip it early you won't get the crust.
- Cook approximately 10-14 minutes but use the thermometer to check the internal temp at 10. 140 to 145 degress is ideal. Remove from the grill or pan and place on a cutting board. Cover with foil. Slice after 10-15 minutes or when it's reached desired temperature.
- Serve with Dijon Honey-Maple sauce.