Cooking with Pork Tenderloin
Simple but Delicious Meal
I love to use pork tenderloin for a quick yet impressive company dinner. There are many variations that can be used. Pork tenderloin is easy to make and is nutritious too.
One of my favorite pork tenderloin recipes is with apples and cranberries. It is very simple to make and yet is very tasty.
I have also tried several other pork tenderloin recipes and I have never found one that I didn't like. This is such a versatile cut of meat and there are so many different ways to prepare it.
On this page I will share with you some of my favorite ways to make pork tenderloin.
photos by Mary Beth Granger
My Interest in Cooking
Better late than Never
I worked in the corporate world for 30 years. I traveled a lot for my job and found very little time to cook. Now that I'm retired I love to cook. I find it fun to try new recipes and to experiment with different ingredients. The internet is such a great way to research ideas for new recipes. I don't always follow them exactly...I love to experiment and improvise.
I love pork tenderloin. It is fairly low in calories, easy to prepare and makes a wonderful presentation. This recipe with apples and cranberries is one of our favorites for fall meals.
- 1 1/2 to 2 lb pork tenderloin
- 2 apples peeled and thinly sliced
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 2 Tablespoons brown sugar
- 2 Tablespoons corn starch
- 1/4 cup dried cranberries or raisins
- Put pork tenderloin in a baking dish. I prefer a glass or corning ware type dish. Lightly spray the dish with a cooking oil.
- Put rest of ingredients into a bowl and stir just to mix.
- Spoon mixture around the pork tenderloin.
- Cover and bake at 400 degrees for thirty minutes.
- Uncover and spoon apple mixture over pork tenderloin. Continue baking, uncovered, for about 10-15 minutes or until meat thermometer reaches 150-160 degrees. It is important not to overcook....inside may be slightly pink but that is alright as long as you've reached the 150 degree point.
- Remove from oven and allow to rest for 5-10 minutes before slicing.
Great for everyday or a company meal
My husband and I both watch our weight and pork tenderloin is an ideal choice for a lean meat for a family meal. I also like to use pork tenderloin because I always have leftovers. I can cook once and have meat for 2-3 meals. Here is a typical menu for our family meal.
Pork Tenderloin with apples and raisins
Orange Teriyaki - great taste
My sister, Julie, gave me this recipe. It had been a favorite with her family so I tried it for a company dinner. Everyone seemed to really enjoy it and I got requests for the recipe, which is always a good sign.
This recipe is easy to make and all the mess is done ahead of time in the preparation. This makes for a perfect company meal!
- 2 lbs Pork Tenderloin
- 1 large cooking bag
- 3 Tablespoons flour
- 3/4 cup orange juice
- 3/4 cup teriyaki sauce
- 4 cloves garlic ( I used the chopped garlic that comes in a jar)
- 2 Tablespoons orange peel grated
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- Shake flour in the cooking bag and then add the orange juice, teriyaki sauce, garlic, brown sugar, and orange peel. Squeeze the bag to blend the flour with the other ingredients. Put pork in bag and turn to coat all sides. Then refrigerate for at least 1 1/2 hours. When you are ready to bake the tenderloin, cut 6 1/2 inch slits in the bag and put it in a 9/13 inch pan. Bake at 400 degrees for 50 minutes. Slice and spoon sauce over meat.
Digital Meat Thermometer - Cooking to the perfect temperature
A good meat thermometer is important when cooking pork tenderloin. You want to have the pork done, but not overcooked. I like this one that allows you to put the reader outside the oven and even includes an alarm.
I have used this thermometer both in my oven and outside on my grill.
Roasted Potatoes and Vegetables
Homemade Apple Pie
Great Pan Makes a Difference - corningware baking dish
I find that a CorningWare baking dish works well to cook pork tenderloin. Here is the one I use. I always spray a little Pam in the pan before cooking..it makes clean up easier.
A dish like this works great, just spray with a bit of cooking oil first.
Easy Pulled Pork
cook in root beer
I made some pulled pork last week with an idea I read about and it turned out great. I thought I'd share this easy way to make pulled pork.
Just three ingredients needed.
1. Pork Tenderloin
2. 1 can root beer
3. Your favorite Barbecue sauce (I use Sweet Baby Rays)
Put the pork tenderloins in a crock pot and cover with the can of root beer. Cook on low for 7-8 hours. Next drain off the root beer and using two forks pull the pork apart. After you have shredded the pork pour on a bottle of your favorite barbecue sauce and simmer for about 1 hour.
This is great served on buns with a side of coleslaw!
Marinading for More Flavor
tasty marinade recipes
Another way to cook pork tenderloin is to put it in a marinade for 8-24 hours and then bake or grill it. I like to use a zip lock type bag to marinade the pork but you can also use a glass or ceramic bowl and cover it with plastic wrap. The meat should always be in the refrigerator while it is marinading.
Here are two marinades I have tried with great results.
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 Tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon minced ginger
2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
1/4 cup bourbon or whiskey
1 cup soy sauce
2 Tablespoons minced onions
4 teaspoons minced garlic
3 Tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon ginger
4 Tablespoons vegetable oil
When I am ready to cook the pork tenderloins. I remove them from the marinade and put them in a lightly sprayed baking dish. I pour a small amount of the marinade over the pork. I then cook the meat till it reaches an internal temperature of 150-160 degrees. This takes about 30 minutes at 400 degrees. Both of these recipes received rave results and were very juicy and tender!
More Great Ideas - links to cooking tips and recipes
I have found the internet to be a great source of recipes and cooking tips. I don't always follow the recipes exactly. (I love to improvise) but they always give me good ideas and suggestions for ingredients.
One of my favorites below is the slow cooker recipe from Allrecipes
- Cooks.com - Recipes - Pork Tenderloin
I particularly liked the stuffed pork tenderloin recipe on this site.
- Allrecipes Pork Tenderloin in Slow Cooker
I've tried the pork tenderloin in the slow cooker. It works really well. This is a great way to make the pork tenderloin when you have more time earlier in the day than you do just before dinner. It comes out so nice and tender and really delicious.
Try It Grilled - grill with corn on cob
I have made this pork tenderloin several times and it turns out great. A wonderful summer meal!
- 1 Tablespoon paprika
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1 teaspoon packed light brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon mustard powder
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 1/2 lbs pork tenderloin
- 3/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- 3 Tablespoons light brown sugar
- 2 Tablespoons ketchup
- 1. Combine the paprika, 2 teaspoons salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, brown sugar,cumin,mustard powder, onion and garlic powder in a bowl. Rub the olive oil all over the pork and then rub on the combined spices. Wrap tenderloin tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate 3-6 hours.
- 2. To make the sauce, combine the last three ingredients in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a simmer, stirring till sugar disolves and then remove from the heat.
- 3. Remove pork from refrigerator about 30 minutes before grilling. Cook the pork, turning occasionally until a thermometer inserted in the thickest part register 145 degrees. This takes about 25 minutes. Transfer to cutting board to rest for 15 minutes.
- 4. Slice the pork and drizzle with the sauce.
Marinades to Try
pork tenderloin marinades
Here are some marinades I want to try for future recipes
Dijon Honey Mustard
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 clove garlic
3 tablespoons dijon honey mustard
salt and pepper to taste
I'd love to hear from you.