Pork Tenderloin is definitely one of my favorite cuts of meat in the whole wide world (I can’t believe I’m using that expression again. I’ll have to think of another one, seriously! I feel like everything is “my favorite in the whole wide world”, lately…)
But really, I absolutely LOVE pork tenderloin. I mean, not only is it super lean, but it’s also unbelievably and naturally tasty, juicy and tender. You don’t need to do much to it at all in order to turn it into a more than decent meal. A little bit of salt and pepper really goes a long way when it comes to dressing up this deliciously versatile and surprisingly affordable cut of meat.
And if you feel like kicking things up a notch, a simple little marinade will easily turn any pork tenderloin into a veritable feast fit for a king, or at the very least worthy of a 5 star restaurant. Providing that you placed your meat to marinate the previous day, which will only require about 10 minutes of your time, you can expect to drop this delicious and elegant dish on your table in under 25 minutes.
This makes it an ideal contender for an easy weeknight dinner, but once you’ve tasted it, I’ve no doubt that you will agree with me that it would be just as appropriate if served on special occasions.
- 1/4 cup maple syrup (the real stuff!)
- 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 2 teaspoons dijon mustard
- 1 (1-pound) pork tenderloin
- 2 teaspoons vegetable oil, divided
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- Combine the maple syrup, vinegar, and red pepper flakes in a small saucepan. Turn the heat to high and boil for about 3 minutes, until the mixture has reduced to 1/3 of a cup. Turn off the heat and whisk in the dijon mustard.
- Meanwhile, slice the pork tenderloin into 8 equal pieces. Place four of the pieces between two pieces of plastic wrap and pound until they are about 1/4″ thick.
- Heat one teaspoon of the vegetable oil in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Season the pounded-out pork pieces with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Once the oil is hot (3 minutes or so), add the pork pieces and cook for 90 seconds per side. Set aside on a plate.
- Pound out and season the remaining four pork pieces. Add another teaspoon of oil to the pan and cook the pork for 90 seconds per side.
- Return the rest of the cooked pork to the pan. Pour in the maple-balsamic sauce and cook for 1 minute.