BRAISED PORK TENDERLOIN

Pork Tenderloin is such a lovely cut of meat in terms of texture, with its mild flavor making it a great candidate for punchy sauces and seasoning.

This recipe is very easy, but plan ahead (i.e. best to let it marinate a few days) for this recipe and follow my cooks notes for an incredibly tasty and moist result.

PREP TIME:  10 min

COOK TIME:  35 min

SERVES:  4

INGREDIENTS

FOR THE MARINADE:

  • Salt and pepper

  • 2 pork tenderloins

  • 3 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 Tbsp dried thyme

  • 1 Tbsp grain or dijon mustard

  • 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce

  • 1 cup (240ml) milk

 

FOR COOKING:

  • 3 Tbsp (45 ml) olive oil

  • 2 yellow onions, diced

  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) white wine

 

MARINATE THE PORK

Salt and pepper your pork tenderloins on all sides.  In a small bowl, mix together the garlic, thyme, mustard and Worcestershire.  Distribute evenly across the 2 pork loins, and rub the mixture into the meat using the back of a spoon

Place your seasoned pork loins into a Ziploc bag and pour in the milk.  Seal, trying to squeeze out as much air as possible, and let sit in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

 

Remove the ziploc bag from the refrigerator one hour before cooking to let the meat come closer to room temperature.

COOKING INSTRUCTIONS

​IMPORTANT:  Remove the ziploc bag from the refrigerator one hour before cooking to let the meat come closer to room temperature *

CONVENTIONAL METHOD

 

Preheat your oven to 350F/180C

 

1)  Remove pork from marinade, reserving the liquid for later.

2)  Heat a 2 ½ quart (3 litre), shallow braising pan on medium-high, add 2 Tbsp (30 ml) olive oil and brown the pork on all sides (about 3 min per side).  Remove pork from pan and set aside.

3) Add reaming 1 Tbsp (15 ml) olive oil and onions, and sauté for 5 minutes, until soft and golden.

 

4)  Add the wine to deglaze the pan, cooking for about 2 minutes and stirring to dislodge any of browned tasty bits from the bottom of the pan.

 

5)  Pour in the reserve marinade and bring to a boil, whisking constantly.

6)  Place the browned pork loins on top of the boiling onion mixture and transfer your dish to the oven.

 

(If you don't have a shallow braising pan, then use a normal frying pan for steps 1-5, and transfer to an oven-proof baking dish).

 

7)  Roast in your preheated oven for 15-20 min, or until an internal meat thermometer measures 145F/62C.  Remove pork from oven, cover with foil and let rest 5 minutes before carving.

WONDERBAG METHOD

 

1)  Remove pork from marinade, reserving the liquid for later.

 

2)  Heat a 2 ½ quart (3 litre), shallow braising pan (with short side handles) on medium-high, add 2 Tbsp (30 ml) olive oil and brown the pork on all sides (about 3 min per side).  Remove pork from pan and set aside.

 

3) Add remaining Tbsp (15 ml) olive oil and onions, and sauté for 5 minutes, until soft and golden.

 

4)  Add the wine to deglaze the pan, cooking for about 2 minutes and stirring to dislodge any of browned tasty bits from the bottom of the pan.

 

5)  Pour in the reserve marinade and bring to a boil, whisking constantly.

 

6)  Place the browned pork loins on top of the boiling onion mixture and immediately cover the pot with its lid, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 10 minutes.

 

7)  Seal your lidded pot in the Wonderbag and leave it to cook for one hour.

MARINATED PORK TENDERLOIN
MARINATED PORK TENDERLOIN

Remove from fridge 1 hour before cooking to let come to room temperature.

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BROWN THE PORK
BROWN THE PORK

Brown the pork on all sides, then remove from pan and set aside.

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ADD PORK BACK TO PAN
ADD PORK BACK TO PAN

Place the pork back into the pan with the sauce, then transfer to the preheated oven.

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SERVE

Transfer the pork to a cutting board for carving, and slice on the diagonal.

 

Pour sauce into a pitcher, gravy boat, or directly over the platter of meat...as you wish!

BRAISED PORK TENDERLOIN
BRAISED PORK TENDERLOIN

Carve at a 45 degree angle and serve.

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Recipe & Photo Credits:  Cathy Menees

COOKS NOTES

INGREDIENTS & TECHNIQUE

Pork Tenderloin can be a bit tricky to cook.  Many people have told me they tend to over cook it, it dries out and/or becomes chewy.  I’ve had the same experiences in early days, and I’ve found my success with cooking pork tenderloin comes from 2 things:

1)  Marinating it in milk (yes milk) and spices for 4 days (yes, 4 days) to tenderize, swell the fibers with moisture, and infuse with flavor. 

 

2)  When cooking, it’s important not to completely submerge the meat in boiling liquid as it needs a slow cook at a low temperature (aka, below boiling point).  If the meat goes above 145 degrees Fahrenheit (62 Celsius), you’re going to have a nice piece of shoe leather on your plate (yes, sarcasm).

COOKING

When your bring the reserve marinade to the boil, the milk might look like it wants to curdle, but just keep whisking it vigorously to emulsify and it will smooth out nicely. 

 

CARVING

When carving your pork, try to slice it thin, on a diagonal (45 degree angle) as this will deliver the tenderest bites…and it just looks better!

 

KITCHEN BUDDIES 

My go-to pan for braising is a round, 2½ quart (3 litre) Le Creuset, cast iron pan that measures 11 inches (30cm) in diameter, and almost 2.5 inches (6cm) deep (with a tight fitting lid of course). 

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