The Most Flavorful Pork Tenderloin Recipe I Keep Coming Back To

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(Image Credit: Quentin Bacon)

At Kitchn, our editors develop and debut brand-new recipes on the site every single week. But at home, we also have our own tried-and-true dishes that we make over and over again — because quite simply? We love them. And we decided to start sharing some of our absolute favorites with you. Here’s a peek into what we’re cooking and eating in our own kitchens.

I never thought I’d see the day where I was gushing about pork tenderloin. I grew up eating it — and made it for myself occasionally when I first lived on my own — but it wasn’t a dish I ever really got excited about. That all changed the first time I made this recipe, which transforms the lean, mild-mannered meat into an irresistible, party-worthy main.

There are two things that made me fall in love with this honey-glazed tenderloin: the crackly crust and the sweet and tangy glaze. The crust is created by patting the tenderloin dry, seasoning it, then searing it in a screaming-hot skillet.

It’s the 4-ingredient pantry glaze, though, that continues to win me over every time I make it (which is often). Made of equal parts honey and sherry vinegar (feel free to swap in red wine or apple cider vinegar), plus a spoonful of whole-grain mustard and a pinch of cayenne, it gives the pork just enough flair and flavor to make it fit for special occasions — like birthdays and holidays — yet it’s quick enough to pull off just about any night of the week. The sweetness of the honey is tempered by the punchiness of the vinegar and mustard, and the cayenne introduces a hint of warmth and not too much heat. The recipe calls for adding a pat of butter and some fresh rosemary, but honestly, I don’t think it needs either.

The One Thing That Makes This Recipe Even Better

I always look forward to dragging the meat through the sticky puddles on my plate to get a little taste of the tangy glaze with every bite. But there never seems to be enough for my sauce-loving ways. Which is why I now scale up the glaze by about 50 percent every time I make this recipe. Exact measurements aren’t crucial — you can eyeball it. If you really love sauce, you could even double it, and just give it an extra minute or two to thicken in the pan.

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