We love this quick dinner recipe for roast pork tenderloin! Start with a flavorful rub of mustard, garlic, and rosemary, then pan sear until the pork is deep brown on the outside, and into the oven to finish it off to a perfect rosy pink on the inside. Add a vegetable (maybe a salad or roasted veggies?) and some bread and you’ll have dinner in 30 minutes.
Fall is approaching as I’m writing this and it’s time for me to work on all manner of tasty roasted and baked recipes. There is nothing like a bit of chill in the air to make the thought of turning on the oven a great idea, don’t you think?
Not that you can’t enjoy roast pork any time of the year! This recipe cooks so quickly, you’ll hardly notice the oven is on even in the summer. 🙂
Why don’t we get right to it? This is a simple recipe, though I do have a few tips and some info to share as you scroll down. Or just go right to the end and get cooking!
How do you make roast pork tenderloin?
To make roast pork tenderloin first cover the meat with a flavorful herb rub. Then pan sear to brown the meat and finish the pork in the oven.
To expand on this a little bit, the steps involved in making roast pork tenderloin are:
- Trim the tenderloins of silver skin.
- Mix together a rub including mustard, chopped rosemary, and garlic.
- Spread the rub over the tenderloins.
- Sear the tenderloins in a cast iron skillet.
- Roast the tenderloins in the oven until they reach 135-140F.
What is silver skin?
Silver skin is the thick and chewy layer of connective tissue which is found on some cuts of meat such as pork tenderloin. You can see in the photo below that it is thick and white. Simply trim that layer off with a sharp knife.
Why sear the pork first?
Searing the pork quickly browns the outside and develops flavor through the browned meat and browned rub. In the short amount of time the pork will be in the oven it will not be able to develop any sort of browned crust just from roasting. So it’s searing to the rescue!
What temperature to cook pork?
I know a lot of people still want to cook their pork to 160F but even the USDA has reduced their recommended temperature to 145F. And honestly, 145F is the maximum temperature you want after the pork has rested. Which means you need to take it off earlier!
For the juiciest, most tender pork roast (or chops), take them off the heat at 135F. Let them rest for about 5 minutes which will bring up their temperature to 140-145F and then enjoy.
And, yes, it will be pink if you cook it properly! You can eat pink pork and do so safely.
What is the difference between pork loin and pork tenderloin?
Pork loin and pork tenderloin are completely different cuts of meat and come from different parts of the animal. The pork loin is wide with a fat cap and can be rather tough if overcooked or cooked at too high a heat. The tenderloin is a small, thin roast and is quite tender. Tenderloin is best cooked quickly and at high heats.
Here is a great visual library of the different cuts of pork and what they look like.
If you try my recipe for Roast Pork Tenderloin, I would love to hear from you in the comments with your experience and rating! And I’m happy to answer any questions you might have.
– Happy Roasting, Annemarie
Simple Roast Pork Tenderloin
- 2 1 1/2 lb pork tenderloins
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1/4 cup dijon mustard
- 1 tbsp minced fresh rosemary, or 1 tsp dry rosemary
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 1/2 tbsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
- Heat oven to 450F.
- Trim the pork tenderloins to remove any silver skin from the outside of the roasts.
- Mix together all the rub ingredients (mustard, rosemary, olive oil, garlic, salt, and pepper) and spread the herb rub all over the tenderloins.
- Heat the olive oil in a 12 inch cast iron skillet over medium high heat.
- Once the skillet is hot and the oil is shimmering, add the tenderloins to the skillet.
- Sear the pork on all sides until browned. This will take 6-7 minutes.
- Transfer the skillet to the oven and roast the pork until it reaches 135-140F on an instant read thermometer, 11-13 minutes.
- Let the pork rest for 3-4 minutes. Then slice and serve with the sauce of your choice.
- Sauces for pork: If you wish to make a sauce for the pork, you can make your favorite quick pan sauce or here are a few ideas: Blue Cheese Sauce, Red Currant Sauce, Port Cherry Sauce, or Romesco Sauce.
- Temperature: For perfectly cooked pink pork tenderloin, take out the tenderloins at 135-140F (noting that 135F pork will be pinker!) and then let them rest for about 5 minutes. The internal temperature will increase while the pork remains tender and juicy.