Tips and Tricks
How do you store leftover pork tenderloin? Store cooked pork tenderloin either with or without the sauce in an airtight container in the fridge for up to three days. Often, I’ll store it with whatever vegetable sides I made and just heat it all up together.
What’s the best way to reheat pork tenderloin? To reheat pork, I just microwave it until warmed through. Because it is originally cooked to 145F, it remains juicy and flavorful even after being heated up. If you don’t want to use the microwave, you can heat up pork in the oven at 350 F for 10-15 minutes until warmed through.
What do you serve with this pork recipe? Pork tenderloin is really versatile and goes with a variety of vegetables and sides. One of my favorites is pressure cooker mashed butternut squash. Other ideas are roasted vegetables like roasted brussels sprouts with balsamic glaze or a shredded brussels sprout side salad. Realistically, pork goes well with most vegetables and rice sides.
What can you use leftover sauce on? It is likely you’ll have leftover sauce from this recipe. You can use this up on other proteins like chicken breasts or thighs, turkey or even use it as a sauce for wings! Another option is to freeze it for the next time you make pork tenderloin. If you're adding it to another protein, make sure to add it after the protein is fully cooked to avoid burning.
How do you buy good maple syrup? For this recipe, I recommend you use real maple syrup, not brands like Mrs. Buttersworth or Log Cabin. These brands are often made with corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup and caramel color and just don’t have the same flavor. Although real maple syrup is more expensive, it is worth the flavor and quality. To make sure you are buying the right maple syrup, look at the labels and make sure the only ingredient is maple syrup. The different grades and colors tell you what flavors you’re getting. I personally prefer Grade A maple syrup for a rich and full flavor.
Are pork tenderloin and pork loin the same cut of meat? They are different cuts on the same animal. They are not interchangeable pieces of meat. Pork tenderloin is a cut that is very tender, lean and usually about one and quarter pounds, making it perfect for two people. However, a pork loin is much thicker and can vary in size and fat content
What type of dijon mustard do you use for the sauce? I use whole grain dijon mustard in this recipe for the texture as well as the flavor. If you can’t find or don’t have this type of mustard you can substitute smooth dijon mustard, but it will change the texture a bit. The flavor should be just as delicious.
How do you prep pork tenderloin? To prep pork tenderloin, remove the silverskin. Silverskin is thin connective tissue on pork tenderloin and is literally silver. It doesn’t ever cook down or out, so it’s best to remove it for texture. Typically you can find it at the thicker end of the tenderloin. To remove this, take a sharp knife (preferably a boning knife) and gently slide the knife between the silverskin and the rest of the pork tenderloin. Try to stay very close to the silverskin to keep the tenderloin intact. Discard the silverskin once removed, it goes about half way down the tenderloin. After that, remove any large pieces of fat and you’re ready to cook!
How do you make maple dijon pork tenderloin?
Preheat the oven to 425 F and preheat a 10-12 inch cast iron skillet over medium heat. Trim silverskin from pork tenderloin along with any large fatty pieces and discard those pieces. Season pork tenderloin well with kosher salt and black pepper and then rub canola oil over the entire pork tenderloin. Once the pan is preheated, sear the pork tenderloin on all four sides for three minutes each. After the pork tenderloin is seared on four sides, place the cast iron skillet with pork tenderloin into the oven and cook for six to eight minutes or until 145 F internally. Remove from the oven and allow to rest for at least 10 minutes before slicing and topping with maple dijon sauce.
Maple Dijon Sauce
While pork tenderloin is resting, melt butter in a medium saucepan until slightly foaming and then stir in maple syrup, mustard, soy sauce and juice from half a lime until combined. Allow the sauce to come to a simmer. Mix water and cornstarch to form a slurry and then stir directly into sauce. Cook for one to two minutes until thickened and then remove from the heat. Add to sliced pork and enjoy.
How do you know when pork tenderloin is done? The best way to tell when any protein is done, is with a meat thermometer to take the internal temperature. Pork tenderloin is done at 145F, when it is slightly pink in the middle. You can cook it longer to a higher internal temperature but you run the risk of it being dried out since it is such a lean cut of meat. My favorite thermometer is the Thermoworks Mk4 which is a bit pricey, but worth every penny. It’ll help you cook large cuts of meat and make sure you never dry out chicken breast! If you don’t have a meat thermometer, cook the pork tenderloin for 8 minutes in the oven (after searing!) and cut it open to check the doneness. You will lose some juice from this method but it will tell you if it’s done.
When do you add the maple syrup and mustard sauce? To avoid burning, add the sauce after the pork tenderloin has finished cooking and been sliced to serve. Slicing the pork tenderloin gives you more surface area for sauce and makes each bite extra flavorful.
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Maple Dijon Pork Tenderloin
- 1 ¼ lb pork tenderloin
- Kosher salt to taste
- Fresh black pepper to taste
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
Maple Dijon Sauce
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter ½ stick
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons whole grain dijon mustard
- 2 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
- Juice from ½ lime
- 3 tablespoons cold water
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- Preheat the oven to 425 F. Also,preheat a 10-12 inch cast iron or other oven safe pan over medium heat.
- While the oven and pan are preheating, trim silverskin from pork tenderloin along with any large fatty pieces and discard the trimmings.
- Season pork tenderloin well with kosher salt and black pepper and then rub canola oil over the entire pork tenderloin.
- Once the pan is preheated, sear the pork tenderloin on all 4 sides for 3 minutes each. When you add the pork tenderloin to the pan, it should sizzle, if it doesn’t the pan isn’t hot enough. If that happens, remove the pork and let the pan heat up another 3-5 minutes. A good sear is important for flavor as well as how long it’ll take to cook in the oven.
- After the pork tenderloin is seared on 4 sides, put the cast iron skillet with pork tenderloin into the oven and cook for 6-8 minutes or until 145 F internally.
- Remove from the oven and allow to rest for at least 10 minutes before slicing and serving with maple dijon sauce.
Maple Dijon Sauce
- While pork tenderloin is resting, melt butter in a medium saucepan until slightly foaming, then stir in maple syrup, mustard, soy sauce and juice from ½ of a fresh lime until combined. Allow to come to a simmer.
- Mix water and cornstarch to form a slurry and then stir directly into sauce. Cook for 1-2 minutes until thickened and then remove from the heat.
- Add to sliced pork and enjoy.
- Make sure you buy pork tenderloin and not pork loin, they are different cuts and will take much different amounts of time to cook.
- Before seasoning, remove silverskin and any large fatty pieces.
- The pan should sizzle when the pork is added, if it doesn’t, remove pork from the pan and allow to heat up for 3-5 more minutes.
- Allow pork tenderloin to rest for 10 minutes before slicing to keep it juicy.
- Serve with sauce over cut slices with your favorite vegetables or rice.
- Store pork and sauce in the fridge for up to 3 days in an airtight container.