My short stretch at home is coming to a close. It’s sad but oh so exciting, because beginning this Saturday, I’ll be all over Italy studying none other than food. AAAAAAHHHHH SO PUMPED. Then back in Gainesville for more school. Also great.
But in the mean time I’m catching up on some much-needed rest (although the sleep aspect would be much easier if the Internet weren’t a thing), planning on packing (one of the few areas where procrastination is a major weakness), and playing in the kitchen (per usual). In particular, I’m trying to make as many recipes as possible that my family members love but, stuck in their routines, won’t bother to make themselves. Occasionally I succeed at sliding a new food or preparation into their rotation, and I’ll randomly receive photos of the dish with giddy emojis weeks and even years later. What a mood-booster.
This pork is one of those recipes that I’m pushing for them to adopt. Why would anyone need a push, you ask? Because the finished masterpiece gives off an ambience of extravagant, romantic, special-occasion-only indulgence, and tastes like it came out of a five-star restaurant. So it must have required rare ingredients, hard labor, and all-day roasting, right?
The pork is insanely easy to put together, done all in one pan (including the sauce!), and actually quick! Pork tenderloin is much smaller than a whole pork loin, so all it needs is a quick sear and about 15-minute roast. Yep, that’s it!
But again, you would have never guessed that it could be that simple. Similar to the bacon in this Bacon-Wrapped Pork Tenderloin, the parmesan-breadcrumb crust buffers the meat to help create an ultra tender interior (no knife even required!) with a crisp outside, and don’t forget about the luscious glaze. And the flavor is wonderfully savory, balanced with nutty parmesan, tangy Dijon, thyme, garlic, and just a touch of sweetness. Oh my freakin’ YUM.
And as an added bonus, pork tenderloin makes a perfect healthy, nutrient-rich, lean protein for a balanced, wholesome dinner. The crust is even made with whole grain breadcrumbs and only lightly seared for that crisp perfection. No deep-frying or butter-overload necessary!
Just start with a coating of breadcrumbs, parmesan, garlic, thyme, olive oil, Dijon, and salt and pepper. To make your own breadcrumbs, simply toast whole grain bread, cool, and pulse in a food processor until fine crumbs form. Then transfer extra to a baggy and freeze, so they’re ready to go any time you need them! I do this with the end pieces of bread that I wasn’t going to eat anyway. It’s super convenient, and you have breadcrumbs that you can actually feel good about cooking with!
Give the pork a short sear on all sides…
Then just stick that whole pan right in the oven to let it finish cooking. Turn after about 6 minutes in the oven, and look for that gorgeous golden brown exterior.
Remove the cooked pork to rest (necessary step!) while you whip up the honey Dijon glaze: white wine to degalze, Dijon (regular and grainy for extra texture), honey, broth as needed, and a squeeze of lemon.
Using the same pan not only means fewer dishes, but also that those magical browned bits that are super-concentrated with flavor will melt into the glaze, giving it a rich caramelly color and unmatched taste.
Slice, drizzle on the glaze, and serve with your favorite sides! Pictured here with roasted baby potatoes with smoked gouda, roasted asparagus (EVOO, salt, pepper, and a squeeze of lemon), and whole grain rolls.
- 8 oz raw pork tenderloin, trimmed
- 1.5 Tbsp whole grain breadcrumbs*
- 1 Tbsp freshly grated parmigiano reggiano
- 1 small glove garlic, minced
- 3/4 tsp fresh thyme leaves**
- 1 tsp olive oil, divided
- 1/2 tsp grainy Dijon
- Pinch sea salt and black pepper
- 1 Tbsp dry white wine
- 1 tsp Dijon
- 1/4 tsp grainy Dijon
- 1 tsp honey
- 1/2 tsp lemon juice
- 1-2 Tbsp chicken broth
- Preheat oven to 400º. Slice pork into 2 pieces, if desired.
- In a small bowl, combine breadcrumbs, parmigiano reggiano, garlic, thyme, 1/2 tsp olive oil, 1/2 tsp whole grain Dijon, and salt and pepper to taste; stir to combine. Rub mixture over all sides of pork, pressing to coat.
- Add 1/2 tsp olive oil to an oven-safe nonstick skillet (more oil if not nonstick), and heat over medium on stovetop. Swirl to coat skillet. Carefully add pork; sear until lightly browned on all sides, about 1 minute per side.
- Transfer skillet to oven. Roast about 6 minutes, then (using a potholder!) remove skillet and turn pork. Return to oven to roast an additional 6-10 minutes, or until done. (Remember that potholder again!) Internal temperature must be 145ºF. It should be slightly firm and spring back up when pressed with the back of a fork.
- Transfer pork to a plate and allow to rest about 10 minutes before slicing.
- Meanwhile, place the hot skillet on the stovetop over medium-low heat (got your potholder?). Add white wine while stirring to scrape up browned bits. Stir in regular and whole grain Dijon, honey, lemon, and a splash broth. Bring to a light simmer and cook a couple minutes, until reduced to a glaze. Add additional broth if needed.
- Slice pork horizontally, divide between two plates, and drizzle with glaze. Serve with your favorite sides and veggies, and enjoy!
- *Make your own breadcrumbs by toasting whole grain bread, allowing to cool, then pulsing in a food processor until fine crumbs form. Store in an air-tight container in the freezer for convenient use any time!
- **If you don't have fresh thyme, try fresh rosemary or 1/2 tsp dried herbs de Provence.