One of my favorite cuts of meat for weeknight cooking is the pork tenderloin because it can be on the table in about 30 minutes. With a bold dry rub, quick sear, short roast, and no-fail pan sauce, this recipe may just fool them into thinking it’s Sunday night dinner. I’ll let you tell them it’s only Tuesday.
For the Pork:
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest (from 1 lemon)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt (or to taste)
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 2.25-2.5 pounds pork tenderloin (about 2 tenderloins)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
For the Pan Sauce:
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 1 1/2 – 2 cups chicken stock
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- Kosher salt and pepper
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
- In a small dish, combine lemon zest through black pepper. Using your hands, rub lemon-herb mix to cover all sides of pork tenderloins.
- In a large heavy-bottomed oven safe pan (not nonstick), heat olive oil over medium heat. Once hot, add pork to pan and sear on both sides until golden brown, about 2-3 minutes per side (5-6 minutes total).
- Transfer pan to oven. Roast until internal temperature reaches 145 degrees* (this will take about 15-20 minutes). I recommend using a probe thermometer so you can monitor internal temperature closely.
- Remove pan from oven. Keeping the drippings in the pan, transfer pork to a plate and loosely cover with foil to rest for 5-10 minutes.
- Return pan to stovetop (handle will be HOT, so be careful) over low heat. Sprinkle flour into the pan and use a wooden spoon or whisk to stir constantly, scraping up brown bits, for 1 minute.
- Add 1 1/2 cups stock and whisk to combine until sauce is smooth. Simmer for about 5 minutes, or until pan sauce thickens. (For a thinner sauce, add remaining 1/2 cup stock.)
- Stir in lemon juice and season to taste with additional salt and pepper, if necessary.
- Cut pork into 1/2-inch slices and serve topped with pan sauce.
*Pork that reaches the safe internal cooking temp of 145 degrees F will still be slightly pink inside.