Get your autumn pants on, y’all. Fall is, without a doubt, my favorite season. People may rave about summertime cooking (sure, there’s a lot of produce), but I am never more inspired than when I see the grocery store fill up with squash and apple cider. Once the weather cools down a tad and I can acceptably turn the oven on again, one of the dishes that re-enters our regular dinner rotation is roasted pork tenderloin. I grew up thinking that all pork except the pulled and bacon varieties were universally dry and devoid of flavor. I believed this falsehood up until a few years ago when I developed this recipe and learned that pretty much anything from the top half of the pig (think blade steaks, the loins, and all of the chops) are much more appropriately cooked to a tender and succulent 145°F (medium rare) rather than a chewy 160°F. Try one perfectly cooked, succulent pork tenderloin and you’ll never go back to “well done” pork again.
This particular dish was inspired by the latest episode of Samin Nosrat and Hrishikesh Hirway’s excellent Home Cooking podcast, where Samin mentioned a miso-maple dressing and I immediately started dreaming about the possibilities. I added some sauteed aromatics to create the sauce, and Dijon and white wine vin to lighten things up. The sauce is savory without being heavy and bright without being tangy. It could totally be customized with fresh minced ginger along with the shallots and garlic, finely chopped thyme stirred in at the end, or apple cider instead of water for a sweeter glaze. I could see myself serving this at a dinner party, but it’s perfectly quick and easy for a weeknight dinner too. Overall, a 10/10 meal.
Pork Tenderloin with Miso Maple Pan Sauce
Makes about 6 servings
- 2 Tbsp. canola oil
- 2 pork tenderloins, around 1.5 lbs each*
- Salt & pepper, to season
Miso Maple Pan Sauce
- 3 Tbsp. butter
- 1 small shallot, finely diced
- 2 large garlic cloves, finely diced
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 3 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
- 2 Tbsp. white miso paste
- 2 Tbsp. white wine vinegar
- Parsley, to garnish (optional)
- Preheat oven to 375°F. Heat oil in a large cast-iron skillet or Dutch oven (preferably around 12 inches in diameter) over medium-high heat.
- While skillet heats, pat tenderloins dry with paper towels and season them all over with salt & pepper. You’ll use around 3/4 to 1 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper, depending on the size of your tenderloins.
- Place both tenderloins in the skillet (curving them to fit as needed) and reduce heat to medium. Sear until deeply golden on three out of the four sides, about 5 to 6 minutes per side. Turn tenderloins onto their fourth/final side and move pan to oven.
- Roast for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the internal temperature at the thickest point of the tenderloins reach 145°F. If you have a wire probe thermometer, now’s the perfect time to use it. If you don’t, now’s the time to get one**.
- Remove the loins from the skillet, cover with foil, and let rest while you make your sauce.
Miso Maple Pan Sauce
- Heat the skillet over medium heat and add 3 Tbsp. butter. Once butter is melted and foamy, add shallot and garlic. Cook, stirring frequently, until very aromatic and beginning to turn translucent, about 3 to 4 minutes.
- Remove from heat and add water, maple syrup, mustard, miso, and vinegar. Stir to scrape up any remaining fond from the bottom of the pan and to fully combine the sauce.
- Cut pork against the grain into 1/2-inch thick slices and serve drizzled with sauce. Sprinkle with finely chopped parsley if desired.
Serve this pork with a dark greens salad (kale, diced apples, and dried cranberries would be great here!), chilled homemade applesauce, or broccoli slaw for some freshness. To embrace the autumn feel, add roasted potatoes/sweet potatoes, crispy Brussels sprouts, or buttered orzo to your plate.
*2 pork tenderloins typically come in 1 package at the grocery store, so this recipe is designed for that size. If you buy your pork from a butcher counter and/or have tenderloins that are bigger/smaller—that’s fine! Just adjust the final oven time a few minutes more or less as needed to hit that 145°F internal temp.
**My probe thermometer is hands-down my favorite kitchen tool. It seriously improves all your roasting, candy-making, and frying experiences. I would never consider making a Thanksgiving turkey without one. I’ve gone through several Polder Classics over the years and highly recommend them for a cost-effective option. If you’re looking for the highest quality, my recommendation is the ThermoWorks ChefAlarm.