My rule when it comes to big family gatherings is that until I’m the one who will be hosting everyone, I will only then worry that I have never cooked a whole turkey or a honey glazed ham, or anything significant like that in my life. And I don’t plan on doing it…”just for fun” either.
What I will do though, is try and master smaller cuts of meat. So alas, a roasted pork tenderloin with the best dang herby, mustardy, pan gravy you’ll ever have.
- 1 cup of apple juice
- 2 tbsp of dijon mustard
- 3 cloves of garlic, smashed
- 1tsp of dried rosemary / or dried thyme would work well also
PROTEIN + GRAVY
- 1 pork tenderloin
- 1 shallot, diced fine
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1/2 – 3/4 cup of dry white wine
- 1 tbsp of cornstarch
- Oil, salt and pepper
1. Create the marinade for the pork by combining the apple juice, dijon mustard, smashed garlic, and herbs to a large bowl. Place the whole tenderloin into the bowl and massage the marinade into the meat for about a minute before sealing the bowl with plastic wrap and putting it into the fridge for about an hour to marinade. Turn every 20 minutes or so.
I suggest actually doing the marinade in a large freezer bag if you have one and sealing it tight–it makes for an easier clean up.
2. In the last 20 minutes of the marinade, preheat the oven to 425°F. Prep the shallot and garlic for the gravy and put off to the side. Place a large frying pan over medium-high heat with a nice drizzle of oil. Also, take out a large baking dish that can withstand 425°F, as you will need this right after you sear the meat, as well as a small piece of parchment paper.
3. Remove the meat from the marinade and place onto the parchment but do not throw away the marinade bag!! First, season the tenderloin with a generous amount of salt and pepper and wash your hands right after for an easier transition of order of operations. :’)
4. Check to see if the pan is hot enough by hovering your palm over the surface of it. Using a set of tongs, place the meat onto the pan and let it sizzle away.
No sizzle? No good. Remove and wait until the pan is hot enough.
The goal is to sear all sides of the meat to lock in moisture and flavour. You are not intentionally burning the meat, but you do want to have a hard sear where all sides of the meat are browned evenly. This could be a fast process or slow, but be patient and try not to move the tenderloin around, otherwise it won’t build that crusty exterior. If the pan looks to be a little dry, add a small amount of more oil. If it is splattering everywhere, do not cover, but lower the heat slightly.
5. After searing, remove the tenderloin and place in the baking dish. Next, lower your heat to low-medium and toss in the shallot and garlic. Let them brown slightly before deglazing the pan with the white wine and scraping up the flavourful darkened bits from the meat.
6. When most of the alcohol is burned off, pour in the remaining marinade from bag/bowl and allow it to come to a boil for at least 5 minutes. Remove and pour into the baking dish around the tenderloin.
TIP: The marinade is your easy cheat-sheet to amazing gravy. As long as it boils for longer than 5 minutes, it will kill all bacteria from the raw meat and become this delicious, savoury, rich sauce.
7. Cover the baking dish with double aluminum foil and roast in the oven for 20 minutes. Then lower oven temperature to 375 °F for 35 minutes. Lastly, lower to 350 °F for another 15 minutes before removing from oven. Also remove from the baking dish and cover with the aluminum foil to rest for an additional 10 minutes.
8. Spoon the sauce into a small saucepot and bring to a slight simmer. If too thin, use a tiny spoonful of cornstarch and whisk into the gravy to thicken to your desired consistency. Carve your meat — the interior should be a soft mellowed out pink in the centre. Enjoy your feast and eat every dang bit of gravy there is, otherwise I’m calling the gravy police.
Peace and good eats,