Make this tonight in less than an hour! Succulent pork tenderloin served in a creamy mushroom white wine sauce, and boiled potatoes on the side. This is an easy week night meal to prepare, but elegant enough to impress your Sunday dinner guests.

Now, I'm not sure if I would be able to forgive myself if I didn't share this recipe with you. Pork tenderloin is something that I make often during the fall and winter months and my family adores it. My kids wolf eat their first portions and then ask for seconds; my husband savours every bite, and I lick the plate clean (when the kids aren't looking, of course).

I always prepare the meat the same way and each time it turns out perfect - juicy, tender, and flavourful. The three steps that I do to achieve these results are sear the meat on all sides and season with salt and pepper after searing; bake in a hot oven for 20 minutes (give yourself enough time to prepare the sauce); and most importantly, let the meat rest before slicing into it (this locks in all the juices).

A lot of recipes state to rub seasoning on the meat, but I like to keep the seasoning simple with just salt and pepper, and have the most of the flavour come from the sauce. I either make a blue cheese sauce, or this decadent mushroom white wine sauce pictured above. I serve cooked potatoes on the side, so you can mash them up and sop up the juices. No need for butter in this case. ;-)

Start off we two pieces of pork tenderloin (not to be confused with pork loin ... it's a different cut) and trim off any of the silver skin that you see. If you leave it on, it won't be very appetizing when you chew the meat. It'll taste rubbery (I've already tried it).

Next, heat up some olive oil in a pan and fry all sides on high to medium-high heat. I don't usually time it. I wait till the meat doesn't stick to the pan any more. If it does, it means that it hasn't browned long enough. If the meat looks nicely browned, but it still sticks to the pan, then not enough oil was used. Just add a bit more. If you're a bit in a rush (or a little impatient like me) then feel free to use a metal spatula to scrape the meat off the pan.

Place the meat in a baking dish and bake in a HOToven for 20 minutes. This gives you enough time to make the sauce. If you're wondering about the potatoes, you start with those first before you start with the meat. Simply peel the potatoes, cut them in half if they are too big (they should be similiar in size so they cook evenly), and then cook them in a pot of water until they are tender. A trick that my MIL taught me is, if the potatoes are ready before the main dish, then strain the potatoes, put them back in the pot, cover with a paper towel, and put the lid on top. This will absorb any moisture inside the pot, and keep the potatoes firm AND hot until serving time.

Chop the onions and slice the mushrooms. Cook the onions for a few minutes until translucent and then add the mushrooms. Continue cooking till most the moisture from the mushrooms has evaporated (bottom-right-hand corner in the photo above). You may need to drizzle a bit more oil if there isn't enough fat in the pan. 

Now this is where the flavour is introduced into the sauce. Deglaze the pan with half cup of white wine. I used a Riesling. For years, I used Chardonnay but I recently switched to Riesling. I like the light flavour it adds to the sauce, with just a hit of sweetness. (I also recommended this in my recipe for risotto.) After the wine has reduced, then add some chicken broth and cream to the mushrooms, and cook a few minutes longer to heat through. I like my sauce a bit on the thicker side, so I mixed two rounded teaspoons of cornstarch in a tablespoon of room temperature water (not hot, or it will clump), and mixed it into the sauce. Taste the sauce to see if it needs any more salt and pepper. If you wish, you can add some freshly chopped parsley but I opted it out this time around.

When the meat is ready to be taken out of the oven, it should be cooked medium-rare. You can bake the meat a bit longer, but that pure flavour of pork will be lost and the meat won't be as juicy. When I was growing up, my parents always overcooked the meat to 'kill off all the bacteria'. It was so dry that I would eat it with tones of ketchup. On my 25th birthday, and old friend of mine took me out for my birthday to a fancy restaurant. She told me to order the steak medium-rare. I was really hesitant about partially raw meat, but once I took that first bite, I was hooked. Ever since then, though, that is how I order my steak at a restaurant and make it at home. 

The last (and most) important factor after you take the meat out of the oven, is to let it rest for a few minutes before cutting into it. This will lock in all the juices. Cover loosely with aluminium foil and let the magic happen. When it's time to serve, slice the pork tenderloin into thick slices (about 1 inch / 2 cm thick), Serve about three slices per person, a side of potatoes, and drizzle a bit of sauce over the meat (mushrooms can be served on the side or over the meat), and you have a meal fit for a king. :-)

When I made this on Sunday, my husband initially had asked for a blue cheese sauce, but I preferred the mushroom sauce. Since I had all ingredients on hand, I decided to make both of them. My husband was away for the week on a business trip in France, and when he returned, he brought back some blue cheese with him. Well, needless to say, my husband ended up eating most of the mushroom sauce and I poured the blue cheese sauce over my potatoes. The kids ate their meat pure. :-)

Give this recipe a try. With all the tips I just gave you, I don't think you'll be disappointed with this dish. :-)

(From the Kitchen of For the Love of Italian Cooking)

For the Meat:
  • 2 pcs pork tenders (about 1 lb or 500 g each)
  • 6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • Sea salt, to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
For the Sauce:
  • 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 8 oz (250 g) white or brown mushrooms, thickly sliced
  • 1/2 cup (125 ml) white wine (ie. Riesling)
  • 3/4 cup (180 ml) water
  • 1 tsp granular chicken bouillon
  • 3/4 cup (180 ml) cream
  • Sea salt, to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 tsp cornstarch, dissolved in 1 tbsp water (room temperature)
On the Side:
  • 2 lbs (1 kg) cooking potatoes, peeled and cut into even sizes.
  1. Preheat oven to 400 deg F (200 deg C).
  2. POTATOES: Place peeled potatoes in a pot and cover with water plus a tablespoon of salt. Cover, bring to a boil and then reduce heat to medium. Continue cooking until tender (cooking time will vary, depending on the size the potatoes were cut). Strain, place a paper towel on top of the pot, and cover with the lid. TIP: As the potatoes are cooking, prepare the meat and the sauce.
  3. MEAT: Heat up a large skillet, place two tablespoons of oil, and sear the pork tenderloins on all sides. Every time you flip the meat, add a tablespoon or two of oil to prevent it from sticking. Drizzle another 2 tablespoons of oil in a baking dish and place the meat in there. Bake the meat for 20 minutes (no longer). Remove from oven, tent with a piece of aluminium foil, and let the meat rest for several minutes. TIP: As the meat is in the oven, prepare the sauce.
  4. SAUCE: In the same skillet, heat another 2 tablespoons of oil over medium heat and cook the onions until translucent, about 3-5 minutes. Then add the sliced mushrooms and cook until the water from the mushrooms has evaporated (time will vary).
  5. Deglaze pan with white wine. Cook for several minutes scraping the bits from the bottom of the pan, until reduced by half. Add water, chicken bouillon, and cream. Bring to a gentle simmer and then stir in the cornstarch/water mixture. Cook for a few minutes longer until the sauce has slightly thickened.
  6. SERVING: Slice pork tenderloin into 1 inch (2 cm) slices, place 3-4 pieces per serving on a dinner plate, drizzle mushroom sauce over the meat, and add a side of potatoes. Enjoy!!
Serves 6-8 people.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you for stopping by and reading this post! Let me know what you think by leaving a comment below. I love reading your comments. (Please note that all comments are published on approval and spam will be automatically deleted.)

Rosa G.
Hamburg, Germany
Hi! My name is Rosa and welcome to my blog! I'm a fun loving, most-of-the-time stressed mother of three small boys, and a former cubicle dweller turned pastry chef. I am an amateur blogger and food photographer and lover of good Italian food. My food is simple, fresh, and seasonal (with an occasional frozen pizza).