I was never really a big fan of pork. For many years, I believed that if pork was pink, it was undercooked. This is not necessarily the case. Just like any ground meat, ground pork needs to be cooked until the pink is gone, or to 160°F. Cooking a chop, tenderloin or roast? Pink is perfectly fine. As a matter of fact, cooked to the minimum temperature at 145°, pork is tender, juicy and flavorful. Overcooking certain cuts can make meat tough and dry and not very tasty. No wonder I wasn’t a fan, I had been eating overcooked meat all this time!
Norma’s Pork Tenderloin
Norma, my mother in law, had made this recipe for my husband and I once while we were visiting. Delighted that we enjoyed it, she promptly wrote down the recipe and gave it to me. Last year Norma passed away, and especially now, it is wonderful to have this recipe in my cookbook. I am reminded of her every time I pull it out. Just like Norma, this recipe is a class act. It calls for only a few simple ingredients and is quick and easy to prepare. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.
Serves 2-3 Prep time 35 minutes
- 1 ½ lbs. pork tenderloin ( if using a larger quantity, double the amounts below)
- 1 tsp thyme
- ½ tsp rosemary
- 2 tsp. vegetable oil
- 2 tbsp. Dijon mustard
Easy as 1-2-3!
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- Spray roasting pan with cooking spray.
- Mix thyme, rosemary, oil and dijon mustard in a small bowl.
- Pat the tenderloin dry then spread the mixture on both sides of the meat.
- Bake uncovered for 30 minutes to a minimum temperature of 145°F. I recommend using a meat thermometer for pork tenderloin, smaller pieces cook quickly and you could otherwise end up with a dry tenderloin (I use an iGrill², that I absolutely love, because you can link your cell phone to it and walk away from the oven or grill while keeping tabs on your meat temperature just by checking your phone). (click photo if interested)
Remove meat from oven when done and let meat rest for at least 3 minutes before slicing. This will ensure a juicier slice of meat.
Here is a useful link with the recommended cooking temperatures for different types of meat. https://www.foodsafety.gov/keep/charts/mintemp.html
If you’re a baby back ribs lover, try my Best Baby Back Ribs