A toast to the roast.
Roasted pork tenderloin is not, shall we say, a groundbreaking dinner. So let us all just acknowledge that right off the bat. What would have been right as the centerpiece dish to a 1950s dinner party looks just as good day.
And tastes just as good, too. After all, there is a reason why some dishes become dated (for your consideration: ambrosia), and others become classic. This juicy, herb-roasted pork tenderloin may not be trendy, but it does deserve a place in anyone’s recipe collection for its ease, juicy flavor fragrant with sage and rosemary, and crowd-pleasing comfort.
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Recipe Notes: Herb-Roasted Pork Tenderloin
Here, I have called for two one-pound (or so) pork tenderloins. This will be faster to cook than one larger one. And if you would like a nice, brown crust on the tenderloin, sear it in a hot, oiled pan for about a minute on each side first. Then transfer the tenderloin to the sheet pan and bake. I have not seared the meat here, however, for time-saving — and extra-pan-washing — reasons. Also, when served pre-sliced on a platter, some of the visual effect of the browning is lost. (It does add some good flavor, though.)
Like steak, pork doneness can be a very personal thing. While the government says that pork should be cooked to 145 degrees Fahrenheit, I find that the meat will be a little overdone and dry at this temperature. Instead, I cook it to 138 degrees, and then let it rest, loosely covered with foil. The carry-over heating will raise it to about 140 degrees, and it will still retain a good amount of juiciness, and be cooked through without being dry.
Did you make the recipe? How did it turn out? Share in the comments, below.
Herb-Roasted Pork Tenderloin
- 2 1-pound pork tenderloins
- 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 20 turns fresh-cracked black pepper
- 2 tablespoons each fresh rosemary and sage, roughly chopped
- 8 or so young, fresh thyme stems
- 1 medium onion peeled and sliced
- 1 pound carrots, peeled, trimmed, and halved lengthwise
- Using a very sharp knife, remove excess fat from the tenderloins, and slice off the silver skin. The silver skin is the length of silver-white connective tissue (you can't miss it) on the underside of the tenderloin. Discard.
- Drizzle the meat with two tablespoons of olive oil. Coat the tenderloins evenly with the salt and pepper on all sides. Place the tenderloins on a half-sheet pan lined with parchment. Sprinkle the meat evenly with the fresh thyme, rosemary, and sage. If one end of the tenderloins are smaller than the other, tuck the tail under so that the entire thing has a more uniform thickness. Let brine, uncovered, in the refrigerator for at least four hours, or overnight. This allows the salt to seep well into the meat.TIP: If you can't spare the space for a half-sheet pan in your fridge, just put the meat on a dish and transfer it to the sheet pan before cooking.
- Preheat oven to 375°F.
- Remove the pork tenderloins from the refrigerator. Toss the sliced carrots and onions with one tablespoon of olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Arrange the onion and carrots around the pork tenderloin. Roast, uncovered, for around 30 minutes, or until a meat thermometer reads 138°F at the thickest part of the meat. The meat will be juicy and just a little pink. (Note: The F.D.A. officially recommends cooking pork to an internal temperature of 145°F.)
- Let rest, covered loosely with foil, for five to ten minutes. Slice the meat using a serrated knife. Arrange the vegetables on a platter with the pork, and serve with the pan juices.