For years, I made pork tenderloin in a certain way. It was always good, but I struggled with the balance of keeping it from drying out while still cooking it and its veggie or potato underlayment all the way through. Last year, however, I stumbled upon a simple technique for cooking it, and haven’t looked back. It’s SO much better.

pork tenderloin

The secret is very simple: sear the pork first, then let it sit while you sauté the veggies, then put it all back together and roast it at a very high heat for a short period of time. The pork comes out tender and juicy every time. And it’s a one-pot meal, which is a delightful bonus.

Pork Tenderloin with Apples and Onions

  • 1 package pork tenderloin (the packages usually contain two long skinny tenderloins; if there’s just one big one in there you’re still fine, it’ll just take longer in the oven)
  • 3 tablespoons dijon mustard
  • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary (fresh is good too if you have it)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil, plus a bit more for sautéing
  • 4 apples, cored and sliced (I like Gala apples)
  • 2 medium onions, peeled, halved, and cut into wedges
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/2 tablespoon butter

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

In a small bowl, mix together the mustard, vinegar, garlic, and rosemary. Drizzle in the olive oil while mixing with a fork or whisk. Set aside.

Heat a couple of tablespoons of olive oil over medium-high heat in a large, high-rimmed saute pan. Take out the pork tenderloins, pat them dry, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Sear in the pan until the outside is beginning to brown, about three or four minutes per side. Remove to a plate and spread the mustard/vinegar mixture evenly over the tenderloins (just on the top and sides, don’t worry about the bottom). Let sit.

Add a bit more olive oil to the pan, then add the apples, onions, and thyme. Add a pinch of salt and pepper, then sauté, stirring frequently, until the apples and onions are beginning to become tender.

Nestle the pork tenderloins in the apple and onion mixture, then put the entire pan in the oven and roast for about 15-20 minutes, until a meat thermometer shows the internal temperature of the pork in the thickest part to bel 160 degrees. (This may take a bit longer depending on how big your pork tenderloin is.)

When the pork has reached the appropriate temperature, carefully take the pan out of the oven and put it back on the stovetop. Remove the pork loins to a cutting board and let them rest. Turn the burner to medium-high heat, and cook the apples and onions a bit more, until the juices in the pan have reduced to being a small amount of sauce (a few tablespoons’ worth rather than the quarter to half a cup you will start with). Turn off the heat and stir in the butter.

Slice the pork and serve with the apple and onions spooned over the top or alongside.