I have a love-hate thing with pork tenderloin. If it’s not cooked just right, it can be pretty dry. Also, it is not as flavorful as other (cheaper) cuts of pork. Frankly, I love pork butt (also referred to as Boston Butt). It’s flavorful, although more fatty than tenderloin. I don’t have a problem with that. Why? Because it has tons more flavor. However, pork tenderloin can be delicious if cooked properly. Now, I’m not saying you can’t bake it in the oven. You definitely can, but the recipe I’m about to provide here doesn’t call for oven baking. This is a bit of a twist on that recipe.
The pan-cooking recipe calls for pork bouillion. Goya sells this product. The box will probably have the name “carnitas” on the front. That’s what you want.
I’m not going to lie to you. You can bake this in the oven. In the event that you prefer that, I’m going to provide you with an alternative cooking method that calls for oven baking. If you want to use the oven method, you’re going to want to preheat your oven to 400 degrees, and you are not going to slice your tenderloin before placing it in the oven. For the oven method, you are also going to need a reliable meat thermometer.
Remember, if you’re cooking for more than two people, you can simply double the recipe.
Ingredients for Searing Rub
4 cloves of garlic, cut in half
1-1/2 lb pork tenderloin
Kosher salt & freshly ground pepper
1 tsp chili powder
1 tbsp fresh lime juice
1 tsp reduced-sodium soy sauce
1/2 tsp Demerara sugar
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
Mix all the ingredients together in a small bowl, with the exception of the olive oil.
Ingredients for Cooking Sauce
1 tbsp reduced-sodium soy sauce
1 tsp Sriracha
1 tbsp fresh lime juice
1 tbsp lime zest
1/4 cup pork (carnitas) bouillion
1 tsp honey
Place all the ingredients in a small bowl and whisk until completely mixed.
The firs thing you want to do is peel the garlic and cut it in half. Poke holes in the tenderloin at even intervals and place the garlic pieces deep into the pork.
Mix the chili powder, lime juice, soy sauce and sugar together in a small bowl. Be sure to pat the tenderloin dry, then season with salt and pepper. Use your fingers to massage the chili-lime rub on all sides of the pork tenderloin.
Now it’s time to sear the tenderloin. Put an oven-proof skillet on high heat and add the 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil. Sear the rubbed tenderloin on all sides. This should take about a total of two minutes.
Remove the pan from the heat and slice the tenderloin into 1-inch pieces. Return the pan to medium-high heat, add the cooking sauce, and place the tenderloins in the cooking sauce. Cook for about 2 minutes on each side. That should do it.
Oven Cooking Method Directions
The reason I told you to use an oven-proof skillet is so that you do not have to transfer the pork to another pan. After searing the tenderloin, add the cooking sauce to the pan, and place the cooking thermometer in the thickest part of the meat. Place the pan into the oven and bake until the thermometer reads 160 degrees. That will take about 20-25 minutes. It is important that you baste the tenderloin at least four times during the baking process to ensure that it does not become dry.
Remove the tenderloin from the oven and loosely tent under aluminum foil for about 5 minutes before slicing.