Oct 6, 2009

Pork Tenderloin. The Autumn Way.

What really marks autumn as a season are mushrooms and pork tenderloin.  At least to me it does. This combination is the reigning king of autumn flavors. It even looks kinda autumny (is that a word?). Now the trick is to properly cook the tenderloin, yet still keep it slightly pink in the center so it’ll melt on your tongue. A lot of people tend to overcook their pork and that’s bad. Really bad. Nothing worse than dry, overcooked pork. 

I’m also not adding cream to my sauce. Trust me when I say it really doesn’t need it. Nor do my thighs. Very few dishes need lots of cream anyway. I still believe heavy cream is one of the most overrated products, unless you’re a low carber, of course, but even then it doesn’t really add flavor.

Come on in, let me show you how I do it. It’s easy!


pork tenderloin (roughly 1 pound)
5 oz mixed mushrooms
1 medium red onion
3 heaping tbsp all-purpose flour
1 tbsp coarse mustard
1 cup broth (vegetable, chicken or beef)
1/2 a cup milk
3 oz butter
flat-leaf parsley
worcestershire sauce


When not overcooked, pork tenderloin is absolutely irresistible and definitely among my favorite meat items. I bought 2 of them. Mine were about 9oz each. Season them with a generous amount of salt and pepper and rub 1 tbsp coarse mustard all over them. Only 1 tbsp for both pieces of meat, mind you. Let the flavors seep into the meat for a while.

This was roughly 5oz mixed mushrooms. Chestnut, shiitake and oyster mushrooms (at least I think they’re called oyster mushrooms in English?).

Storyboard heaven! 7 shots of me chopping mushrooms. Is this overkill or what? Oh come on, you know you love me anyway!

My new gadget; a food scoop. Works like a charm and was only 1 euro.

Chop the onion anyway you like. I prefer a chunky sauce but you can mince everything as well.

Grate or mince a medium sized garlic clove.

Heat half the butter and sautee the onions for about 3 minutes.

Then add the garlic and mushrooms and cook, over low heat, for another 3 minutes.

Add 3 slightly heaping tbsp all-purpose flour. Cook for a minute to neutralize the rawness of the flour.

Pour in 1/2 a cup of milk (white wine also works) and stir until it’s a lump-free concoction. Bit by bit, you pour in the broth until you have a consistency you like. I usually add the full cup. Simmer the sauce over really low heat for about 15 minutes.

Note: You create different flavors when using beef, vegetable or chicken broth. Test it to see what you like best. I like beef broth as well.

Heat the remaining butter and over medium-high heat, brown your meat on all sides. I cooked mine for 7 minutes, but bigger pieces of meat obviously need a little more time.

Here’s how I handle things.

After 5 minutes I lower the heat and pour in some water. Just a few tbsp, not too much, but enough to get some steam going. Pop the lid on and let the meat kinda braise for another 5 minutes while flipping it over once or twice.

Those 5 minutes are all the time you need to chop some flat-leaf parsley.

After 5 minutes my meat was done. Finito. I transferred it to my red cutting board—I have one for raw and one for cooked meat—and covered it with foil. Let the meat rest for 5 minutes.

Season the sauce with salt, pepper, a few drops worcestershire sauce, and stir in the parsley.

Oh boy! Oh boy!

This is what pork tenderloin should look like. Properly cooked because raw pork is not always safe to eat, but still beautifully pink in the center.

Slice the pork, drizzle some sauce over the slices and serve the rest on the side! This is crazy good and fool-proof! It’s tasty, looks classy and what’s also important; you have it on the table in less than 25 minutes. I can’t tell you how glad I am there are no religious bans on pork for me because I’d sure hate to miss out on this!

Serve with Rustic Roasted Vegetables on the side to get the full autumn effect! But a side of mashed potatoes and creamy brussels sprouts is also divine.

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    1. 1

      yum! looks delicious!
      thanks for the recipe. Under 30 min dinner is always appreciated :)

      xiuxiu on Oct 6, 2009 @ 10:29 am Reply
    2. 2

      Ooh, looks great ! Bought some pork tenderloin from Albert Heijn on sale last week and froze it ! This looks like the perfect recipe.

      The food scoop looks very practical ! Where should I look for it? Xenos?

      p.s. I am an expat in The Hague.

      Maja on Oct 6, 2009 @ 12:06 pm Reply
    3. 3


      I bought the scoop at the Kijkshop! Few weeks ago, so hope they still have them!

      Kay on Oct 6, 2009 @ 12:19 pm Reply
    4. 4

      Wow that really looks good! I don’t know why I’ve never thought of pairing mushrooms with pork. We love pork and we love mushrooms, so this looks like a true winner. I have a bench scraper that I use all the time for scooping up food, mine looks like yours except no sides. I’ll have to keep my eyes open over here in the states for one like that. What is the utensil you’re using to stir the sauce. Is it like a two pronged meat fork or is it a kind of spatula? I’ve never seen anything like it. One other thing I’d like to comment on is using heavy cream. I agree, I hardly ever use heavy cream unless it is truly necessary for the recipe. I’ll usually enrich soups or sauces with a little half and half instead. Do you use whole milk, 2 percent, or skim in your sauce?

      Andilynn on Oct 6, 2009 @ 2:14 pm Reply
    5. 5


      That’s actually a spatula/spoon type of thing with a hole in the middle. Works great when you’re stirring thick soup or sauce with mushrooms and other floating stuff. There’s no resistance when you stir it then so no hot splashes all over the place.

      I tend to shy away from skim milk, with a growing toddler skim milk isn’t the best way to go. He needs the extra fats. Whole milk is something I don’t like to drinkl, so we usually have what you guys would call 2% or maybe even 1% in the fridge. We don’t use the percentages here :)

      Kay on Oct 6, 2009 @ 2:28 pm Reply
    6. 6

      Another winner of a recipe, Kay! I don’t usually think of mushrooms with pork but I will after this. And I too use a bench scraper to transfer from the cutting board to the pan. Such a useful tool.

      Lana on Oct 6, 2009 @ 2:42 pm Reply
    7. 7


      I really have to laugh when I read the name “bench scraper”. I wouldn’t have thought of it :)

      Kay on Oct 6, 2009 @ 2:50 pm Reply
    8. 8

      …Hello Kay! This looks devine! I would like to make it this evening for dinner but when I try to print your recipe it comes out in 3 pages – am I doing something wrong?

      …Thanks for the recipe!

      …Blessings… :o)

      tj on Oct 6, 2009 @ 3:24 pm Reply
    9. 9

      …Ahem, I meant “divine”… Geez…*sigh*giggle* :o)

      tj on Oct 6, 2009 @ 3:28 pm Reply
    10. 10


      There are two ways to print recipes. There’s a link named “printable recipe”, which takes you to a text version of a posting, but there’s also an icon bar below each posting that has a “print” icon. Which is the first icon on the left. It takes you to printfriedly.com. You can print each posting from there, with or without photos, or with just one photo. You can delete whatever you do not want to print there.

      Hope this helps.

      Kay on Oct 6, 2009 @ 3:35 pm Reply
    11. 11

      This looks so good. I’m drooling all over my keyboard. I agree, overcooked and blackened pork is gross.

      Carrie on Oct 6, 2009 @ 3:47 pm Reply
    12. 12

      “I think they’re called oyster mushrooms in English?”

      They sure are :)

      Looking tasty!

      Chantal on Oct 6, 2009 @ 3:52 pm Reply
    13. 13

      I’m totally with you on cooking the pork to a barely pink center – only way to get that tender and juicy pork taste!

      Cooking with Michele on Oct 6, 2009 @ 6:31 pm Reply
    14. 14

      That sauce looks divine. I usually do my tenderloin in a crockpot, so this will be a nice challenge! I don’t have any this week, but I DO have some tenderloin chops AND some nice baby bellas that must be cooked… I think I’ll experiment *gasps*.

      Trish in MO on Oct 6, 2009 @ 6:31 pm Reply
    15. 15

      @Trish in MO:

      Let me know how it works out for you, Trish!

      Kay on Oct 6, 2009 @ 10:49 pm Reply
    16. 16


      This looks awesome!

      I just made pork tenderloin for dinner, I only had one so I cut it in one inch slices, put two at a time in a plastic bag and smashed them flat and thin, then I dredged them in seasoned flour and salt and pepper and sauteed them. (much like PWs recipe today!) Then I squeeze fresh lemon juice all over them, mmmhhhh

      Hannah on Oct 7, 2009 @ 2:22 am Reply
    17. 17

      Nicely done and I like the new scoop. I want one of those!

      You are so right about today’s pork vs that from a generation ago. Much leaner and cleaner and if you take it to 165, it’s HORRIBLY DRY. I take my tenderloins off at 145-150f internal.

      Chris on Oct 7, 2009 @ 2:50 am Reply
    18. 18

      Looks like another winner! I too love the idea of sauces made without cream (I also don’t like making all the dishes with the creamed soups that many US recipes call for…) – so I am so glad for this recipe!!

      I brought home a few of those spoons for friends (we returned from a year in the NL) — but have found them in a few stores here. At first they puzzled me – lol, now they are one of my favorite kitchen tools!

      elizabethk on Oct 7, 2009 @ 5:35 am Reply
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      I never really cared for cooking pork that way, to be honest. They usually end up overcooked and dry. If you prep them like that, it’s much tastier to lightly flour the pork, then drag it through a lightly beaten egg and cover it in seasoned breadcrumbs! It gets less dry that way and is delicious with some fresh lemon juice squeezed over it.

      Kay on Oct 7, 2009 @ 7:33 am Reply
    20. 20

      I bet this sauce would be delicious served on top of the mashed potatoes – I’m looking forward to trying this. Are chestnut mushrooms similar to portobellos? Also, your photography is lovely – I’m so glad I discovered your blog.

      Carol on Oct 7, 2009 @ 3:54 pm Reply
    21. 21

      I think the SAUCE makes all the difference. I think I’m gonna try this out myself over the weekend. Thanks for the recipe!

      kitchen cabinets on Oct 7, 2009 @ 5:00 pm Reply
    22. 22

      I am one of your quiet followers but this time I would like to break my silence to tell you that you are a great cook!

      maría on Oct 7, 2009 @ 8:31 pm Reply
    23. 23

      This looks amazing! I’m going to give this a try over the weekend and let you know how it turns out. Love your pictures. You have such a wonderful talent, for both cooking and photos!

      Julia M on Oct 8, 2009 @ 2:30 am Reply
    24. 24

      I made this for dinner tonight along with the Rustic Roasted Vegetables recipe- and I am completely blown away. It was absolutely AMAZING. I just love all your recipes, and am constantly reminded every time I make them why I always get so excited when you make a new post. :D

      Seanna on Oct 8, 2009 @ 6:21 am Reply
    25. 25

      Hi Kay, heerlijk recept, ik ga het proberen, maar ik braad het vlees wel lang: Ik kruid het vlees, geen zout. Dan in gesmolten boter, om en om dan water bij de boter, dan zout in de jus, gas laag, en dan…………….1 1/2 – 2 uur garen….Door de jus blijft het vlees mals. Ik doe dit ook met schouderkarbonades. Dat is zooooo lekker! De saus die je erbij hebt gemaakt, is vast heerlijk. Enkele lezers van mijn blog hebben jouw blog inmiddels ook ontdekt en zijn absoluut fan van jou!

      ellen on Oct 8, 2009 @ 6:28 am Reply

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