It’s time to have the talk. You know, the talk about pork loin vs. tenderloin. What kind of talk did you think? Anyway, it’s unbelievable how many recipes call for pork tenderloin, but actually they use a loin. Or vice versa. A pork tenderloin has a smaller diameter and cooks much much faster than a loin. You can see how this might dry out and burn up your dinner if you were expecting it to actually take that long to cook. Some recipes state that a tenderloin should cook in the oven for 15-20 minutes on high heat after its been seared in skillet. On the other hand, a pork loin should cook for 45 minutes to an hour (or more!) depending on the size at about 375 degrees. Woah! See what I mean?
This little discrepancy made for quite an exciting (and stressful) Tuesday evening. I had previously removed the packaging and forgotten what cut of pork I was left with. Was it a pork loin or tenderloin??
I searched my local supermarket’s website for specials that might give clue to the kind of pork I picked up on sale. Finally, on the last page of the sale items, there it was. A….. wait for it… wait for it… Pork Tenderloin!
Now before you swear at me and point out the pork hypocrisy that I am engaging in, please read on!
With the idea that I had a pork tenderloin in my possession, I continued to prepare our dinner as planned. I rubbed a generous amount of Dijon mustard over the meat, seasoned it, and rolled it in the herb mixture. Everything was going fine and dandy as I seared the pork and threw it in the oven.
Beeeeeeep. Time was up and I pulled out my tenderloin, expecting a masterpiece.
To my horror, the pork tenderloin was unbelievably squishy. Squishy as in raw in the middle. I didn’t even want to see what the temp was because I knew my mistake I just knew it had to go back into the oven. I had a pork loin and NOT a tenderloin.
When in doubt, under cook it so that you can return it to the oven if need be.
You cannot undo an overcooked piece of meat! Unless you’ve invented time travel, of course.
- 1 3-4lbs pork loin
- 2 tbsp Dijon mustard
- 2 tbsp fresh rosemary (minced)
- 2 tbsp fresh oregano (minced)
- 2 tbsp fresh parsley (minced)
- ½ tsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Mince the parsley, oregano, and rosemary and combine into an herb mixture.
- Slather 2 tbsp of Dijon mustard on all the sides of the pork loin. Sprinkle ½ tsp of kosher salt and 1 tsp of pepper on all sides of the loin to coat well.
- Now sprinkle on the herb mixture, making sure to coat all side. Pat the herbs into the meat to make sure it sticks.
- In a very hot cast iron skillet, add 1bsp of olive oil. Sear the pork loin about 2 minutes per side. If you want you can also sear the end sides of the loin.
- Put the pork loin in the oven for 35 minutes on 375 degrees or until a thermometer registers 145-150 degrees.
- Let the pork loin rest for 10 minutes before serving.