Thursday dinner: pork tenderloin with honey-mustard dill sauce

Dinner planning for the week went awry on Tuesday when a late afternoon at the office led to  takeaway from Chipotle. We were supposed to have chicken that night, with either pork or takeout coming on Wednesday or Thursday. (Last night’s chicken and broccoli stir-fry has paid leftover dividends at lunchtime for The Wife.) My overall lack of planning and motivation over the past couple of days meant that I didn’t hit the store for ingredients and that I would be forced to improvise the pork tenderloin based on what I had in the house.

I don't often pierce my meat, but when I do I marinate it afterwards.

This is a challenge I don’t mind putting myself through. It keeps me sharp around the kitchen and sometimes leads to me trying new things or taking a kitchen risk. I opted for my old standby of marinating the pork in balsamic vinegar. I like how the tang from the vinegar just breaks down the pork. So, last night I pierced the pork with a fork, put it in a bag with some vinegar and tossed it in the fridge.

Tonight, I rummaged through the fridge and cabinet for other ingredients (and sides). I found a bag of yellow saffron rice, so the side dish was all set, but I wanted a sauce to finish the pork tenderloin. I had about 1 oz. of honey left in the cabinet and two or three soup spoons full of dijon mustard, so the decision became a little easier.

I opted to pan-sear the pork tenderloin medallions because its a quicker prep method and cleanup is easier. We’re on a schedule right now where we sit down to dinner by 4:45 each night thanks to the 20-month-old, so my prep time is very tight. I might have roasted it or used the speed cooker otherwise (which is a misnomer because the stovetop is quicker for this recipe).

I was this far into writing this post before I noticed that I already posted this recipe once before. See kids, it pays to do a little personal research before investing time in writing. There’s 20, 30 minutes of my life that I can’t get back. Since I’ve come this far, I might as well post the recipe. The difference between the first iteration and this one is the cooking method.

Pork tenderloin with mustard-dill sauce
Adapted from Epicurious/Bon Appetit

  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh dill or 2 tsp. dried dill weed
  • 2 oz. Dijon mustard
  • 1 oz. honey
  • 1 1-pound pork tenderloin, sliced into 1/2-inch medallions

Combine honey, mustard and dill in a small bowl and mix with a fork or whisk. Set aside.

Heat a non-stick skillet over high heat. When the pan is too hot to hold your hand over, turn the heat down to medium and add the medallions of pork. Space them out so they do not touch one another. Cook 4-5 minutes each side.

Take a soup spoonful of honey mustard and drizzle it on the bottom of a plate. Arrange the medallions on the plate then top the pork with the remaining honey mustard.

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