This recipe is another banquet ‘go-to.’ Most of the ingredients are pantry or spice drawer staples—garlic, sumac, thyme, lemon, and sugar . The flavors are bright, lively, and great minglers with each other or any side. And it’s a simple fridge-to-oven quite main dish—no hovering over a hot stove or watchful eye required.I like to recommend getting an honest oven-proof thermometer to nail it!
Brown Sugar & Herb Crusted Pork Tenderloin
7 hours, 10 minutes
6 to 8 persons
An OSR Original Recipe for roasted pork tenderloin that's easy to prepare and always a crowd-pleaser.
3 tbsp. light brown sugar, firmly packed
1 tbsp. dried thyme leaves
1 tbsp. ground sumac
4 large or 6 small garlic cloves, grated
zest of 2 lemons
3 tbsp. olive oil
1.5 tsp. kosher salt, divided
2 medium pork tenderloins (each about 1-1.5 lbs.)
One: Prepare the Rub (ideally, 6-12 hours in advance):
Combine the first 6 ingredients plus 1 teaspoon salt (reserve remaining salt) in a small bowl. Stir or mix with your fingertips until paste-like. Generously smear the rub all over the pork tenderloins (using every last bit).
Two: Refrigerate for 6-12 Hours:
Once thorougly seasoned, place the pork tenderloins side-by-side (but not touching) in a rectangular baking dish that has been lightly coated with cooking spray. Cover the dish with cling wrap and refrigerate for at least 6 hours and up to 12 hours.
Three: Prepare to Roast:
Roughly 30 minutes before you plan to roast the pork tenderloins, remove them from the fridge (still covered) and let rest at room temperature (see TIP A for why this is important). Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 400°.
Four: Roast the Pork Tenderloins:
Remove the cling wrap from the baking dish and rotate the pork tenderloins so that they are re-coated in any loose rub. Sprinkle the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt over the tenderloins. If working with an oven-proof thermometer, insert it into the thickest part of one of the tenderloins. Place the baking dish on an upper rack of your pre-heated 400° oven and let cook for 35-40 minutes or until the thermometer registers a temperature of 140-145°. When there, immediately remove the tenderloins from the oven and tent the entire dish with aluminum foil. Let the meat rest under the foil for 10-15 minutes to finish cooking and re-absorb some of its juices.
Slice the tenderloins on a slight diagonal and immediately serve. Great with a chimichurri sauce over top.
TIP A: When cooking meat, the step most easily forgotten is letting the meat come to room temperature before you expose it to any heat. This is particularly important when you are working with thicker cuts that you want to cook to a precise temperature (a.k.a. done, but still juicy and tender). Not only does cold meat take longer to cook, it also tends to seize-up when suddenly exposed to hot temperature. The risk of these two things combined is a finished product with a tough, over-cooked exterior and raw or under-cooked interior. To avoid this risk, always let your meat rest at room temperature for 30-60 minutes before cooking.