Simple Pork Tenderloin & Crispy Potatoes
Simple Pork Tenderloin & Crispy Potatoes
This simple pork tenderloin & crispy potatoes recipe is one that you are going to put on regular rotation. Just a few simple prep steps before adding it all to a sheet pan and letting your oven do the work. Seasoned with garlic salt, black pepper, brown sugar and chili powder, this pork has great flavor that is appealing to everyone. The sheet pan potatoes are crispy and delicious. The full, printable recipe is at the bottom of this post. I will just share a few tips and some information before the recipe.
My Pork Is Pink!
Every time I share a pork recipe and show my slices, I know some people will really worked up over it being slightly pink. I too, used to share this same sentiment. I was born in the 1970’s and in the 80’s, we were told to cook pork to a much higher temperature. This was due to a bacteria called Trichinosis. Trichinosis is not an issue with pork raised in the United States today. I think there are 20 total cases of Trichinosis in the USA a year. You can google this information, as I am clearly, not a scientist. Because this threat is so low, the government changed the recommendation for the done temperature of pork to 145 degrees. I worked for a famous Chef who taught me this and it changed my pork cooking ways for life. Back in the old days, they also used to market pork as “the other white meat”. This also caused people to believe pork needed to be cooked as much as chicken. Again, this is not the case.
This Simple Pork Tenderloin is delicious, much more flavorful and juicier when it is cooked to 145 degrees. You may also see some pink to it when you slice it. This is perfectly safe. Use a meat thermometer and pull my pork when it is 135 degrees. Then cover it with foil and let it rest for 15 minutes as it will continue to cook at least ten degrees while it rests.
Friendly reminder that the pink in this meat and any other red meat is NOT blood. There is no blood left in the animal when it is butchered and packaged to sell to people. The red you see is a mixture of water and a protein found in meat called myoglobin. Here is a great article you can read about this. Enough of the science lesson, let’s move on to the delicious recipe!
Pork And Potatoes
Once you sear off the pork and boil the potatoes, everything goes on a sheet pan to go into the oven. I use a fork to smash all the potatoes before I put the sheet pan in the oven. Do not worry if your potatoes fall apart. This will actually help them to be even crispier. Drizzle the potatoes with some olive oil and then dot them with butter. I remove the pork when it reaches 135 degrees and let it rest and continues to cook on it’s own, another ten degrees.
The Full, Printable Recipe Is Below
- 1 or 2 Pork Tenderloins (approximately 4 lbs total)
- 12 to 15 Small Baby Red Potatoes
- 1 Medium Sized Sweet Onion
- Olive Oil
- 4 Tablespoons of Butter
- 2 Tablespoons of Brown Sugar
- Garlic Salt
- Black Pepper
- Dried Thyme
- Onion Powder
- Chili Powder
- Remove your pork tenderloins from the package and dry them off with paper towels.
- Rub the tenderloins with olive oil, then season on all sides with the garlic salt, onion powder, thyme, (I do not measure these, just eyeball it and make sure the tenderloins are well covered with the seasoning) add a sprinkle of chili powder to the tenderloins on all sides. Add the brown sugar to one side of the tenderloins, I usually add this to the side that has the most fatty looking part. Let your meat rest on the counter on a plate for at least 20 minutes.
- Wash your baby reds and add to a pot, cover with water, add some salt and bring to a boil and then boil about 15 minutes or until soft when poked with a fork. Drain.
- Heat a skillet, add some olive oil and 2 tablespoons of the butter, let it get very hot, but not smoking. Add the tenderloins carefully to the skillet, you may not be able to lay these perfectly straight depending on the size of your loins or your skillet, just make sure you fit them so that they are on the pan flat, even if you have to lay it curved. Sear it on all sides for about 3 to 5 minutes on each side, only moving it when you have to turn it. You will know that it is not time to turn it, if it doesn't lift easily from the pan.
- After searing the tenderloins and getting a nice crust on all sides, add the tenderloins to a sheet pan, with the brown sugar side up.
- Chop the onion into a rough chop, add that to the other side of the sheet pan, add the baby red potatoes and use a fork to smash the potatoes flat. They make break apart, that is ok. Drizzle the potatoes and onions with olive oil, season with the same seasonings as the pork omitting the brown sugar. Dot the top of the potatoes with the remaining butter, place this sheet pan in a 400 degree oven and bake for about 25 minutes.
- Check the pork at 25 minutes, using a meat thermometer, take the temperature and carefully pull out the pork tenderloins when the inside temp is 135 degrees. Place the tenderloins on a plate and loosely cover with foil. They will continue to cook ten more degrees when pulled from the oven. Let them rest for 10 to 15 minutes.
- Carefully give the potatoes and onions a toss and turn the oven up to 425 degrees, and bake another 15 minutes or until they are crispy.
- I make a gravy using a gravy packet in the same pan that I seared off the pork in so I can add flavor with the drippings.
- Slice your pork as thick or thin as you like. You may notice that the pork is slightly pink. I prefer the pork this way. If you do not, you can change your cook time and pull your pork out of the oven when it is 145 degrees. ** Pork is perfectly safe to eat slightly pink. If you are older like me, you may remember that it was advised to cook pork to a much higher temperature until it was white (and dry) this is not the case anymore. The bacteria threat that used to be in pork is hardly existent in today's world. I also grew up with a marketing campaign in the 1990's that pork was "the other white meat" forcing people to cook their pork as much as chicken. This is also not the case. Pork should and can be cooked to a slightly pink AND MUCH JUICIER much like you would serve beef. Please feel free to cook it as much or as little as you prefer.
- Serve the pork slices with the gravy, and the crispy potatoes.
I hope you enjoy this recipe and if you love pork, try out my other recipe for Pork Tenderloin.