Pork Tenderloin with Cherry Mustard Sauce

This is one of my oldest creations and a perennial winner whenever I serve. It’s rather simple to cook and bathe in this wondrous sauce. Serve as a four-star dish, it will not disappoint!

I developed the recipe after hearing my niece mentioned a sauce being used with deep fried veggie appetizers. She had me at cherry preserves.

Pork tenderloin is of course tender, but it can be difficult to cook evenly as a whole tenderloin. The winning technique is to cut them into rounds 1-1/4 inch thick and gently pound to a 3/4 inch thickness. Then brown them before saucing. The result is silky, succulent pork with an explosion of sweet-sour-salty-spicy!

I like to cook just the pork ahead of time, and then warm it with the sauce just before serving. You have all the pre-work done and it’s down to heat and serve.

Pounding pork tenderloins. Top right is the 1.25 inch round and bottom right is the final thickness

Serves 5-7; easily doubled

Pan sautéed with good browning

INGREDIENTS: Sauce freezes well

  • SAUCEThis sauce is great for any kind of protein: wings, tofu, baked beans
    • cherry preserves – 8 oz [1 cup]
    • ginger – 1 tsp, powder or 1 TBS grated
    • garlic powder – 1 tsp, or 1 tsp minced, fresh
    • balsamic vinegar – 1 TBS
    • brown sugar – 1 TBS
    • Dijon mustard – 1 TBS
    • horseradish sauce – 2 TBS
    • soy sauce – 2 TBS
    • pepper – 1 tsp
    • corn starch – 1 tsp
  • PORK – 2 tenderloins
    • neutral oil – 2-3 TBS
    • baking soda – 1/8 tsp
    • red wine – 1/4 cup, dry
    • chicken broth – 1/2 cup
  • Chives or fresh herb for garnish

INSTRUCTIONS: Elevate your meat technique with an instant read thermometer!

  1. Make the sauce
  2. Trim off the silver skin on the tenderloins and cut into 1-1/4 inch rounds; use a ruler!
  3. Stand the round on the cut end and lightly pound to half it’s height [use the bottom of a full can of veggies]
  4. Preheat a non-stick skillet with a good drizzle of oil. Only when the oil is slightly smoking—add the baking soda and enough of the pork rounds to fill the pan in a single layer and not too crowded. Brown in two or more batches
  5. Don’t move or touch the pork for 3 minutes, then check one to see there is a good browning; if so flip and repeat for 2 minutes; look for doneness at 137-140º, then remove from the skillet. Save the pan and its juices if you are finishing the dish later.
  6. At this point you can cool and refrigerate the pork until you are ready to serve, or go onto the next step
  7. Add the wine and broth to the skillet and bring to a boil and reduce by 50%
  8. Add in the sauce and bring to a simmer
  9. Add in all the meat and cover, then cook just until the sauce comes back to the simmer
  10. Place pork on a serving platter, ladle over a little sauce and top with chives or chopped herb of choice
  11. Serve extra sauce on the side

Cherry mustard sauce is great for topping polenta or as a sauce to use on other proteins, or cooked into beans.

Final step of simmering pork in cherry mustard sauce

© 2022 Bill Hettig

2 thoughts on “Pork Tenderloin with Cherry Mustard Sauce

  1. Since I had all ingredients on hand except cherry preserves and was snowed in from the grocery store, I substituted raspberry preserves and had an easy and yet luxurious main course for an intimate New Year’s Eve feast, with lots of sauce left over for eventual deployment in the new year. Highly recommended!


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