In my opinion, pork tenderloin is one of those near-perfect foods that adapts to almost any flavor profile, cooks quickly with minimal fuss, and falls into the healthier/lean protein category. It’s hard to get it wrong, whether it’s grilled, pan-fried or oven-roasted. I chose the latter option, turning it into one of those Sheet-pan Suppers which are so popular these days (for good reason!) by adding chopped fennel, onions, and orange segments next to the pork.
Tenderloin can be fairly bland if left to its own devices, which is why I like to introduce strong flavors in a marinade, such as the chipotles in adobo, garlic, and bright citrus in this dish. The chipotles bring a wonderful smoky heat which you can dial up or down to suit your own taste buds. (Remove the seeds from the peppers before blending if you prefer a milder sauce.)
How We Prepared It:
Click the photos to enlarge them and read the captions.
Recipe slightly adapted from Serious Eats/Joshua Bousel
- 3/4 cup orange juice, divided
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
- 2 whole canned chipotle chiles in adobo plus 1 tablespoon sauce
- 2 medium cloves garlic
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 1 pork tenderloin trimmed of excess fat and silver skin (about 1-1/2 pounds more or less)
- Optional: 1 orange cut into sections to add to roasting pan and/or in the orange sauce
- Place 1/4 cup orange juice, olive oil, dark brown sugar, chipotles in adobo, adobo sauce, garlic, and salt in jar of a blender. Puree until chipotles and garlic are completely chopped.
- Place pork tenderloin in large resealable plastic bag. Pour in orange-chipotle marinade, seal, and toss to thoroughly coat loin with marinade. Place in refrigerator and marinate for 6 hours to overnight, turning occasionally.
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Spray a baking sheet/sheet pan with cooking spray. Set aside.
- Set a large skillet over medium-high heat. Using tongs, remove the pork tenderloin from the bag, letting some of the marinade drip off. Place the meat in the skillet and sear until light brown, about 2 minutes on each side.
- Place the seared tenderloin in the middle of the prepared sheet pan. If you want to roast vegetables alongside the meat, such as onions, fennel, potatoes, or squash, toss them in olive oil and add them to the same pan now. I like to add large chunks of orange.
- Roast the tenderloin for 10-15 minutes, until the inner temperature reaches 140° when inserted into the thickest part of the meat. Flip the pork over halfway through, and turn the vegetables too.
- Meanwhile, pour marinade from bag into small saucepan. Stir in remaining 1/2 cup of orange juice. Bring to boil over medium-high heat; reduce to heat to medium and cook until sauce has reduced in volume by half, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
- Once the pork reaches 140°, remove from oven and let stand for 15 minutes. Slice and serve with reserved orange-chipotle sauce.