Serve up some Southern flair with my easy and elegant Pecan-Crusted Pork Tenderloin with Bourbon – Mustard Sauce!
You’ve got to love pork tenderloin! A pork tenderloin is perfectly sized for just a few servings and this cut elevates pork into something elegant. This recipe is easily doubled which also makes it perfect for the fall and winter entertaining season.
Tenderloins are generally sold with two per pack and each weighs about a pound. You can use one tenderloin then wrap and freeze the other for future use. However, organic pork tenderloin is typically sold in one-tenderloin packages.
You don’t want to confuse a pork tenderloin with a pork “loin.” They are two completely different cuts. A pork loin can be quite large and when cooked, will not be as tender.
The tenderloin has a tough membrane attached (referred to as silverskin) that should be removed prior to cooking. Otherwise, it will be tough and chewy (even after cooking). The silverskin is very visible and easy to remove with a sharp boning knife.
Instead of flour and egg to bind the pecan mixture to the meat, I use Dijon mustard, which is easier and also adds another layer of flavor. If using whole pecans, you will need slightly more than the cup of pecan pieces indicated in the recipe because you can fit more pieces into a measuring cup than you can whole pecans. A mini food processor works well to grind the pecans. However, be careful to not grind them too much; it will create a paste.
A decadent bourbon sauce accompanies the pork that can be whisked together while the tenderloin bakes. However, please remember to sauce in moderation! (Barumpum.)
This dish can also be prepared with boneless skinless chicken breasts or turkey tenderloins. Serve with mashed sweet potatoes or long-grain and wild rice pilaf and roasted green beans.
Serve up some Southern flair with my Pecan-Crusted Pork Tenderloin with Bourbon – Mustard Sauce! It’s easy, elegant and perfect for dinner for two.
- Nonstick cooking spray
- 1 (1-pound) pork tenderloin, trimmed of silverskin
- 2-3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 1 cup pecan pieces, ground
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste
- Salt and black pepper, to taste
- 3/4 cup chicken broth
- 1/4 cup bourbon
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 2 teaspoons soy sauce
- 1/4 cup Dijon mustard
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
- salt, to taste
PORK: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil (preferably nonstick) or parchment paper and spray lightly with cooking spray.
Rub the mustard evenly over the pork. Combine ground pecans, thyme, cayenne, salt and black pepper to taste and spread in a pan. Roll the tenderloin in the nut mixture, coating well on all sides.
Transfer to the prepared baking sheet and spray with cooking spray. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or to an internal temperature of at least 145 degrees.
SAUCE: Meanwhile, prepare sauce. Combine chicken broth, bourbon and cornstarch in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low. Whisk in sugar, Worcestershire, soy sauce and mustard and stir until smooth. Whisk in butter. Add salt to taste. Serve with pork.
MAKE AHEAD: Prepare pork up to the point of baking. Cover and refrigerate. Make the sauce, cool and refrigerate. Gently reheat the sauce on the stovetop or microwave.