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This savory, juicy Cajun Pork Tenderloin is the perfect main attraction for any dinner. The cajun seasoning provides a ton of flavor without being too spicy, while a two-step roasting process guarantees a tender juicy bite every time.
I have cooking Pork Tenderloin using this method for about 15 years now. That’s not to say that I don’t love to throw it on the grill from time to time, but this searing and roasting method has my heart. It’s tender and juicy every single time and it’s perfect for feeding our family of five.
Tenderloin does best with a high heat cooking in a short amount of time. This meal only takes about 30 minutes from prep to finish!
This recipe calls for 2-2 ½ pounds of pork tenderloin. Since each tenderloin will average around a pound, you will use two of them, but try to get two that are about the same size and weight. They are often sold in packs of two, but you’ll want to check with your local store.
There are two steps in the cooking process for pork tenderloin.
The main difference is the cut – they come from totally different parts of the animal. Both are very lean cuts of meat, but giving their variance in size and shape, one cannot be substituted for the other.
The rule of thumb used to be that pork had to be eaten well done (165 degrees), which often resulted is a tough leathery piece of meat. The FDA now says that pork is safe to consume medium rare (145 degrees). This will give you a tender, juicy piece of pork that is slightly pink in the middle.
Trim it. There is a thin, silvery strip of skin that runs along one side of the pork. This is a tendon and you’ll want to be sure to trim that before cooking because it is quite tough to cut through if left attached.
Season it well. In this recipe we use cajun spices and brown sugar for a sweet and spicy pork tenderloin. You can also add flavor by adding fats, like butter or olive oil to a skillet and searing the meat before baking or roasting. Pork plays well with a variety of flavors, from sweet to savory to spicy.
Roast at a high temperature. I prefer to cook lean meats for less time and at higher temperatures. This method gives a nice color to the meat and also keeps it from drying out.
Don’t overcook it. Pork is a very lean meat and can become quite dry if overcooked, even a little bit. Since the FDA now approves pork to be cooked to a medium rare, I recommended erring on the rarer side.
Let it rest. Tent the tenderloin with foil right in the skillet and give it time to let the juices flow back through the meat, making for a tender and juicy bite every time. If cut too soon, the juices will spill out onto the cutting board and that’s just flavor escaping.
Slice into thick medallions. Using a sharp knife, slice pork tenderloin lengthwise into half inch rounds.
If you happen to have leftovers, they are great for Pork Fried Rice!
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