With restaurants closed for months it’s been non-stop cooking in our household, and even though I love to cook I feel a little burned out on creative cooking ideas. Completely bored and praying for inspiration with cooking, I naturally start to flip through my ancient recipe box and stumble upon my favorite honey roasted pork tenderloin recipe. How can it be I forgot about this recipe? This recipe goes back to my newlywed years complete with screaming babies and my husband working long hours starting his new business. Those PTSD years that I can barely remember, ya know?
This was one of our favorite recipes and I remember my family scarfing down every savory bite. It used to be my go-to meal, not because it cooks fast but because it was so easy to prepare and tastes great. Just mix together five simple ingredients, brush it on the meat, and throw it in the oven! It’s so easy to prepare you’ll have extra time to tame your feral kids, pour a glass of wine, and cry in the back of your closet before dinner.
I can’t remember how many times I’ve been asked for this recipe, I’ve lost count. Back in my aerobics instructor days I taught a water aerobics class, and I became quite close with the sweet little old ladies. One year I hosted a Christmas party, it was a potluck and I was told the hostess should provide the meat, so I made my honey roasted pork tenderloin of course. I kid you not… every lady wrote down the recipe. Every one.
20 years ago I clipped this recipe out of Southern Living Magazine, it wasn’t even one of the big featured recipes. It was one of those small printed recipes towards the back with no pictures. The sticky sweet honey combined with tangy Dijon mustard and thyme is just an incredibly delicious combination! However, I did alter the cook time as well as the black pepper ratio from the original recipe. The original recipe called for 2 tablespoons of black pepper! It was so spicy! After making it once I drastically reduced the pepper to 1 teaspoon. If you’re sensitive to pepper you can decrease to 1/2 teaspoon.
You can also prep the meat in the morning and have it ready to go so that you just throw it in the oven when you’re ready. You’ll have more time to drink wine and cry in the back of your closet. Note: now that my kids are teenagers and we’ve moved to a smaller home I no longer cry in the back of my closet. Don’t get me wrong… I’ve tried but I can’t fit, my closet’s just too small now. Ok, are you ready to make some delicious pork tenderloin?
Honey Roasted Pork Tenderloin
- One 1½-2 lb. pork tenderloin (trimmed to remove the silverskin)
- 1/4 cup honey
- 2 tbs Dijon mustard
- 1/2 tsp dried thyme
- 1 tsp black pepper (decrease to 1/2 tsp if desired)
- 1/2 tsp salt
- foil or parchment paper for easy clean up
- Preheat the oven to 325°
- Place the tenderloin on a foil/parchment-lined rimmed pan or casserole dish. Spray with pam if you're using foil.
- In a small bowl combine the honey, Dijon mustard, thyme, salt, and pepper.
- Divide the mixture in half and pour half of the honey mixture over the tenderloin and brush the top, sides, and bottom. Reserve the remaining mixture keeping it away from anything contaminated with raw meat.
- Bake 25-30 minutes or until a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest portion registers 145° for medium rare and 160° for medium. DO NOT OVERCOOK.
- Remove from the oven and brush on remaining honey mixture. Let rest for 3-5 minutes and serve.
CONFESSION: Okay… I actually overcooked the pork a little (cringe), but I promise if you pay attention to the cook time it’s incredibly delicious. Cooking at 7,200 feet has been an adjustment compared to my flat Texas kitchen. I added an extra 10 minutes to make up for the altitude and that combined with me not paying attention when the timer was beeping, painting a door, and and answering my daughter’s 30 text messages I got a little side tracked and forgot about Mr. Piggy. Even a little overcooked it was still delish, but I know I can fully trust you to never tell anyone I dried out the meat a little. You’re in the circle of trust.