Pork tenderloin is an almost magical cut of meat. It's so tender, delicate, wonderfully amenable to any sort of flavor being added to it, easy to cook - and yet also a real bargain! I've found so many recipes that you can throw it into and every time you get great results out of it. Half the time now even when I just need pork to cut up into cubes, pork tenderloin is my go to option. But it also feels a bit like sacrilege - why cut something that's always perfect up into tiny little chunks?
And cutting up meat takes time too. That's one of the great advantages of this recipe, since it's simply ridiculously simple. Marinate a pork tenderloin, rubbed down with some spices, in a honey mustard sauce for a few hours to overnight, then bake in the oven, then add in some asparagus on top and layer some more honey mustard sauce on that - and while we're at it with the leftover honey mustard sauce, which to my eyes is the elixir of the gods, either boil it or microwave it a few minutes to make it a great sauce to go with the pork! The pork just brims over with flavor, rich and settling into the very fiber of it, a sort of tantalizing, almost addictive flavor that is both incredibly savory and yet also sweet. Perhaps almost unami - that orgasmic feeling that you get from things like meats or roasted tomatoes. The fact that you can make it all so easily makes it feel almost like cheating. Put it over rice or some other grain to soak up the juices and the sauce, and you're set!
I don't know personally how the mustard-dill sauce that I use in this recipe is made, but I would suggest a mixture of honey, mustard, and dill. Or you can order it online: look up Larrupin's Honey Mustard Sauce.
This recipe is entirely my own, although I did take some inspiration for the idea from Adam Ragusea's videos on mustard-rubbed tri tip.
- 13 ounces honey-mustard sauce
- 2 pounds pork tenderloin
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- salt to taste
- pepper to taste
- 1 teaspoon garlic salt
- 1 pound asparagus
- At least 4 hours beforehand but preferably overnight, rub the pork tenderloin down with 1 teaspoon cumin, salt to taste, pepper to taste, and 1 teaspoon garlic salt.
- Add the honey mustard sauce and coat the pork tenderloin entirely. During the marinating period, move or flip the pork occasionally to make sure it is entirely covered.
- Preheat an oven to 350 degrees. Place the pork tenderloin into an oven proof baking dish. There's no need to pat it dry from the marinade, but reserve the marinade. Pour a bit over the pork tenderloin if you wish.
- After 20 minutes, layer the asparagus on top of the pork tenderloin, and brush it with some of the honey mustard sauce.
- Cook another 20 minutes. Before serving, put the reserved honey mustard sauce either into a microwave proof bowl and microwave it for 3 minutes, or boil it for a few minutes over the stove, in either case until potential bacteria are killed.
- Serve hot, preferably over rice or another grain that the sauces can soak into.