Herb-Marinated Pork Tenderloin

I am a huge fan of marinating meat or poultry for dinner.  It always results in such a moist, flavorful entree that requires minimal effort.  Ten minutes of prep time, throw it in the fridge, and forget it…you come home, and dinner is almost done.  Talk about perfect for a weeknight meal!  This dinner was not without hiccups though…this was our first time using the grill after a long winter and we had a little mishap that made this meal less than fantastic – but I can tell it would have been incredible otherwise, so I can’t wait to make it again!

The original recipe recommends grilling the pork, which is what we did.  However, if you don’t have a grill or the weather isn’t agreeable, I find that baking the pork in a 9×13-inch baking dish at 375° F for 45-50 minutes works just as well.  I typically pour the marinade in the dish as well to be sure that the meat doesn’t dry out while baking.  I served this with roasted carrots and potatoes and they went nicely with the meal.

Herb-Marinated Pork Tenderloin
Grated zest of 1 lemon
3/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (4-6 lemons)
1/2 cup olive oil, plus extra for brushing the grill
2 tbsp. minced garlic (6 cloves)
1 1/2 tbsp. minced fresh rosemary leaves
1 tbsp. chopped fresh thyme leaves
2 tsp. Dijon mustard
Kosher salt
2 pork tenderloins, about 1 lb. each
Freshly ground black pepper

Combine the lemon zest, lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, rosemary, thyme, mustard, and 2 teaspoons salt in a sturdy 1-gallon Ziploc bag.  Add the pork tenderloins and turn to coat with the marinade.  Squeeze out the air and seal the bag.  Marinate the pork in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours but preferable overnight.

When you are ready to cook the pork, heat a charcoal or gas grill.  Brush the grate of the grill with oil to prevent the pork from sticking.  Remove the meat from the marinade and discard the marinade.  Sprinkle the tenderloins generously with salt and pepper.  Grill the tenderloins, turning a few times to brown on all sides, for 15-25 minutes (depending on the temperature of the grill) until the meat registers 137 degrees F at the thickest part.  Transfer the tenderloins to a platter and cover tightly with aluminum foil.  Allow to rest for 10 minutes.  Slice and serve warm with the juices that collect on the platter. 

Source: adapted from Barefoot Contessa: Back to Basics by Ina Garten

20 Responses

  1. Rosemary, thyme, and pork? I’m sold!

  2. I’m a huge fan of marinating meat the night before too. There’s nothing better than getting the grill going in the spring – looks delicious!

  3. Marinating it must be the trick! Whenever I make pork, it always turns out so dry. I’ll have to try this one, it looks great!

  4. Not only does this look delicious, but I’m ABSOLUTELY amazed at how you can get pork to look good in a picture. I can NEVER get pork to look good. You have SUCH a gift for photography, Annie! 🙂

  5. I love Ina’s recipes and this one looks great.

  6. Looks great! I do a version without the mustand and lemon (and don’t marinade), but it hasn’t achieved that great crust that you have in the photo. So, I’ll give this a whirl. I also haven’t get tried it on the grill, because it’s so lean — should the grill be high-heat?

    • Hi Ms. Green,
      I wish I had a good answer for you! I must confess that Ben does the grilling in our house, so I don’t know much about what level of heat he uses to cook things (but to be honest, I’m not sure how much he really controls it either.) I think that is why Ina recommends such a wide range in the cooking time – just depends on how hot the grill is. Sorry I don’t have more info on that!
      🙂 Annie

  7. Pork is the one meat that I don’t turn my nose up at and don’t over cook!

    Sorry about the mishap.

  8. Looks delicious!

  9. Oh my, what a perfect looking dinner! Beautiful photography too.

  10. Annie,

    I just made this in the oven and it was amazing! Do you think it would work in a crockpot? The hubby hates turkey and has requested this for Thanksgiving, but my oven will be in full use.

    • Hi Abby,
      Glad you enjoyed it! Unfortunately I know absolutely nothing about crockpot cooking as I don’t own one, so I can’t give you any insight in that area. Good luck!
      🙂 Annie

  11. Hi Annie! I have left a few messages on different recipes on here today! Can you tell I am doing my meal planning? Haha. I was planning to make this recipe but can’t decide what to serve with it. Do you have any thoughts on what would be good with this? Thanks so much!

    • Hi Ashley,
      I always think some kind of roasted potato and a green veggie go great with pork tenderloin. Maybe roasted broccoli, or some kind of asparagus.

  12. Hi Annie, I just wanted to share that this recipe was very successful and a delicious change to the usual ham or lamb at Easter. I’ve uploaded photos to my food blog in case you’d like to check it out. Everything that I’ve tried from your blog has turned out amazing!

  13. This was delicious! My husband talked about it all night after dinner! It’s another keeper from your blog to add to my recipe rotation!

  14. making this soon but was wondering , how much does the recipe say this will feed?

  15. You inspired me to make this recipe. I’ve had Ina Garten’s Back to Basics Book for awhile and never felt like making it. That’s until I rediscovered it on your blog. Thank you! It was delicious! I made it using fresh thyme and rosemary from my garden. I served it with the vegetable tatin from Ina’s Paris book (and your blog, too). Thanks for your beautiful pictures and fresh ideas!

  16. I made this and it was DELICIOUS!! I am always looking for something new and different with pork. I will recommend this to friends.

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