Full disclosure: this is not a turkey. There is no cranberry sauce alongside. I wouldn’t suggest serving it with gravy. Truth be told, I’m a little turkey-d out, and Thanksgiving is still days away. Between Friendsgivings and T-day cooking classes, I’m approaching poultry burnout.
If you’ve never cooked pork tenderloin, or you’re a bit rusty, try this method. By searing the meat first in a hot pan, then transferring the pan into a heated oven (aka pan roasting) you ensure the meat is cooked evenly (aka not dried out). You also free up some space on your stove if you’ve got a side dish working. The tenderloin is very lean, so watch it carefully and test with a meat thermometer so it doesn’t overcook.
I am smitten with this date-cilantro relish. Medjool dates, orange and cilantro go surprisingly well with roasted pork. OK, it also goes surprisingly well with chicken, too. And yes, turkey.
Pan-Roasted Pork with Date-Cilantro Relish
I served this with crispy roasted cauliflower with lemon and parsley. Sauteed greens, roasted root vegetables or brussels sprouts would be nice, too.
Adapted slightly from Bon Appetit
- 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1 pork tenderloin (about 1½ lb.)
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- ⅔ cup Medjool dates (about 4 oz.), pitted and cut into small pieces
- 1 teaspoon orange zest
- 2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro plus leaves for serving
Heat oven to 425F. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large ovenproof skillet (like cast iron) over medium-high heat.
Pat dry pork and season well on all sides with salt and pepper. Sear pork in hot pan, turning to brown on all sides, about 8 minutes.
Transfer skillet to heated oven and continue to roast pork until temperature reaches 140F, about 10-15 minutes. Allow pork to rest before slicing, setting aside the pan drippings.
Combine dates, orange zest, orange juice, 3 tablespoons chopped cilantro, pork pan drippings and remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Slice pork against the grain (into medallions) and spoon relish over pork. Garnish with cilantro leaves.