Pork tenderloin is reasonably cheap (at least here, in hog country). And it doesn’t take that long to cook. But, it’s also bland as bland can be. So I like to marinate it for a while before cooking it. I’ve tried lots of marinades over time, but I have settled on this one for the umami and sweet that permeate the pork.
Pork Tenderloin Marinade
1/4 cup dark soy sauce
1/4 cup brown sugar
2-3 cloves of minced garlic
1 teaspoon ground ginger
2 tablespoons dijon mustard
hot sauce to taste
It’s pretty simple. Dissolve the brown sugar in the soy sauce and add the remaining ingredients. Mix thoroughly. I use 1 dash of Tabasco in mine, but 2-3 dashes of Franks or other good hot sauce is fine. Don’t get too carried away with the hot sauce, though. This isn’t meant to be a spicy marinade. The hot sauce is to add another level of flavor and you don’t want it to dominate.
Put the port tenderloin in a plastic bag and pour the marinade over it. Marinate for up to 6 hours. Recipe makes enough to marinate 2 tenderloins.
Cook your tenderloins in a shallow dish or on a wire rack over a sheet pan in the lower half of your oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Cooking time is 35 to 50 minutes depending on how done you want your pork – at 35 minutes, they should be around 140 degrees F. Rested for 15 minutes under foil, they will hit 145 to 150 degrees.
I tend to cook mine longer because I was raised to not eat pink pork and that conditioning is hard to over come. At about 50 minutes, the tenderloin will hit 155 to 160 degrees F and be completely done. But some people find it a little dry at this level of doneness.