Hi everyone, welcome to a new week! How was your weekend? Did you do anything fun?
We didn’t have too much going on, and while those weekends are usually welcomed, I’m ready to stir things up a bit! The warmer weather on the way this week will help us to get out and going, and a few fun trips on the horizon are getting me excited for this spring and summer (are we there yet?!) That said, highlights from the weekend included attending my nieces 3rd birthday party (ALL THE PINK AND SPARKLY THINGS!) trying the Pupusa’s at Malo (marvelous,) drinking wine from a can (really!) binge watching Orange is the New Black (why oh why did I wait so long?) visiting with old friends (I guess this weekend wasn’t as low key as I thought…) and perfecting my Quick Roasted Pork Tenderloin with Fig and Chili Sauce!
You guys, I just keep triple checking this recipe because I still can’t believe how quick, easy, and delicious it is. 30 minutes, one skillet, luuuuuscious sweet and tangy pan sauce. Luscious, I say!
When I was growing up we had to clean our plates before being excused from the table, which normally wasn’t a problem for this bottomless pit except when two of my arch nemesis were involved – milk and pork chops. I remember many nights being the last person sitting at the table, staring at a warm glass of milk just willing it to drain itself. News flash: it never happened! A plugged nose, some courage, and a couple tortured chugs usually got me out of my seat, but pork chops, man. PORK CHOPS. I’d sit there for hours (or what felt like it, anyway,) before finally getting the green light to get up and scram. I just couldn’t do it!
Do you know why the pork chops of our childhood where dryer than shoe leather? Because you had to cook the bejeezus out of them! These days pork is safe to eat at 140 degrees, read: still juicy and tender. I’m showing you exactly what I mean with this quick roasted pork tenderloin with fig and chili sauce.
Seasoned pork tenderloin is seared then roasted for 10 minutes in the oven, then a juicy fig jam and chili garlic pan sauce is made in the same skillet the pork was roasted in. It’s so delicious and I promise you’ll swear you’re eating a succulent piece of steak when cutting into the tenderloin.
This dish would make a fabulous Sunday dinner but can be made between shuffling the kids here and there as a quick and easy weeknight dinner. I’ll even show you how to make a roasted asparagus side dish that’ll cost you no extra time. Plus leftovers are just as good. Ben thinly sliced the pork then layered it between a bun with extra fig and chili sauce for a quick lunchtime sandwich. You’re going to love this easy, flavor-packed recipe!
Start with a 1-1/4 – 1-1/2lb pork tenderloin that’s been trimmed of any excess silver skin or tissue (if you can only find one that’s a bit under, like the one pictured below, that’s fine too.) Pork tenderloin is the equivalent to beef filet and is incredibly tender. It’s also important to note that the tenderloin is not the same as pork loin, so make sure you’re buying the tenderloin at the store.
Season the tenderloin with a mix of 1/2 teaspoon each salt, pepper, garlic powder, dried thyme, and dried rosemary, then sear each side for 1-2 minutes in a large, oven-proof skillet over medium-high heat that has a thin-layer of vegetable oil in the bottom.
Pop the entire skillet into a 450 degree oven then roast anywhere from 8-15 minutes, depending on the size of the tenderloin, or until an instant read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the tenderloin reaches 140 degrees.
FYI: the skillet will be super hot coming out of the oven. A reader suggested in a another skillet recipe of mine to wrap foil around the handle as a visual reminder to not mindlessly grab it. Great tip!
Transfer the pork tenderloin to a cutting board to rest while you make the pan sauce. Cutting into the roast before it has a chance to rest will result in all the juices running out. As they say – just say no!
Meanwhile, if you want to make that roasted asparagus side dish I was talking about, reduce the temperature of the oven to 425 degrees then toss trimmed asparagus with extra virgin olive oil, salt, and pepper and roast for 10 minutes, or until the asparagus are tender.
While the asparagus are doing their thing, make that fig jam and chili pan sauce. This sauce is wonderful. A little sweet from the 1/4 cup + 2 Tablespoons fig jam, warming from 1 Tablespoon chili garlic sauce, tangy from 3-1/2 Tablespoons rice vinegar, and rounded out by 1 cup chicken broth and 1 Tablespoon gluten-free Tamari or soy sauce (dish will not be GF if using soy sauce.) Simmer the sauce for 4-5 minutes then stream in 2 teaspoons corn starch mixed with 2 Tablespoons water then simmer until thickened and bubbly, 1-2 more minutes.
This is the fig jam I used, by the way. I usually find it by the gourmet cheeses at my grocery store. It’s divine in this dish and in my Fig and Prosciutto Rollup appetizers!
Once the pork has rested, slice then serve drizzled with that yummy fig and chili sauce. Serve with the asparagus and a side salad, and enjoy!
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Quick Roasted Pork Tenderloin with Fig and Chili Sauce
Quick Roasted Pork Tenderloin with Fig and Chili Sauce is a delicious 30 minute meal with bold, mouthwatering flavors.
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
- 1-1/4 to 1-1/2lb pork tenderloin (not pork loin,) trimmed of any silver skin
- grapeseed or vegetable oil
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 1/4 cup + 2 Tablespoons fig jam
- 3-1/2 Tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar
- 1 Tablespoon chili garlic sauce
- 1 Tablespoon gluten-free Tamari or soy sauce (dish will not be GF if using soy sauce)
- 2 Tablespoons water
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Mix salt, pepper, garlic powder, dried thyme, and dried rosemary in a small dish then sprinkle all over pork tenderloin and rub to ensure seasonings stick.
- Add enough oil to a large, oven-proof skillet over medium-high heat to thinly coat the bottom then add the seasoned tenderloin and sear on four sides until golden brown, 1-2 minutes per side. Place skillet into oven then roast for 8-15 minutes (I needed 10 minutes for a 1.3lb pork tenderloin,) or until a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the tenderloin reads 140 degrees. Transfer tenderloin to a cutting board and let rest for a minimum of 10 minutes before slicing.
- While the pork is resting, return skillet over medium-high heat (be careful - the handle will be HOT!) then add the chicken broth, fig jam, rice vinegar, chili garlic sauce, and Tamari. Use a wooden spoon to scrape up the brown bits off the bottom of the skillet then boil until sauce is slightly reduced and thickened, 3-4 minutes. Stir together water and cornstarch in a small bowl then stream into skillet while stirring. Turn heat down to medium then continue to simmer until sauce is thickened and glossy.
- Slice and serve pork tenderloin then drizzle with fig and chili sauce.
- Wrap foil around the skillet's handle as a visual reminder that it will be HOT when it comes out of the oven and to not touch it while making the pan sauce.
- Look for fig jam by the gourmet cheeses and meats at the grocery store.
- Thinly slice leftover pork then layer on buns with fig and chili sauce for an easy pork sandwich.
- For an easy side dish: turn oven down to 425 degrees after the pork comes then pop in a pan of trimmed asparagus that have been tossed with extra virgin olive oil, salt, and pepper. Roast for 10 minutes or until tender while pork is resting and pan sauce is simmering.
This recipe is courtesy of Iowa Girl Eats, http://iowagirleats.com.