If you are not serving Prime Rib for New Year's Eve, but still want to be a little bit fancy, this Pepper Crusted Pork Tenderloin with Savory Mustard Sauce is the perfect choice. It's reminiscent of crusting our rib roasts and encasing them in salt, pepper or spices, except it's a lot lower in calories.
It's also perfect if you have already started your New Year's resolution to better health and fitness. However, I will admit the mustard sauce is not low in calorie. But, you can easily control the amount of drizzle to enjoy on your portion. Don't skip this wonderful sauce.
I also used my trusty meat thermometer to cook the tenderloin. It's hard to imagine making pork tenderloin without it. It's so easy to overcook.
I used a medley of peppercorns to make my crust. Does using a variety of colors make a difference? Absolutely! All colors offer a slight variation in flavor and heat and are easily ground in your spice mill.
When it comes to the green, black and white varieties, each color peppercorn comes from a different stage of ripeness and all are harvested from the same plant. Green (more lingering heat), obviously, is at the earliest stage of ripeness while the most common black (most pungent tasting) peppercorns are harvested at the midway stage. The black peppercorns are left to dry, which is where their shriveled appearance comes from. White (milder in taste) peppercorns are red when picked and are the ripest. They are soaked in salt water, which removes their outer shell, leaving the white inner seed.
Pink peppercorns are found on a completely different plant and are harvested the same color as they appear..."pink" or red. As their color alludes, they deliver a sweeter, fruitier flavor than other peppercorns.
Often found in these medley of peppercorns are the Szechuan variety, grayish-white in their appearance and deliver a sharp heat to the tongue. They are often toasted, which hides a characteristic citrusy flavor.
Ultimately using a variety of colors can give your dish a real complexity. Try it.
The crust also combines rye bread crumbs along with the pepper for another building block of flavor.
I used a variety of mustard flavors for the sauce; Dijon, regular yellow mustard, ground mustard and the above mustard seeds. The mustard seeds (found in your grocery spice aisle) soften during cooking and offer a nice texture to the sauce.
I served the pork tenderloin with roasted red and yellow potatoes seasoned with olive oil, salt and pepper.
It was the perfect meal.
Pepper Crusted Pork Tenderloin with Savory Mustard Sauce
Savory Mustard Sauce
- 2 cups white wine
- 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 1/2 cup chopped shallots
- 1/3 cup Dijon mustard
- 2 teaspoons dry mustard
- 2/3 cup heavy cream
- 2 Tablespoons mustard seeds
- 1/4 cup prepared yellow mustard
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne
- 4 Tablespoons unsalted butter, cold
- 1/4 cup assorted peppercorns, ground
- 1 cup coarsely ground rye bread crumbs (toast bread then pulse in a food processor)
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 2 pork tenderloins
- 1/4 cup Dijon mustard
- For the sauce, boil wine, broth, shallots and mustards in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. You want to reduce by half which takes about 20 minutes. Strain and return to a clean pan over medium-low heat.
- Add cream, mustard seeds, yellow mustard, salt and cayenne. Simmer to reduce to a thicker consistency, stirring often, takes a good 15 minutes. Sauce also thickens slightly as it cools. Finish with butter right before serving.
- For the tenderloin, preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Grind peppercorns in a spice mill until coarse.
- Combine pepper with rye bread crumbs, parsley, olive oil and salt.
- Remove any fat or silverskin from the tenderloins. Brush tenderloins with Dijon mustard and roll and press the tenderloins into the coating.
- Set meat thermometer for 145 degrees F and roast. Remove from oven and cover with foil for 15 minutes to let rest. Slice and serve with mustard sauce.
Enjoy for New Year's Eve or all year.
Four Years Ago: I've Joined the Rest of the World