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Simple Zesty Pork Tenderloin that is quick and simple to prepare. You will absolutely love this tried and true recipe.
Pork tenderloin has always been one of my go-to easy meals. Whether it’s my Pork Tenderloin with Honey Mustard Sauce or my Hoisin Pork Tenderloin, these are recipes that are made again and again in my home. When prepared correctly, pork tenderloin is one of the most delicious, lean cuts of meat to enjoy for almost any occasion. Imagine pork tenderloin as a blank canvas you can easily add color, flavor, texture and pizzazz, which is what I’ve done with this Simple Zesty Pork Tenderloin.
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At What Temperature Is My Pork Tenderloin Ready To Eat
Pork tenderloin is safe and ready to eat at an internal temperature of 145 degrees F, with a three minute rest. Since pork tenderloin is a very lean cut of meat, cooking it beyond the recommended temperature results in a less than tender texture. The best way to achieve the perfect temperature is by using a wireless digital thermometer when cooking your pork tenderloin. Measure the temperature at the thickest part of the cut, which will be in the center, with a cut like pork tenderloin.
Why Has The Recommended Cooking Temperature of Pork Changed
Over the last decade there have been lots of changes in the pork industry, mostly in terms of biosecurity on pig farms, allowing the USDA to lower the proper cooking temperature of pork to 145 degrees F, instead of the outdated 160 degrees F. The lower temperature allows us to enjoy a tender and delicious piece of pork. This lower temperature goes for all fresh cut muscle meats, such as pork chops, pork roasts, pork loin, and tenderloin. Ground pork should always be cooked to 160 degrees F, while pre-cooked ham can be reheated to 140 degrees F or enjoyed cold, while fresh ham should be cooked to 145 degrees F.
Using a digital thermometer is a MUST when it comes to knowing when your tenderloin is finished cooking. Varying oven conditions and starting meat temperature do not allow you to guess an exact time when your pork tenderloin will be finished cooking. A meat thermometer will ensure you’re getting the juiciest piece of meat every, single, time.
The simple ingredients used in this recipe makes it the perfect weeknight meal. And while I enjoy Simple Zesty Pork Tenderloin warm and at room temperature, I have to confess I absolutely love it cold, right out of the fridge the next day. This versatility makes this meal perfect for taking leftovers for lunch. It’s fantastic in a roll (with the salsa topping) and even better in a warmed flour tortilla. An extra squeeze of lime and orange gives this dish a zippy flavor you just can’t pass up.
How gorgeous is this?
Pork and citrus flavors are an absolute match made in heaven.
Other Pork Recipes You Need to Make
Simple Zesty Pork Tenderloin
- 1.25 lb pork tenderloin
- salt and pepper
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1-1/2 cups thick and chunky salsa
- 1 (11 oz) can mandarin oranges, drained
- orange and lime wedges
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
- Prepare pork tenderloin by trimming the tenderloin of fat and any silver skin. Pat dry with a paper towel. Season the pork tenderloin generously with salt and pepper and sprinkling on the ground cumin.
- Heat oil over med-high heat in a large oven-safe pan (cast iron or a dutch oven). Once oil is hot, add pork and brown on all sides, about 5 minutes. Place a wireless thermometer into the center of the pork and place in the preheated oven. Remove the pork from the oven when the temperature of the center of the pork reaches 145 degrees F. Let rest 3 minutes.
- Meanwhile, combine mandarin oranges and salsa in a small bowl. Transfer pork to a cutting board and slice into rings. Squeeze orange and lime wedges over pork slices and top with salsa mixture. Serve warm or room temperature.