Pork Tenderloin au Poivre

A twist on classic Steak au Poivre made with juicy and succulent pork tenderloin seared to perfection then smothered in creamy, peppercorn infused pan-sauce. This elegant roast is sure to become a part of your holiday traditions!

two roasted port tenderloins on a white platter with cream sauce

Pork tenderloin is such an underrated cut of meat. It’s flavorful, inexpensive and if you cook it properly, juicy and succulent! This recipe is almost fool proof. A light coating of dijon mustard on the outside of the pork adds flavor and helps seal in the meat’s juices leaving it tender and juicy.

The tenderloin is then seared on all sides to achieve a golden-brown crust then slowly finished in the oven and set aside to rest and lock in moisture. While the meat is resting the creamy peppercorn sauce comes together in the same pan the pork was cooked in for a meaty, flavorful sauce with a subtle kick from cracked black peppercorns.

This recipe is elegant enough to serve to guests and yet simple enough to whip up for a laid-back Sunday supper. Make it a complete meal with a show-stopping sides like: Spinach Salad with Roasted Beets, Goat Cheese and Crispy Shallots and Pommes Purée.

Ingredients You’ll Need

Here’s what you’ll need to make this recipe: pork tenderloin, dijon mustard, whole peppercorns, green peppercorns in brine (this one’s totally optional), sherry, congac or brandy, butter, cream, chicken or beef stock, garlic and shallot.

Check out the recipe notes at the bottom of the recipe card for ingredient notes and substitution recommendations.

a bowl of peppercorns, a marinated pork tenderloin, a bulb of garlic, a shallot, a bowl of cream, a bowl of chicken stock

Recipe Step by Step:

Step 1. Sear the Pork

Brush the pork with a thin, even layer of dijon mustard and season generously with salt and pepper. Sear on all sides until golden brown.

left: two pork tenderloins cooking in a stainless steel pan. right: two pork tenderloins resting on a sheet tray

Step 3. Roast

Once the pork is nicely browned on all sides, transfer to a preheated oven and cook until a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the meat reaches 140 F. Transfer to a platter or baking tray to rest and cover loosely in foil.

left: peppercorns crushed with a mortar and pestle. right: sauce being made in a stainless steel pan

Step 3. Make the Sauce

Make the sauce in the same pan that the pork was cooked in, that way you’ll get to soak up all of the residual pork flavor from the pan. Add in the butter followed by the shallot, garlic and peppercorns. Deglaze with whichever alcohol you’re using and use a wooden spoon to scrape up any bits stuck to the bottom of the pan. Once the alcohol has reduced add the chicken stock and cream. Simmer for 8-10 minutes or until the sauce is thick and velvety.

two stainless steel pans with peppercorn cream sauce

Step 4. Serve

To serve, slice the pork tenderloin into 1/4-inch rounds and arrange on a platter. Pour the sauce over top and serve right away!

FAQs and Expert Tips

How do I know if pork tenderloin is fully cooked?

It depends on how you like your pork cooked. I know there will be some who disagree but I really like a medium (still a bit of pink) pork tenderloin. To achieve this you will want to take the pork out of the oven when the thickest part of the loin reads 140 F. As the pork rests it will land closer to 150F–a perfect medium. The great thing about this cut is it varies in thickness so even if the center of the loin is medium the thinner ends will end up more well done. There’s something for everyone! If you want absolutely no pink in the center cook the pork until it reads 155F then let it rest and come up to 160F.

Are green peppercorns essential to au poivre sauce?

While black peppercorns are essential to this recipe, green peppercorns in brine are not. If you can’t find them at the market or they’re obnoxiously expensive–just leave them out!

sliced pork tenderloin on an oval platter with cream sauce and lots of cracked black pepper

I love to hear from readers and always do my best to respond to each and every comment. If you make this recipe be sure to leave a comment and/or give it a rating! Don’t forget to follow along on Pinterest, Facebook, and Instagram for all the latest updates!

two roasted port tenderloins on a white platter with cream sauce

Pork Tenderloin au Poivre

A twist on classic Steak au Poivre made with juicy and succulent pork tenderloin seared to perfection then smothered in creamy, peppercorn infused pan-sauce. This elegant roast is sure to become a part of your holiday traditions!
4.60 from 5 votes
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 460kcal

Ingredients

Pork Tenderloin

  • 1 1/2 lbs pork tenderloin
  • 2 tbsp dijon mustard
  • 2 tbsp neutral oil
  • salt and cracked black pepper

Peppercorn Sauce

  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 large shallot minced
  • 2 cloves garlic minced or grated
  • 2 tbsp whole peppercorns black or mixed
  • 2 tbsp green peppercorns in brine (optional) drained and rinsed
  • 1/3 c dry sherry, brandy or cognac
  • 3/4 c chicken stock
  • 3/4 c heavy cream

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 400 F. Take the pork tenderloin out of the refrigerator and pat dry with paper towels. Brush a thin layer of dijon mustard over the surface of the pork then season generously with salt and black pepper pressing to adhere it to all sides. Let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.
  • In the meantime coarsely crush the whole peppercorns with a mortar and pestle or place in a resealable plastic bag and crush with a small saucepan or rolling pin. Set aside.
  • Heat the oil in a large oven-safe skillet over medium-high heat. When the oil starts to shimmer, add pork to skillet. Cook, turning occasionally, until the pork is browned on all sides, about 8 minutes.
  • Transfer the skillet to the oven. Roast until a meat thermometer inserted in thickest portion of pork registers 130°F, about 5-7 minutes then reduce the oven's temperature to 200°F and continue to cook until the thermometer registers 140°F, about 5 more minutes. Transfer the pork to a sheet pan and cover loosely with foil. Reserve the skillet to make the sauce. *See recipe card for more notes on internal temperature options.
  • Place skillet back on the stovetop over medium. Add the butter, shallot, garlic, crushed peppercorns and green peppercorns (if using) to the pan and cook, stirring often, until the shallot and garlic are soft and aromatic, about 5 minutes.
  • Next, add the sherry/brandy to the pan. Stir with a wooden spoon, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. When the alcohol is almost completely evaporated add the stock and cream and simmer on low for 8-10 minutes until the sauce is reduced enough to coat the back of spoon. Season, to taste, with salt.
  • Slices the pork into 1/4 rounds and transfer to a platter. Pour any juices from cutting board back into skillet and stir into sauce. Spoon the sauce over the sliced pork and serve right away!

Notes

Ingredient Notes and Substitutions:
  • Pork Tenderloin: Tenderloin is not the same as pork loin. Tenderloin is long and thin, loin is fatter. Tenderloin varies in weight and size. Aim for about 1.5-2 pounds. You may need two for this recipe. 
  • Green Peppercorns in Brine: While black peppercorns are essential to this recipe green peppercorns in brine are not. If you can’t find them at the market or they’re obnoxiously expensive–leave them out!
  • Dry Sherry, Brandy or Cognac: either of these liqueurs will work. If you prefer to cook without alcohol you may omit it from the recipe.  
Pork Internal Temperature Guide:
  • Medium: Take the pork out of the oven when a thermometer inserted into thickest part of the loin reads 140 F. As the pork rests it will land closer to 150F–a perfect medium.
  • Well Done: If you want absolutely no pink in the center cook the pork until it reads 155F then let it rest and come up to 160F.

Note: The great thing about this cut of meat is it varies in thickness so even if the center of the loin is medium the thinner ends will end up more well done. There’s something for everyone!
Storing and Re-heating Leftovers:
  • Leftovers will stay fresh covered, in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Reheat the pork and sauce over low heat in a saucepan or in the oven at 325 for 5-10 minutes. Add a few tablespoons of water to loosen up the sauce as needed.

Nutrition

Calories: 460kcal | Carbohydrates: 8g | Protein: 38g | Fat: 31g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 12g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 173mg | Sodium: 257mg | Potassium: 853mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 694IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 72mg | Iron: 2mg
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Recipe Rating




5 Comments

  1. After searing the mustard coated pork tenderloin, would it be possible to sous vide it at 145 degrees for two hours rather than to roast it in the oven?

    1. Hi Charles – that would be totally fine. I would reverse thesteps though. First, season with salt and pepper and a drizzle of olive oil, sous vide for two hours then, pat dry brush with mustard, sear and serve. Let us know how it comes out!

      1. 5 stars
        Excellent recipe! I think that our pork tenderloin cooked sous vide for two hours at 145 degrees was probably more tender than if cooked in oven at 400 and 200 degrees. Otherwise excellent pepper sauce that we will always use. Hard to think how we can improve on this. Thanks.

  2. 3 stars
    Flavors were good but sauce didn’t thicken. Could’ve used some roux. I didn’t see the quantity of butter specified here,