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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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!
Check Out More Delicious Pork Recipes:
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Pork Tenderloin au Poivre
- 1 1/2 lbs pork tenderloin
- 2 tbsp dijon mustard
- 2 tbsp neutral oil
- salt and cracked black pepper
- 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
- 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!
- 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.
- 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.