Have you ever had one of those days where you just want to make dinner work with what you’ve already got in your pantry? My winter rub pork tenderloin resulted from one of those days, and not only is it really convenient, but it’s also a quick and easy dish to make. The spice rub has a winter theme to it, as well as the spicy sweet going on. The subtle hints of cinnamon and anise seed give it complexity, while the cumin gives it a smoky savory contrast, and the thyme and oregano give it freshness. Now here’s how to make the pork:
2 lbs pork tenderloin (my package came with two 1 pound pieces)
1 tsp anise seed
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp dried oregano
4 tsp packed brown sugar
1 tsp red chili flakes (it’s fairly spicy, so use less if you’re sensitive to spiciness)
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon (make sure to use real cinnamon)
Preheat the oven to 400F. For the rub, mix everything in the ingredients list (besides the pork) in a small bowl to combine.
Season the tenderloins well with salt and pepper, then rub the spice mixture evenly over them, pressing the spices into the meat. Heat an ovenproof pan over medium high heat, and sear the tenderloins for 5 minutes to brown all sides. Stick the pan in the oven, and let the tenderloins heat through for about 15-20 minutes, until it reaches 150-155 on your instant read thermometer (the temperature will rise another 5 degrees during resting). Pork gets dry very easily, so it’s important to not let it go over 150-155 degrees.
After the pork has rested for at least 5 minutes, use a serrated knife to slice off 1/2 inch thick pieces, and spoon the spicy sweet pan drippings leftover in the skillet over the pork. I served it with marinated kale that I had in my fridge from the morning, and I included that recipe below. Enjoy your tasty pork, and please leave any comments, questions, or suggestions below.
The marinated kale is super simple to make.
Toss a 1/2 pound of kale with 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, 3 tbsp balsamic vinegar, 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes, and salt and pepper, and let it marinate in the fridge for 10 hours (it really needs to sit this long to take the raw edge off the kale, and let the flavors meld).