The fastest way to cook pork tenderloin is to slice it crosswise, pound the slices to a thickness of about ¾ of an inch, and quickly sauté the slices in a hot skillet. The pork remains juicy and tender and has a nice sear. I served the pork with a pan sauce of sautéed shallots, balsamic vinegar, brown sugar, fresh rosemary and mustard. Both recipes are from Cook’s Illustrated.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

Look for butter without colour or preservatives and for a brand of balsamic vinegar that contains only naturally occurring sulfites. Many brands of Dijon vinegar contain sodium benzoate or sulfites. I use PC Old-Fashioned Dijon, which contains all-natural ingredients.

Slice pork crosswise and pound to uniform thickness

Sear in a hot pan; don't overcrowd the pan

Meanwhile, saute shallots in butter

Add balsamic vinegar, brown sugar and rosemary; finish with more butter

Sauteed pork tenderloin medallions with balsamic rosemary mustard sauce



1 (5 ml) teaspoon table salt

½ teaspoon (2.5 ml) ground black pepper

1 pork tenderloin, about 1 pound, (454 g), silver skin removed, cut into 1-inch (2.54 cm) slices, each pounded to ¾ inch (1.9 cm) with flat side of chef’s knife blade

2 tablespoons (30 ml) olive oil

Shallot-Balsamic Sauce with Rosemary and Mustard

4 tablespoons unsalted butter (60 ml), cut into 4 pieces

2 medium shallots , sliced thin, about ½ cup (125 ml)

1 teaspoon (5 ml) light brown sugar

2 tablespoons (30 ml) water

¾ cup (175 ml) balsamic vinegar

2 teaspoons (10 ml) chopped fresh rosemary

1 tablespoon (15 ml) Dijon mustard

Salt and ground black pepper



Sprinkle salt and pepper over both sides of pork slices. Heat oil until shimmering in heavy-bottomed pan, at least 10 inches (25.4 cm) across bottom, over medium-high heat, swirling pan to distribute oil. Working in batches of no more than six slices to avoid overcrowding, sear medallions without moving them until brown on one side, about 80 seconds (oil should sizzle, but not smoke). Turn medallions with tongs to avoid scraping off the sear; sear until meat is mostly opaque at sides, firm to the touch, and well browned, about 80 seconds. Transfer pork to plate.


Place 1 tablespoon (15 ml) butter to hot skillet; when melted, stir in shallots, brown sugar, and water. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring frequently, until shallots are browned and caramelized, 7 to 10 minutes; set skillet aside off heat.

While pork is resting, set skillet over medium-low heat and add vinegar; simmer until mixture is slightly thickened, 5 to 7 minutes. Add rosemary; continue to simmer until syrupy and reduced to about 1/3 cup (75 ml) , about 2 minutes longer. Off heat, whisk in mustard and remaining 3 tablespoons (45 ml) butter, one piece at a time. Adjust seasonings with salt and pepper. Serves 2-3.

From Cook’s Illustrated