There is nothing like a good roast for Christmas. It’s the perfect time of year to heat the house up with delicious smelling food. Problem is some roasts aren’t cheap. As much as I would love to always cook a standing rib roast, I can’t break the bank for one meal. If you find yourself in the same boat, what other options are out there. A whole beef tenderloin is a option, it’s usually on sale this time of year. But what is even cheaper is a pork tenderloin. You should be able to find one for under $4 a pound! And unlike other chunks of meat like the rib roast or a ham, pork tenderloin cook in no time, so they are a good choice if you don’t want to spend too much of your day in the kitchen.
There are many different ways to flavor a pork tenderloin. If I am doing one for Christmas, I am going to look for ingredients that are available this time of year or at least make me think of Christmas:
1. Ginger is associated with the holiday season, despite not really being a seasonal ingredient. It’s on sale in stores and you just might have some on hand if you made some gingerbread cookies. I incorporate it in the marinade and the glaze.
2. Meyer Lemons are in season now. These lemons are sweeter than your average lemon and that pack an amazing taste, perfect for a marinade – just the juice and the zest.
3. Fresh Sage & Rosemary are the only two herbs still standing in my herb garden, everything else has pretty much died or gone dormant. These two will taste and look nice on the outside of the pork.
- 1 to 1 1/2 pound pork tenderloin, excess fat and silver skin removed
- For the marinade
- 1/4 cup vegetable (or chicken stock)
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar (or any kind you like)
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed Meyer lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- For the glaze
- 1/2 cup wildflower honey
- 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- Combine all the marinade ingredients in a mixing bowl. Mix thoroughly to combine.
- Place the pork tenderloin in a gallon sized plastic bag and pour in the marinade. Place in the bottom of your fridge in a vessel of your choice in case of leaks. Marinade for 8 hours or overnight.
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
- Place the pork on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper.
- Insert a probe thermometer into the center of the fattest part of the meat.
- Place in the oven and roast until the internal temperature hits 135 degrees.
- Remove from the oven. Turn the oven up to 450 degrees.
- Apply the glaze (combo of honey, salt, and ground ginger)
- Roast until the internal temperature hits 155 degrees.
- Remove from oven and allow 5-10 minutes to rest before carving. I like thin slices cut on the bias.