Pan-Roasted Pork Tenderloin with Herb-and-Mustard Crust

Total Time
Prep 15 mins
Cook 25 mins

I developed this recipe based on what I had on hand: rosemary fresh from the pot on my balcony, a Niman Ranch pork tenderloin, and a brand-new jar of dijon mustard. The result is an incredibly flavorful, relatively quick dinner that is also pretty low in fat (you could use a nonstick pan and less oil for even lighter results, though the searing will not be as good). Great with mashed potatoes and steamed veggies for a simple weeknight meal that's fit for guests.

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Preheat oven to 450.
  2. Rinse tenderloin and pat dry.
  3. Using a sharp paring knife, make several slits in the tenderloin and insert garlic slivers.
  4. Use about half the garlic.
  5. In a mortar& pestle (or small food processor), mash the fennel seeds and the remainder of the sliced garlic with about 1 tsp.
  6. salt to form a paste.
  7. Combine fennel-garlic mixture with chopped rosemary, mixture will be crumbly.
  8. Sprinkle the pork tenderloin with salt and fresh ground black pepper.
  9. Rub dijon mustard all over surface of the meat.
  10. Pat the herb mixture onto the surface of the meat, it should adhere to the mustard.
  11. Place a cast iron skillet (or other heavy-bottomed skillet) over medium heat till hot.
  12. Add oil, allow oil to get quite hot, just before the smoking point.
  13. Add the tenderloin to the pan.
  15. Then lift it with tongs and sear the other sides, repeating until the surface is browned and crusty.
  16. Some of the coating will adhere to the pan, that's OK.
  17. Place the pan in the hot oven and roast for 20 minutes, or until tenderloin is cooked to your liking (at least 145 degrees).
  18. Allow meat to rest, covered, for about ten minutes before slicing and serving.
  19. You can deglaze the pan with a little white wine or lemon juice to make a delicious pan sauce.


Most Helpful

This if fabulous, Tracy. You can cook for me any day. Excellent directions. The fennel seeds is a touch of genius.

Jangomango November 03, 2002

I expected this to be outstanding and I wasn't disappointed! I did do a few things differently... I "marinated" the tenderloin in some soy sauce and garlic first. I also didn't use the fennel because I don't care for it. We didn't miss it. I used a LOT of cracked black pepper and stuffed whole garlic cloves in the tenderloin. I served this with garlic mashed potatoes and a brown sauce enriched with wine. My family sends their thanks - they declared this the best tenderloin I've ever made, and I make a pretty good tenderloin! Thanks for a keeper!

Denise! November 12, 2003

Thank you for such a tasty recipe! I prepared the pork tenderloin exactly as the recipe instructed; however, I think next time I will omit some of the salt. I was worried about the fennel but the flavor of the rub as a whole was excellent. I also used white wine to deglaze the pan for a tasty pan sauce. I used a 1.2 lb pork roast, and my husband and I ate the entire thing! Thanks again :)

jentastic August 09, 2010

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