My grocer had pork tenderloins on sale this week buy-one-get-one-free (BOGO). Pork tenderloin, not to be confused with pork loin, is a lean and tender cut ideal for a Hasty Tasty Meal. It’s easily over cooked, which is why it’s crucial to distinguish tenderloin from loin. Yet it’s also difficult to pass up a BOGO, so I decided it was time to master pork tenderloin.
Baking or roasting pork tenderloin using a meat thermometer (internal temperature of 145°￼) is a foolproof cooking technique, yet I wanted to use my pressure cooker. Why? We’re campers and don’t travel with an oven or even a microwave oven. But I do have a 3 quart Instant Pot Duo Mini in my travel trailer. Even when “roughing it,” I like to prepare good meals.
I experimented with steaming the tenderloin on a trivet over the liquid as well as braising in the cooking liquid. I tried chicken broth, water, and apple juice for the cooking liquid. All techniques produced edible meat, but here’s my favorite and most successful recipe.
Hasty Tasty Pork Tenderloin Roast
- 1 pork tenderloin, approximately 1.5 pound
- 2 tsp. Canola oil or your choice vegetable oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 fennel bulb, sliced
- 1 apple (gala or Granny Smith works well), sliced
- 1/2 onion, sliced
- 1.5 cups water
- 1 Tbsp. unsalted butter
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Preheat multi cooker on sauté mode.
- When heated, add oil and brown all sides of the tenderloin.
- Remove tenderloin to a plate. Add fennel, apple, and onion to the pot and sauté approximately 5 minutes. Salt and pepper. Turn off heat.
- While vegetables sauté, use a sharp paring knife and make slits evenly throughout the meat to insert the garlic pieces.
- Pour water slowly into the pot. Using a wooden spoon, deglaze the pot of any cooked-on bits.
- Return tenderloin to the cooker and place atop the fennel, apple, and onion slices.
- Seal cooker and set pressure cooking time for zero minutes (or lowest time setting available).
- After cooking time completes, hit cancel. Do not allow cooker to “keep warm.” Allow pressure to drop on its own one minute and then vent.
- Open cooker, remove meat to a plate, and pour cooking liquid into a heavy duty blender (I use a Vitamix) to purée.* Return liquid to pot, and hit sauté.
- While liquid reduces, allow tenderloin to rest. Tent with foil to keep warm. After the cooking liquid boils down to desired thickness, turn off cooker and add butter. Salt and pepper sauce to taste. Slice the tenderloin and serve drizzled with the sauce.
*For a chunkier sauce, mash the cooked apple, fennel, and onion mixture with a potato masher.