Pork Tenderloin with Orange Compote

Pork tenderloin can be a tricky cut to cook. I find that sometimes I can have a well done outside and a rare inside or I can end up with a dry piece of meat, both of which are undesirable.

This recipe, I think, provides a foolproof way to cook pork tenderloin. Because it cooks in liquid, the meat stays succulent, even if you cook it past 145°. I didn’t have a dutch oven, so I cooked it in a large skillet. Also, don’t let the time deter you. It does take awhile, so this may not be a weeknight go-to, but the hands-on time is rather small.

Pork Tenderloin with Orange Compote

From Cooking Light, September 2011

Total Time: 2 Hours and 21 Minutes

Serves: 4


  • 1 (1-pound) pork tenderloin, trimmed (I used 1.5 pounds and think it worked out better.)
  • 4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cumin (Hi Mom! Just skip this spice)
  • ¼ teaspoon ground red pepper
  • 1 ½ cups thinly sliced onion
  • ½ teaspoon grated orange rind
  • ½ cup fresh orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons dried currants (Raisins work too)
  • 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 cup fat-free, lower-sodium chicken broth
  • ¼ cup dry white wine


  1. Slice pork lengthwise, cutting to, but not through, other side. Open halves. Place pork between sheets of plastic wrap; pound to ¼ inch.
  2. Combine 1 teaspoon olive oil, ¼ teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon black pepper, cumin, and red pepper in a small bowl. Brush pork with mixture. Cover and refrigerate for 1hour.
  3. Heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add onion; cook 20 minutes or until golden brown, stirring occasionally. Add ½ teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon black pepper, rind, and next 4 ingredients (through sugar); bring to a boil. Cook 14 minutes or until liquid almost evaporates, stirring occasionally. Cool slightly.
  4. Spread onion mixture over pork; leave l/2-inch border. Roll, starting with long side. Secure pork with wooden picks. (I just kinda pressed the edge into the roll and it stayed. It gave me a looser spiral, but if you’re not picky, you can save your toothpicks.)
  5. Combine broth and wine in a large Dutch oven; bring to a boil. Add tenderloin; cover, reduce heat, and simmer 15 minutes or until a thermometer registers 145°. Remove pork from pan; keep warm. Bring cooking liquid to a boil; cook 8 minutes or until reduced to ½ cup. Strain cooking liquid through a sieve into a bowl; discard solids. Remove and discard wooden picks from pork; slice crosswise.

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