This easy balsamic pork tenderloin recipe can be made in the Instant Pot in 7 minutes or cooked in the oven if you don’t have a pressure cooker.
Last night Dave and I were binge watching the end of Top Chef Charleston and one of our favourite competitors chose pork tenderloin for a challenge.
Never choose the tenderloin!
It didn’t make sense. Not surprisingly she lost the competition.
Some people love pork tenderloin. That is not us. The amazing thing about pork is its fat, that’s where all the flavour is. This is why bacon is magic, and pulled pork sandwiches are drool worthy and prosciutto is worth a trip to Italy. It makes lardo…well lardo.
MUST READ: Learn how to make lardo.
Tenderloin has very little fat. Most people overcook it (hey Mom!) and so it’s dry and usually flavourless.
You’d think I’d never have tenderloin in the house. I clearly have strong feelings about it. Yet for some unknown reason I decided to buy pork tenderloin on sale today!
Even I don’t make sense sometimes.
Toronto is also known as Hogtown and Ontario has amazing pork. To say we’re fans of pig is an understatement, not only do we have a porky name but we have a pig on the window of our restaurant.
But tenderloin? I feel like I just made a rookie move.
So I decided to treat it as an experiment and try cooking the pork tenderloin in the Instant Pot.
After hearing so many people rave about it I took the plunge and bought this Instant Pot. Instant Pot is primarily a pressure cooker (which also makes rice, yogurt and can INCUBATE bread) so if you can’t cook this isn’t going to save you.
But if you can cook it will save you time. Lots and lots of time.
How to Cook Pork Tenderloin in an Instant Post.
Many people say you can’t cook pork tenderloin in an Instant Pot, because it’s so lean. But that’s because they are cooking it for too long and it’s over cooked. I read instructions to cook pork tenderloin anywhere from 4-50 minutes. Trust me, 50 minutes is FAR too long.
The challenge is to cook meat long enough to be safe but not so long that it’s dry cardboard.
Home cooks please invest in a meat thermometer. And when I say invest I mean spend 10 bucks to get one like this. It’s the only way to know if you’re safe. Even Dave, who has been cooking for 20 years uses a meat thermometer at Loka. You just don’t want to take a chance with someone getting sick but you also don’t want dry meat.
For this balsamic pork tenderloin I aimed for medium rare, which is 145F. It only took me 7 minutes in the pressure cooker to reach medium rare. Incredible. Dave later said he would aim for 137F, then rest it for 10 minutes and it would reach 145F while resting. Chef’s tip noted!
This is a pretty standard balsamic pork recipe, with a lean cut I wanted a bit sweet and the balsamic and brown sugar are great without feeling syrupy. I also balanced it with Kozlik’s Triple Crunch mustard. It’s a local mustard that uses Canadian mustard seeds and I love it but really any grainy mustard would work. Pork and mustard is always a good idea.
Balsamic Pork Tenderloin
I made the balsamic pork tenderloin and then went out for a meeting. Later on I met Dave when Loka closed and I told him how that I bought pork tenderloin.
The look on his face was a blend of disgust and disbelief.
But when we got home he tried it and said it was really good. He sounded surprised. I guess as surprised as I was that I liked this recipe.