Sweet and Savory Rubbed Pork Tenderloin

13 Sep

I think it’s a fair assumption that if something tastes delicious and requires very little work, it’s an all around win-win.  That’s what this dish is – smearing on a rub, a little grill action, and serving with some fresh rosemary, goat cheese, and honey…delicious!  And, though I rarely eat pork, my husband has a, “That time we had a ham and Gina made it disappear,” story…so…I have to admit that I do enjoy it on a rare occasion.

{Gina’s Take}

This is the simplest dish to prepare and it just bursts with flavor.  Both pork tenderloin and thickly cut pork chops work equally as well.

One of the points of debate in cooking pork, however, is the cooking time.  My husband won’t touch it if it’s pink, so I’ll leave it on the grill a little longer for him.  I’m personally ok with pink, so long as the juices run clear.

The drama is real people.

According to the USDA – back in 2011, the declared cooking temp for pork was lowered to 145F.   My husband does not buy in to this, and it makes me a little uncomfortable as well, so depending on which side of the fence you’re on, you may adjust your cooking time to suit your tastes as well as your grill temperature.  Just please do yourself a favor and don’t leave it on too long…tenderloin is not cheap and you don’t want to dry it out!

rubbed pork_sm

The other nuance with pork is the rest time – allowing it to rest, with the rub at room temperature before you cook it and also letting the meat rest for 3-5 minutes once you take it off the grill, allowing the internal temperature to rise.  So be patient…set the table, have a glass of wine…update your facebook status…whatever…just leave the pork in “time out” for a few minutes to let it do it’s thing.

If you can make it past the temperature debate, you will be delighted with just how easy and delicious your dish turns out!  The pork, combined with the goat cheese and honey, and topped with the fresh earthiness of the rosemary, is really sensory perfection!

{Pretty Little Tip}

A meat thermometer is a must for this dish to avoid undercooking or overcooking and drying out the lean tenderloin.  If you like it on the pinker end of the spectrum, cook it to about 140F, allowing it to rest, and the temperature to rise to 145F.  If you’re a little leery, go old school (aka: pre the 2011 USDA rule change) with the internal temperature hovering around 160F.

Recipe inspiration from Ladies Home Journal Jul/Aug 2013 issue, page 100.


Sweet and Savory Rubbed Pork Tenderloin


  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/4 tsp dried rosemary
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • Pork Prep
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1lb pork tenderloin, silverskin removed
  • Served with
  • 1-2 tsp fresh chopped rosemary
  • 4oz goat cheese, sliced
  • 2 Tbsp honey


  1. In a small bowl, add all of the spices and mix until combined. Set aside.
  2. Next, prep the pork by drizzling the olive oil on to the pork and rubbing it over the meat to coat.
  3. Then, season the pork with the rub, coating evenly. Set the rubbed pork aside to rest on the countertop at room temperature for 30 minutes.
  4. Finally, using a meat thermometer, grill pork over medium high heat (around 450F) for 20-25 minutes to desired doneness (internal temperature between 145F - 160F) and allow the pork to rest for 3-5 minutes. Note: The USDA recommends achieving a minimum internal temperature of 145F, then remove from heat and allowing to rest for about 5 minute, so the temperature rises.
  5. Serve with goat cheese, drizzle honey over the top of the dish, and sprinkle with rosemary.

One Response to “Sweet and Savory Rubbed Pork Tenderloin”

  1. Virginia March 16, 2015 at 12:55 am #

    I love this rub for the grill! The goat cheese pairs perfectly with the pork. I would also like to try it with port chops as well.

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