Tender and succulent seared slabs of pork…that’s what you’ll find in this Cherry-Pecan Pork Tenderloin Medallions recipe – pure heaven!
This is a fantastic pork meal that is fool-proof and fast, plus elegantly easy! Your guests will flip.
Pork Tenderloin Medallions for Thanksgiving
I adore me some pork tenderloin! It cooks in a jiffy, stays juicy, and has tons of flavor that compliments any type of sauce or even served with just your favorite pork or beef seasoning….heck even with just salt and pepper!
Pork tenderloin is my very favorite cut of pork because it’s nearly fool-proof (so any cook can make it – even beginner cooks) and it’s always very tender. Plus, there’s absolutely no bones involved so the entire piece of pork can be eaten.
If you like to marinate meat, keep in mind that pork tenderloin also takes on marinades quickly since it’s a long, skinny piece of meat.
What to love about this easy pork tenderloin recipe
- Pork tenderloins are nearly fool proof….and talk about easy to cook!
- Since there’s no bone in a pork tenderloin, you can eat the entire piece of meat – it’s a great value.
- This recipe is very holiday-worthy – beautiful (yet effortless) presentation.
Ingredients you need to make this recipe
- Pork tenderloin (not pork loin)
- Your favorite steak seasoning
- Olive oil
- Yellow onion
- Cherry jam or preserves
- Apple juice
- Red wine vinegar
- Chopped pecans, toasted, if possible
How to make pork tenderloin medallions
Make the tenderloin: Remove the pork tenderloin from the fridge and remove the packaging; season the tenderloin to taste with your favorite steak seasoning. Let the tenderloin rest for 30 minutes before you begin the cooking the process. **Don’t skip this step!
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. In a large saute pan over medium high heat, add a good swiss of olive oil. When the oil is hot, sear the seasoned pork tenderloin on all sides until dark golden brown. **Reserve the drippings in the saute pan to use when making the sauce.
Place the seared tenderloin onto a foil-lined baking sheet; roast, uncovered, for 15-20 minutes or just until the tenderloin reaches 140 degrees F. at the center when tested with an instant-read meat thermometer. Remove the pork tenderloin from the oven and tent with foil; let the pork rest for 3-5 minutes while you begin to make the sauce.
Make the cherry-pecan sauce: In the reserved skillet over medium heat, saute the onions in the pork drippings until softened and translucent, approx. 3-4 minutes. Stir in the cherry jam, apple juice, and vinegar; simmer until the sauce thickens, stirring occasionally. Remove the sauce from the heat; stir in the pecans.
Serve the pork tenderloin: Slice the pork tenderloin into fat medallions and place onto a serving platter, overlapping them as you go. Spoon the warm cherry-pecan sauce over the top, as desired. Serve at once!
Answers to Common Questions Asked About This Recipe
Which tools are helpful for making pork tenderloin recipes?
12-Inch Cast Iron Skillet – A traditional cast iron skillet or an enamel-lined cast iron skillet works very well for cooking meat because it can withstand the high temperatures needed to sear the steaks, creating great exterior caramelization. Once the roast is nicely seared, you can place the cast iron skillet directly into the oven – it’s so versatile.
Silicone Spatula Spoons – Of all the tools in my kitchen, silicone spatula spoons are what I use the most. They make stirring and sautéing a breeze and I love all the pretty silicone colors available. Silicone spatula spoons are completely heat-proof so they won’t melt, even when used over high temperatures. I like to have different sizes on hand for different kitchen tasks – soooo handy!
Long-handled tongs – a nice pair of long-handled stainless steel tongs is essential when searing off any type of meat. The longer length keeps you from getting burned from any fats that might splatter during the cooking process.
Rimmed baking sheet – Heavy-duty bakeware is essential for proper browning. I like aluminum baking sheets with a rimmed edge, 13×18 inches in size.
Wooden cutting board – for slicing the pork tenderloins into medallions (and for slicing any other type of meat, as well) you’ll want a large cutting board that has a channel around the edge. The channel is where the juices from the meat can gather, keeping them from running off the cutting board and making a mess.
**When purchasing good quality knives, know that it’s a great kitchen investment if taken care of properly, good knives are a lifetime purchase. I know it seems like a lot of cash upfront, but it sure pays off quickly, and you’ll enjoy prep work a whole lot more if you’ve got a good knife in your hands.
What is the perfect internal temperature for pork? Is it still 160 degrees F. at the center?
- NOOOO!! The USDA says we can now safely cook all pork just until it’s 140-145 degrees F. at the center. Pork cooked to this temperature will have a slight pink tinge to the meat and that is perfect! No more gray, overcooked, funky pork – hallelujah!
- To be sure your pork is cooked to that perfect 140-145 degree temperature, you’ll need to remove it from the cooking source (grill, oven, grill pan, etc) when the pork has reached an internal temperature of 130-135 degrees. Then, tent the pork with foil and let it rest.
- During this resting time, the pork will raise 5-10 more degrees in internal temperature, finishing out at that perfect 140-145 degrees F.
Is pork tenderloin the same thing as pork loin? If not, what’s the difference?
Nope. And to learn all the pertinent details and the differences between the two, please read this post. There is a big difference between pork tenderloin and pork loin.
Why should I toast the pecans?
Toasted pecans are extra crispy and crunchy and you’ll get a bigger boost of nuttiness and flavor by toasting them.
And, because nuts are very fattening, if you toast them to boost the flavor and texture, you can use fewer nuts than what your recipe calls for, reducing fat and calories.
How do I toast pecans?
Oven method for toasting pecans: Spread the pecans out in a single layer over a rimmed baking sheet. Bake in a 325 degree F. oven for 5-10 minutes, stirring the pecans half way through the baking time. Once the nuts are golden brown and fragrantly nutty in aroma, they’re done! Let cool before using or storing.
Skillet method for toasting pecans: Place the pecans into the skillet in a single layer. Over medium heat, cook the nuts until golden brown and fragrantly nutty in aroma, approx. 3-5 minutes, stirring occasionally so the pecans don’t scorch on the bottom.
Can any type of nuts be toasted?
As far as I know, you can toast nearly any type of nut….walnuts, pistachios, almonds, hazelnuts, macadamia nuts….you name it. As long as nuts are toasted at a medium temperature so they don’t burn or scorch, this technique really helps to boost their flavor. Toasting is worth it!
Do nuts burn easily?
If toasted at too high a temperature, the nuts can burn quickly and easily, resulting in a bitter flavor. Nuts burn easily because they release their oils as they cook which can cause scorching. Always use a medium temperature when toasting nuts, making sure to toss them occasionally.
Can I substitute other flavors of jams or preserves when making this pork tenderloin recipe?
Actually, yes! I’ve substituted peach jam, apricot jam, and plum jam for the cherry preserves in this recipe and it works just fine. In a pinch, I have also substituted orange marmalade; it works okay, but it definitely isn’t my first choice.
Can I substitute other juices when making this recipe?
Yep. Nearly any type of juice works fine. I’ve substituted cranberry juice and cran-apple juice – even orange juice works in a pinch! Use what you have on hand.
More favorite meat recipes to enjoy –
- Cranberry Pork Tenderloin in a Skillet
- HOW TO MAKE BEEF TRI TIP ROAST WITH CRISPY POTATOES
- INSTANT POT CUBAN PORK TENDERLOIN WITH BLACK BEANS AND RICE
- TWO-MINUTE GARLIC BUTTER SIZZLE STEAKS
- ROAST PORK TENDERLOIN AND SWEET POTATO SHEET PAN MEAL
- EYE OF ROUND ROAST (DELI ROAST BEEF) MADE IN THE INSTANT POT
- ROAST PORK TENDERLOIN WITH POTATOES AND GREEN BEANS
Printable Cherry-Pecan Pork Tenderloin Medallions Recipe
Cherry-Pecan Pork Tenderloin Medallions
- 2 pork tenderloins, 1 lb. each
- Your favorite steak seasoning, to taste
- olive oil, for searing the tenderloins
- ½ medium yellow onion, finely diced
- 1 cup cherry jam or preserves
- ¼ cup apple juice
- ¼ cup red wine vinegar
- ¼ cup chopped, toasted pecans
Prepare the Pork Tenderloin
- Remove the pork tenderloins from refrigeration and unpackage; season the tenderloins with steak seasoning, to taste. Let the tenderloins rest, uncovered, on the counter for 30 minutes before you begin the cooking process.
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. In a large sauté pan over medium high heat, add a good swish of olive oil. When the oil is hot, sear each of the pork tenderloins on all sides until dark golden brown, working one at a time. **Reserve the drippings in the saute pan to use when making the sauce.
- Place the seared tenderloins onto a foil-lined baking sheet making sure they don't touch each other; roast, uncovered, for 15-20 minutes or just until the tenderloin is 135 degrees F. at the center when tested with an instant-read meat thermometer. Remove the pork tenderloin from the oven and tent with foil; let rest, covered, for 3-5 minutes while you make the sauce. The internal temperature of the pork will raise to 140 degrees F. during this time.
Make the Cherry-Pecan Sauce
- In the reserved skillet over medium heat, sauté the onions in the pork drippings until softened and translucent, approx. 3-4 minutes. Stir in the cherry jam, apple juice, and vinegar; simmer until the sauce thickens, stirring occasionally. Remove the sauce from the heat and stir in the pecans.
Serve the Cherry-Pecan Pork Tenderloin Medallions
- Slice the pork tenderloins into fat medallions and place onto a serving platter;, over-lapping them as you go. Spoon the warm cherry-pecan sauce over the top, as desired. Serve at once!
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