Pork tenderloin in Dutch oven – a simple and delicious recipe with lots of potatoes and vegetables, cooked on the stovetop.
This simple Dutch oven pork tenderloin recipe is a family favorite, one of our most cooked pork recipes. Why? First of all, it tastes delicious! Then, the meat is lean, making this recipe healthier than other ones cooked with pork, it's moist and tender, and the potatoes and vegetables are hearty and comforting.
On top of everything: this meal is super easy to make! A one-pot dish containing all the elements needed for a complete meal: meat, potatoes, veggies, and gravy. All in one!
According to USDA pork is considered safe to eat when it has an internal temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit/ 63 degrees Celsius. At this point, it will be medium-rare and quite pink. Don’t overcook the pork out of fear it might not be safely cooked.
What is pork tenderloin?
Also known as filet or pork tender, it is a lean, long, narrow, and boneless piece of meat cut from the muscle running alongside the animal's backbone. It's pretty small, a whole piece weighing between 1 and 2 pounds.
It should not be confused with the loin, which is larger, can be bought with or without the bone, and comes from the animal's back. A piece of loin weighs between 3 and 5 pounds (or more). The loin makes a wonderful boneless roast, have a look at this amazing Spicy Pork Roast, it is the perfect dish to serve to guests.
Despite its being the leanest part of the pork, the filet is flavorful and remains moist and juicy when cooked properly. It doesn't need a long cooking time.
Why use a Dutch oven?
It's the best dish for making this kind of simmered dish on the stovetop and for making most kinds of dishes, actually. I have four of them in different shapes (2 round, 2 oval), sizes (medium, large and extra-large), and colors (2 red, 1 white, 1 black), and I use them almost every day.
They are heavy cast iron pots with a porcelain coating and a lid. The porcelain coating makes them easy to clean, and unlike a pure cast iron pan, you will not have to season a Dutch oven or take special care when cleaning it. You can even use soap to wash it!
They are perfect for use on the stovetop and in the oven; it is the best dish to have if you start cooking a meal on the stovetop and then finish it in the oven; this way, you will only use one pan instead of two.
It's designed for browning meat or other ingredients; it's perfect for simmering or braising. I love to use it to make bread as well.
They will get very hot and maintain the heat perfectly, so you will not have to worry about keeping the food warm until everybody gets to the table.
The only thing you have to keep in mind if you decide to invest in a good Dutch oven (they are relatively pricey, but they are worth it) is that they are heavy, and you should never forget to wear mitts when touching them; they get really HOT!
Why are they the best when cooking this recipe?
You can sear the meat and brown the vegetables perfectly, and then use the same pot to simmer everything together.
The lid keeps the moisture inside and cooks everything nice and slowly; this way, the pork remains juicy and tender while the potatoes and veggies get soft. The lid will also prevent the moisture from escaping, helping to form a delicious gravy.
Are you interested in more recipes cooked in this wonderful pot? Try any of these:
- Pulled Pork
- Irish Stew
- Whole Turkey
- Whole Chicken
- Turkey Breast
- Balsamic Beef
- Beef Apple Stew
- Oven Slow-Cooked Turkey Leg
What do you need?
The ingredient list is simple, all common, and easy to find ingredients to feed a whole family.
- When buying this cut of meat, I look for a piece weighing about 2 pounds (900 g) that is generally enough for a hungry family. It usually comes in one long piece. For the recipe, you will need to cut this long filet into two pieces.
- I always buy unseasoned meat and season it myself. However, if you wish, you can buy already-seasoned pieces. Just make sure that you know the seasoning and that it is something you like.
Vegetables: potatoes, onion, garlic, pepper, carrots, green beans.
Spices: smoked and sweet paprika, salt, pepper, and garlic powder for the dry rub. Thyme and rosemary for the rest of the dish.
Other ingredients: chicken stock, oil.
How to cook pork tenderloin in a Dutch oven?
- Remove silverskin: Place the cut of pork on a cutting board and carefully remove the fat and the silverskin. Use a small sharp knife for this purpose. Slip the blade just under this silverskin, and release a bit of it first. Grab this released piece with the other hand and run the knife underneath the skin, keeping it at an angle away from the meat. Work carefully to remove only the skin and not the flesh underneath. Now cut the filet into two equal parts.
- Dry rub: A perfect blend of common pantry spices. Mix all the spices in a small bowl and rub the pieces of meat all over. Set them aside.
- Prepare vegetables: Peel and chop the potatoes into small cubes, chop carrots and pepper, finely chop the cloves of garlic, and set them aside. Finely chop the onion and set it aside separately from the rest of the veggies.
- Brown meat: Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a large Dutch oven; it should be wide and shallow, and brown the meat all over, about 2 minutes per side, on medium-high heat. Remove from the pot. (1)
- Pre-cook vegetables: Heat the remaining oil and cook the onions with a pinch of salt for about 2 minutes, often stirring (2). Add the remaining chopped veggies, and mix well, scraping the bottom of the pan as well. Cook for 5 minutes, often stirring, until the vegetables are slightly softer. Add a splash of the chicken stock if necessary to stop the veggies from catching. Next, stir in the halved green beans, thyme, rosemary, and remaining stock. (3)
- Cook: Place tenderloin pieces on top of the vegetables. (4) Cover, lower the heat, and cook for 15-20 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 63 degrees Celsius/ 145 degrees Fahrenheit. Don't overcook the meat; it mustn't go beyond this temperature, or it will be dry and chewy. Remove the meat from the pot, keep it warm and let it rest while you finish cooking the dish.
- Finish: Continue cooking the vegetables and the gravy with the lid on for another 5 minutes. Remove the lid and cook for another 5 minutes to allow the sauce to thicken and the potatoes to become soft (if they are not so already).
- Serve: Slice the pork tenderloin, arrange it on top of the veggies and potatoes and serve.
Suitable side dishes
Yes, it is the recommended internal temperature for pork. However, if you stop cooking the meat when it reaches this temperature and let it rest while you finish the dish, the temperature will rise slightly, so you can be sure that it is safe to eat.
Yes, it tastes much better, and it's juicier if it's still slightly pink in the middle. But it should not be red or bloody.
Yes, this step imparts the meat flavor; you will not want to miss that. It also seals the juices inside and gives the pork a lovely color.
You've overcooked it. The best way to avoid that is to use a digital meat thermometer and check the temperature after 15 minutes already.
Slice the meat into thinner slices than you would usually do, or cut it into cubes. Mix the cubes into the sauce with the vegetables, cover the pan to keep the food warm, and leave it for 5-10 minutes before serving. The meat will absorb some of the juices and will be nicer to eat.
Cut the meat into smaller pieces, and mix with the rest of the dish. Once at room temperature, transfer the food into an airtight container and keep it in the fridge. The next day, reheat on the stove before serving, stirring often. Add a splash of stock or water if the dish seems to dry while reheating. The gravy keeps the lean meat from drying too much even after reheating; it will still taste delicious.
I would not freeze the leftovers; I don't like freezing and thawing potatoes.
More great recipes with pork:
Pork Tenderloin in Dutch Oven Recipe
- Dutch oven
- 1 pork tenderloin about 900 g/ 2 lbs
- 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika not hot
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¾ teaspoon fine sea salt or Kosher use a bit less if using table salt
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1.5 lb potatoes
- 2 medium carrots about 100 g/ 3.5 oz
- 1 small red bell pepper about 100 g/ 3.5 oz
- 5 garlic cloves
- 1 medium onion about 100 g/ 3.5 oz
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 cups low sodium chicken stock Note 1
- 9 oz green beans fresh or frozen and thawed
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
- Prepare pork: Place the tenderloin on a cutting board, remove the fat and the silverskin with a small sharp knife. Slip the blade just under this skin, release a bit of it first. Grab this released piece with the other hand and run the knife underneath the skin, keeping it at an angle away from the meat. Work carefully to remove only the skin and not the flesh underneath. Now cut the filet in two equal parts.
- Dry rub: Mix sweet and smoked paprika, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Rub the meat well with the mixture.
- Prepare vegetables: Peel and cut the potatoes into small cubes (about 1 ½ cm/ 0.6 inch), chop carrots and pepper into small cubes, finely chop the garlic cloves, set them aside. Finely chop the onion and set it aside separately from the rest of the veggies. Snap the green beans in two and set them aside separately from the rest.
- Brown: Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a wide and shallow Dutch oven and brown the meat all over, about 2 minutes per side. Remove from the pot. Heat the remaining oil and cook the onions with a pinch of salt for about 2 minutes, stirring often.
- Cook vegetables: Add the remaining vegetables except for the green beans, mix well, and scrape the pot's bottom. Cook for 5 minutes, often stirring, until the vegetables are slightly softer. Add a splash of the chicken stock if necessary to stop the vegetables from catching. .
- Simmer: Stir in green beans, thyme, rosemary, and remaining stock. Nestle the two pork pieces on top. Cover, lower the heat, and cook for 15-20 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 63 degrees Celsius/ 145 degrees Fahrenheit (Note 2). Remove the meat from the pot, let it rest while you finish cooking the dish
- Gravy: Continue cooking the vegetables and the gravy with the lid on for another 5 minutes. Remove the cover and cook for another 5 minutes to allow the sauce to thicken and the potatoes to become soft (if they are not already).
- Serve: Slice the meat, arrange on top of the veggies and potatoes and serve.
- Use homemade or low sodium chicken stock, or the dish might be too salty when the sauce is reduced.
- Don't overcook the meat; it is essential that it doesn't go beyond this temperature, or it will become dry and chewy.