I love my cast iron skillet, but I find that I under utilize it and it just sits in my oven most of the time. My Grammy actually gave my sister and I her family’s cast iron skillet which was her mothers and is well over a hundred years old. Yes, that thing is still the bomb and has 100+ years of seasoning it in. Maybe one day I will get it from my sister, but until then, I have my own which is well seasoned and I take care of her.
So I have made it my mission to use my cast iron skillet more and the other day, I made the most delicious pork tenderloin. As a side thought, I also think that the pork tenderloin cut is something that most people shy away from, but I have no idea why because it is so tender and turns out perfect and delicious every time.
My husband is on the Keto diet, and I am always trying new things that are healthy and delicious. This tenderloin dish is guaranteed to please you, and the best part is, the most work you will do is to lift the skillet into and out of your oven. Win!
- 1 plain pork tenderloin (about 1 lb.)
- Fresh yellow onion roughly chopped
- 2 large sprigs of fresh rosemary
- 2 cups baby carrots
- 1 tbs. Garlic powder
- 1 tbs. Onion powder
- 1 tbs. Smoked paprika
- 1 tbs. Chili powder
- 1 tbs. Black pepper
- 1 tbs. Sea salt
- 1 tbs. Cumin
- 1 tbs. Powdered clove
Per Serving: 6 ozs. serves 3-4 | 240 calories
Stating the obvious, you will need a cast iron skillet and about 3 tablespoons oil of your choice for cooking (I used leftover bacon grease from the mornings breakfast).
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees with the cast iron in the oven also heating. You want to have a hot skillet when starting.
- While the oven is preheating, chop your onion and prepare your dry rub.
- If you want to be super simple, you can just buy a dry rub of your choosing and use that versus making your own. I tend to make my own things because even if I purchase a premade seasoning, I always add my own flavor anyway.
- You pretty much want equal parts of all the spices and mix them together in a bowl. You can add more chili powder or chipotle powder depending on your preference of spice.
- Take the pork tenderloin out of it’s packaging using scissors and tongs.
- Important: make sure you take paper towels and dry the pork before adding any spice. For some reason, the way most packaged pork tenderloin comes pretty juicy, and we do not want that.
- After you dry the pork, place it on a plain surface or plate. Take your dry rub and sprinkle half of it liberally onto one side. Rub and press that in with your hands. Turn it over and do the same thing to the other side.
- In general, I find it to be helpful if your piece of meat is at or close to room temperature before you cook it so that the heat is distributed evenly throughout the cooking process. On the other hand, do not leave your meat out for more than 30 minutes before cooking.
- Once that is done and the oven is ready, grab your oven mit and pull out the rack with the cast iron skillet.
- Place the pork tenderloin using tongs into one side of the skillet.
- Add your bacon grease to the other side and simply throw in your onion, rosemary, and baby carrots (by the way, baby carrots are not Keto friendly…those were for me).
- Put the oven rack back into the oven and close. Make sure to set your timer for about 20 minutes and just walk away.
- Use this time to make a salad, prepare rice, or prepare your favorite type of potato as an additional side for those who are non-keto. I did make asparagus roasted for this meal.
- After about 20 minutes, pull the rack out again and flip the tenderloin using your tongs. Then while using the tongs, mix the veggies and herbs to make sure they are fully cooked.
- Put it back in and wait another 20 minutes or until the pork reaches 165 degrees.
- Once that is out of the oven cooked to perfection, set the meat aside and make sure that you let it rest on a cutting board for at least 15 minutes. This step is arguably the most important step because it allows the meat to redistribute the juices and ensure it is not dried out after cooking.
- Slice it into 3 centimeter slices and serve with your sides of choice depending on your diet and those who are eating the meal.
Now, there are a lot of instructions; however, they are not complicated and are written in a way that you can follow along with the recipe while you are cooking. This dish was amazing. I love to cook this cut of meat, and again, I think too many people do not reach for it when they are grocery shopping. So do not be afraid of this delicate meat, and grab it the next time you are in the grocery store. Enjoy!