Pan-Seared Pork Tenderloin With Tarragon 4.000

Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post

Dinner in Minutes Jul 9, 2014

This dish is surprisingly elegant for a midweek meal. You might want to stash it in your cook-for-unexpected-company file. Pork tenderloin cooks fairly fast, and even faster when you whack it into thin cutlets.

Serve with steamed broccolini and/or roasted potatoes.


When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 4 servings

  • 1-pound pork tenderloin
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 large shallot
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 4 stems tarragon
  • 3/4 cup no-salt-added chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine (may substitute 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar)
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 lemon


Use a small, sharp knife to cut the silver skin and any visible fat from the tenderloin. Cut the meat into four equal portions. Place each one between 2 pieces of plastic wrap; pound to a thickness of 1/4-inch. Pat each piece with paper towels, then season lightly on both sides with salt and pepper.

Mince the shallot and garlic; they can be combined.

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add a tablespoon of the butter; tilt the pan to coat it evenly. Add 2 of the pork cutlets and cook for 1 to 2 minutes on each side or until browned and cooked through. Transfer to a plate; cover loosely with aluminum foil to keep warm. Repeat with another tablespoon of the butter and the remaining 2 cutlets.

Finely chop the tarragon leaves.

Add the shallot and garlic to the skillet, stirring to coat. Cook for 1 minute, until the garlic is fragrant, then add the broth, wine and sugar. Squeeze in a tablespoon of lemon juice, being careful not to let any pits fall in. Increase the heat to high; stir to dislodge any browned bits and cook for 3 or 4 minutes or until the liquid has reduced by one-third.

Add any meat juices that have accumulated on the plate of cutlets. Whisk in the remaining tablespoon of butter and the tarragon; cook for 1 minute, then pour the sauce over the cutlets. Serve right away.

Rate it

Recipe Source

Adapted from "The New Cast Iron Skillet Cookbook: 150 Fresh Ideas for America’s Favorite Pan," by Ellen Brown (Sterling Epicure, 2014).

Tested by Bonnie S. Benwick.

Email questions to the Food Section.

Email questions to the Food Section at