Oven Bag Cooked Pork Tenderloin

Before I start – I guess we all go into a new year with some resolutions. One of mine was to (try to) keep my posts a little shorter and more to the point. As this is only the first week of the new year, I won’t mark this down as a failure yet, even if at first glance it looks like the longest post ever. It can only get better from here on…

Last week, between Christmas and New Year’s Eve, I had a friend from Munich visiting. It was her first visit in 2011, whereas normally we meet about two or three times a year. So we had quite a lot to catch up on – in between a visit to IKEA (I know, total madness during school holidays and just after Christmas, but we survived) and some serious clothes shopping in Stuttgart (same madness).

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A tradition developed over an 18-year friendship is that we go to our favourite Indian restaurant whenever she visits. Four of us went, had a fantastic time and gorgeous food, buffet style. We all agreed that we couldn’t possibly eat any more, then went to the buffet to get second helpings of the main course. And dessert afterwards. The next day one of us (hint: it wasn’t me) was still feeling so sick due to those second helpings that she skipped food completely that day and could hardly eat anything the day after that.

However, shortly before my friend left, we did some food talking, and that’s how I came by this recipe, slightly adapted from her own adaptation. So – sorry S you had to suffer, and thank you for this recipe!

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My friend got the idea for this recipe when she found a sauce mix to use with pork tenderloin, had a look at the ingredients, then didn’t buy the sauce mix but made up her own. Then I substituted some spices for others, and here we have a winner.

Oven Bag Cooked Pork Tenderloin

  • Servings: 2 - 3
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500 g pork tenderloin
½ onion, thinly sliced
6 mushrooms, halved and thinly sliced
1 tbsp olive oil
250 ml / 1 cup cream
125 ml / ½ cup water
2 bay leaves
1 tbsp pink peppercorns, crushed
1 tsp white peppercorns, crushed
2 tsp Herbes de Provence
1 oven bag

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Mix together the cream, water and spices and put aside.

Heat olive oil in a non-stick pan. Cut the tenderloin in 2 pieces and fry until browned, about 5 minutes, together with the onions and the mushrooms.

Prepare oven bag and place it inside a small ovenproof dish. Transfer meat, onions, mushrooms and any juices to oven bag, placing the two pieces of meat side by side.

With a ladle, add the cream-water-spice mixture to the oven bag, seal it and make sure the meat is almost completely covered by the liquid.

Heat oven to 180°C / 350°F and bake for 40 – 45 minutes on middle shelf. Open oven bag, remove meat, arrange on individual plates or a platter and serve with the sauce.

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The dish you place the oven bag in has to be a small one because the meat needs to be covered by the liquid, so the sides of the oven bag need to be held in by the side walls of the dish.
To get a thicker sauce, after removing meat from oven bag, pour liquid into a pot, bring to boil and stir in some cornstarch.
The original recipe on the sauce mix said to cook the meat for 60 minutes, but my friend found that too long, so I went with 45. The meat wasn’t dry due to the liquid but I’d still opt for a little less cooking time next time, approx. 40 minutes.  The thing is you can’t open the oven bag during cooking so you won’t know how well it’s done until you finally cut it open.
I decided to use the fan setting to cook it at 180°C / 350°F but I think my friend hadn’t used the fan, so next time I might reduce the heat to 160°C / 325°F when using the fan.
I served the tenderloin with potato balls, a recipe from a German food magazine. If you don’t speak German, you could make these Crispy Ridged Rosemary Mashed Potato Mounds by Joanne of Fifteen Spatulas, which are quite similar.