Pork Tenderloin with Cran-Balsamic Sauce

  • By Jess Dang
  • February 9, 2014

Pork Tenderloin with Cran-Balsamic Sauce #recipe via @cooksmarts

If you expect a big hunk of meat to taste great on its own, it’s probably not going to happen. In our previous Tofu with Curried Cabbage and Carrots recipe post, we talked about how increasing the surface area of proteins can make them taste more flavorful. For this recipe, I’m going to show you how to make proteins taste more flavorful by adding a simple sauce. And don’t think that sauces are just for professional cooks. *You* can easily whip up a flavorful sauce likely with ingredients you already have in your pantry!

Pork Tenderloin with Cran-Balsamic Sauce #recipe via @cooksmarts

This Pork Tenderloin with Cran-Balsamic Sauce recipe not only turns a hunk of pork into something sweet and tart, it’ll also make a perfect Valentine’s Day dinner. Impress your partner with ‘restaurant’ skills that are easy for any home cook to master. I promise they’ll love you even more afterwards.

See how much love it received when we featured it on our December 30th Meal Plan

Julie: “This was the best tenderloin I’ve ever made!”
Mary Ann: “I second the “best tenderloin ever made” sentiment! This was tender, moist, and absolutely delicious.”
Sarah: “The sauce over tender pork is amazing.”

Do you have go-to sauces for making your meats more flavorful? Share them in the comments below!

Prepping Smarts:

Another way to ensure tasty meat is to season and tenderize it before cooking. See how in the video below:


How to Season & Tenderize Proteins with a Fork

Maximize flavor and tenderize proteins with this little trick.

Equipment Smarts:

A saute pan is plenty big for cooking a pork tenderloin and whipping up a sauce.

Buy this 5 quart saute pan from Cuisinart on Amazon

For more kitchen and equipment and tool smarts, visit our ‘Essential Kitchen Cookware and Tools’ page

Pork Tenderloin with Cran-Balsamic SaucePork Tenderloin with Cran-Balsamic Sauce #recipe via @cooksmarts

Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Pork tenderloin gets a sweet and tart punch with craisins and balsamic.
Author: Jess Dang
Serves: 4
  • Pork tenderloin (not to be confused with pork loin) – a 1¼ lbs. piece
  • Craisins (dried cranberries) – 3 tbs.
  • Balsamic vinegar – 3 tbs.
  • Cooking oil – 3 tbs.
  • Chicken stock – 1 cup
  • White wine – ½ cup
  • Bay leaves – 2
  • Corn starch – 1 tbs.
  • Cold water – 2 tbs.
  1. Pork tenderloin – Season with salt and pepper and tenderize with a fork. This will make enough for Thursday’s meal. (Can be done up to 1 day ahead)
  2. Craisins – Soak in balsamic vinegar.
  1. Heat a saute pan over medium-high heat. Add cooking oil and then tenderloins to heated oil. Sear each side for 2 to 3 minutes until a golden color forms.
  2. Add in stock, white wine, and bay leaves. Cover and bring to a boil, and then lower heat to simmer. Simmer for 12 to 20 minutes or until temperature reaches 145 degrees.
  3. Remove pork tenderloin from pan and set aside. Fish out the bay leaves and bring the remaining stock to a boil. Mix craisins and balsamic vinegar with corn starch and cold water. Add to stock and let it simmer until thickened. Stir. Serve sauce over pork.


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