The Chicagoist will be launching later but in the meantime please enjoy our archives.

Chicagoist Cooks: Pork Tenderloin With Lemon and Horseradish

By Caroline Clough in Food on Sep 14, 2007 6:14PM

2007_september_chicagoist_lemonpork.jpg This week Chicagoist bought pork tenderloin with the plan of writing about making it into a dish for the site. The only slight set-back we faced was that we had no idea what we were actually going to cook. We'd already done tenderloin this, rather classic, way and felt, at least at first, over-inspired. When cooking, we often start ourselves off with a main ingredient (often enough meat) then research all the ways others have already made it. We regularly peruse sites like Epicurious, the Food Network and Martha Stewart's online presence. We also check out the smaller, non-corporate world of personal food blogs, always inspired by all the people out there cooking their hearts out. But having so many resources at our disposal (we still consult cookbooks as well) can get us turned around. One moment we would be smitten with an Asian-influenced preparation of the pork but then two seconds later we would be attracted to a recipe with more of a Latin flavor. Options are good in every aspect of life, cooking especially, but there are times when it's overwhelming and that's what it was like for us on Monday. Eventually after much mucking about in recipe archives, we found one recipe for pork tenderloin with lemon and another recipe featuring horseradish. We decided to conflate the two main aspects of the recipes into a wholly separate creation. Also known as the recipe that follows.

The predominant flavor of this dish is lemon but the horseradish, shallots and mustard also come through and make it a bit more interesting. You could easily replace limes for the lemons for a similar result ... though we're not sure that the mustard would work quite as well.

What You Need:
Approximately 2 pounds of pork tenderloin (one package with two pieces is how it was for us)
3 shallots, thinly sliced
4 lemons, zested
2 lemons' worth of juice
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons olive oil
6 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
3 tablespoons horseradish
2 tablespoons mustard (of the Grey Poupon, country Dijon, variety)
2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
salt and pepper to taste
Aluminum foil
An oven or grill

What You Do:

We marinaded our pork for 12 hours, 24 would be even better.

1. Slice your shallots, chop your garlic and zest your lemons. We used a potato peeler to zest, you want the top part of the skin with as little of the white underneath as possible. Once you've zested the lemons, finely chop the pile of peels.

2. Using a small, sharp knife, poke the pork all over. This allows the marinade/topping to infiltrate its inner porkness. Place each piece of pork on aluminum foil. Make sure the piece of foil is large enough to fully encapsulate the pork and retain liquid.

3. Drizzle 1 tablespoon of olive oil over each piece of pork and flip them around. Then salt and pepper them. Place half your shallots and garlic on each piece of pork, spreading them so they cover the pork entirely.

4. In a small bowl or measuring cup, mix the olive oil, chopped lemon zest, lemon juice, horseradish, mustard and red wine vinegar. This will make a lumpy but liquidy concoction that you will then pour over the two pieces of pork as equally as possible.

5. Seal the aluminum foil up good and tight then place the pieces in the refrigerator for 12 to 24 hours (you might want to place them in a baking dish to prevent any accidental leaking onto your fridge's shelves).

6. Once the proper amount of time has elapsed you have two options. Since the weather is changing one may make more sense than the other but they do basically the same exact thing...either heat your oven to 350 degrees or get a good charcoal/gas grill up to temperature.

7. Place your aluminum pork packages in the oven or on the grill. If you choose the oven, place the packages on a baking sheet or in a baking dish. Cook for about 35 to 45 minutes. As always we recommend that you purchase a meat thermometer to check on your meat. The pork is done at 160 degrees.

8. Let the meat sit for 5 or 10 minutes then serve.


1. If you do choose to grill and actually want your pork to be browned, reserve a bit of the lemon/horseradish sauce and heat it separately. Grill your meat as usual and once it is cooked pour the mixture over it.

2. If you choose to use an oven and want your meat a bit browned, turn the oven up to broil for the last ten minutes of cooking.

3. This dish can serve five people comfortably.