This garlic stuffed herb crusted pork tenderloin is super lean, but tender and incredibly flavorful. The herbs are mixed with crushed pork rinds for extra crunch, and mustard, a perfect pairing for pork, is slathered all over the meat and helps glue in the spices.
This is easy high protein keto recipe is perfect to impress your guests because, you know, it looks hard and makes you look like you know what you’re doing. Specially when they cut into the meat and find the garlic cloves stuffed inside! And if you have gamers around, this is a special treat.
This recipe was inspired straight out Red Dead Redemption. I’ve been playing RDO2 A LOT and, whenever I play a game a lot, I get these strange things happening. I see them as positive, before you tell me I need help… I welcome colorful changes in my glasses’ tints.
For example, after 100+ hours of Skyrim, I couldn’t see flower pots and standing jars without having a near uncontrollable urge to smash them. And when I was playing the first Red Dead, I used to spend a lot of time hunting birds. Whenever I opened the curtains in the morning and saw birds, I had a serious itch on my trigger finger.
This time around, the game has these recipes that give you stat bonuses: you can cook seasoned meat with creeping thyme, oregano or wild mint. This got us in the mood for seasoned meat eating, and Daniel decided to go ahead and put all three herbs together to get max bonuses to our health, stamina and dead eye core 🤠
Pork tenderloin vs pork loin
Be careful not to mistake one for the other: the word tender makes a world of difference. Pork tenderloin is like the fillet mignon of the pork, a super tender, clean and boneless cut in a narrow strip shape that cooks really quickly. The pork loin, in the other hand, is a large, wide cut with a cap of fat on top that is often sold as steaks.
How to make herb crusted pork tenderloin
First, decide if you want to cut the tenderloins in smaller pieces – divide each tenderloin in 3 or 4 segments – or roast them whole. You might want to keep them whole if you prefer the presentation as a roast to be sliced. I prefer to cut the tenderloins because I find it’s easier to serve, cooks faster and, more importantly, you get more flavorful corners covered in the keto herb crust!
Either way, using a pointy small knife, puncture the meat at about 1 inch intervals and stuff a whole clove of garlic into each hole. Then, rub the tenderloins in salt and pepper. Put in a roasting pan drizzled with olive oil and take it into a preheated oven for at 200 °C (400 °F) for about 15 minutes, until the outside is just looking cooked.
Remove the tenderloins from the oven (keeping it on), to add the herb crust. The reason why we don’t add the crust from the beginning is that we don’t want to overcook it, which could make the the herbs dry out and turn bitter.
Spread mustard evenly on the surface of the meat, to serve as a flavorful glue to stick the keto herb breading on. Then cover the tenderloins with the herb crust mix of finely chopped mint, oregano and thyme – you can also used dried – plus the crushed pork rinds.
Now return the herb crusted pork tenderloins to the oven, and bake for about 10 to 15 minutes further, depending on how thick the tenderloins are and whether you cut them up in smaller pieces or not. You can use a food thermometer – it should read a minimal internal temperature of 63°C (145°F). Don’t overcook pork tenderloins, they are very lean and can get really dry. Remove from the oven and let it rest for at least 3 minutes before serving.
Making crushed pork rinds
We could have used ready made pork panko, but went for hand crushed pork rinds for a more interesting texture. It’s fairly easy to do: Just put the pork rinds inside a sealed heavy duty freezer bag, air removed, then lay the plastic bag on a flat surface (your kitchen counter) and rest a cutting board on top.
Press down on the cutting board to crush the pork rinds, changing position of the board and shaking the bag now and then to get through all the rinds. This method doesn’t make for an even crushed and powdered panko, but that’s the idea. It’s nice to have some crisp bigger pieces of cracklings.
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- +/- 900 grams pork tenderloin (2 pieces)
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 2 teaspoons fresh ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon olive oil (to drizzle pan)
- 6 tablespoons yellow mustard
- 50 grams crushed pork rinds
- 2 tablespoons mint
- 1 tablespoon oregano
- 1 tablespoon thyme
- Garlic cloves to stuff – about 15
- Prepare the herb crust: mix the finely chopped (or dried) oregano, mint and thyme with the crushed pork rinds.
- Cut the pork tenderloins in serving sized pieces, or keep them whole if you prefer. Using a pointy, sharp thin knife, pierce holes about one inch apart. Take a whole garlic clove and stuff inside. Rub in salt and pepper, lay on a roasting pan drizzled in olive oil, and take it into the pre-heated oven at 200 °C (400 °F) for about 15 minutes, until the outside lost its pink.
- Remove the tenderloins from the oven (but keep it on). Spread the mustard on the meat, then cover it with the herb and pork rinds spice mix.
- Return the pork tenderloins to the oven, and bake for about 10 to 15 minutes further, depending on how thick the tenderloins are and whether you cut them up in smaller pieces or not. If using a food thermometer - it should read a minimal internal temperature of 63°C (145°F). Remove from the oven and let it rest for at least 3 minutes before serving.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 269Total Fat: 13gCarbohydrates: 2.8gNet Carbohydrates: 2.8gFiber: 1gSugar: 3gProtein: 35.3g
Nutrition information is provided as a guideline only. Different brands of ingredients may have different nutrition facts. If tracking macros, remake the calculations using the nutrition facts from the labels of the ingredients you selected. Net carbs calculated exclude carbs from insoluble fiber and sugar alcohols.