Juicy pork tenderloin served with a creamy Mushroom Marsala Sauce that’s SO GOOD it will take serious self control not to the lick the plate! This is one of those recipes that is easy enough for midweek but fancy enough for company. Cooking the pork tenderloin whole keeps this lean healthy cut of pork lovely and juicy!
So basically, this sauce is like gravy on steroids. Good steroids, that is. Not the kind that naughty athletes use. 😉
Have you ever had Marsala Sauce before? Or made anything with Marsala? Marsala is a fortified wine, so it’s thicker and sweeter than normal wine. It has many layers of flavours in it which makes it a fantastic secret weapon in the kitchen, one that chefs in posh restaurants use regularly.
It holds true for alcohol generally. A splash of wine, sherry, marsala or even brandy to deglaze a skillet after cooking a piece of protein = instant sauce. (PS “Deglaze” simply means simmering a liquid in a skillet to get the flavour of the brown stuck-on bits into the sauce. Fancy word, simple in reality!)
For this particular recipe, I’ve made a basic gravy but taken it up a notch by adding Marsala.
Scratch that. The Marsala takes this up 10 notches. This sauce….it’s so good it’s ridiculous. I could honestly drink it straight out of the jug. I want to drink it straight out of the jug!
While my plating up effort above might look a little sloppy and doesn’t compare to what a posh restaurant could do, I can absolutely promise you this – the flavour will knock your socks off and rival anything you can get at fine dining restaurants.
And this is easy. Easy, easy, easy (picture me jumping up and down as I chant that!). It’s as easy as 1-2-3:
- Sear pork tenderloin, plonk in oven to finish cooking, remove from skillet to rest;
- Cook mushrooms, remove, then cook onion and garlic; and
- Add Marsala wine, chicken stock/broth then cream. Simmer to reduce and that’s when the magic happens and this incredible gravy sauce is created…
Actually, it’s funny I mention posh restaurants because I actually did a photo shoot for a client for a Matt Moran recipe. (Matt Moran is one of the top serious chefs / restauranteurs in Australia). And the sauce for his recipe was very similar to this, except he used vermouth instead of Marsala. It was that photography assignment that prompted me to share this recipe. 🙂
Hope you consider trying it! Maybe I should start a new recipe collection for posh restaurant-type food that’s easy to make at home. What do you think? – Nagi x
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1lb / 500g pork tenderloin (Note 1)
- 2 tbsp butter (salted or unsalted)
- 5oz / 150g mushrooms, sliced (I used Swiss Brown)
- ¼ cup finely chopped shallots or onion
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1½ tbsp flour
- ½ cup marsala (Note 2)
- 2 cups chicken broth, low sodium
- 5 tarragon leaves (optional) (thyme is also lovely) (Note 3)
- ¼ cup cream
- Preheat oven to 200C/390F.
- Sprinkle pork with salt and pepper.
- Heat oil in an ovenproof skillet over high heat. Sear on all sides until nicely browned.
- Place in the oven for 15 minutes for the faintest blush of pink (pictured) or 18 to 20 minutes for no pink. See Note 4 for internal cook temperatures.
- Remove pork from skillet onto a plate, cover with foil and set aside in a warm place while you make the sauce.
- Melt 1 tbsp butter in the same skillet over high heat. Cook mushrooms until browned, then remove.
- Reduce heat to medium high, melt 1 tbsp butter,. Add onion and garlic, cook for 2 minutes or until onion is softened. Add flour and mix.
- Add marsala, cook until mostly evaporated (about 1 minute). Add tarragon and chicken broth, whisk until dissolved. Bring to simmer and cook until the liquid reduces by half - 3 to 5 minutes.
- Add cream and mix, then return the mushrooms and pork into the skillet as well as juices pooled on the plate. Simmer for 1 - 2 minutes until the sauce thickens into a thin gravy consistency (it will thicken more as you serve).
- Transfer to serving platter with the gravy on the side or poured over the top. Serve with mashed potatoes of course!! (Here is my Make Ahead Mashed Potatoes recipe)
2. Marsala is a fortified wine like port and sherry. It's a bit sweet and has beautiful layers of flavour, usually a hint of spice with caramel flavours. It is VERY good value - I use a brand called Boronia from Dan Murphy's (in Australia) that costs $9 for a large bottle that lasts for years and years.
SUBSTITUTES: Sherry (best), sweet vermouth or port (next best) or brandy.
Non alcoholic option: This sauce is very much based on the Marsala flavours but if you need to make this non alcoholic, you can leave the marsala out in which case this will be like a creamy gravy.
SWEET OR DRY? I use sweet, I think it goes beautifully with pork. But dry is absolutely gorgeous too, and if you want a touch of sweet just add a wee bit of sugar or honey into the gravy!
3. Tarragon is a herb commonly used in French cooking. It has a very unique flavour, almost like aniseed. It goes spectacularly well with alcohol based creamy sauces like this one, and it's based on a recipe by Matt Moran, one of Australia's most famous chef's, that I made and photographed for a client.
You can sub with thyme or leave it out. I promise the sauce is delish even without!
4. Internal Temperature of Cooked Pork (using a meat thermometer inserted into the middle of the thickest part):
* For a slight blush of pink, which is how I like it (per photo), take it out of the oven when the internal temperature of the pork is 150F/65C - takes 15 minutes at 200C/390F. After resting for 10 minutes, it will be 155F/68C.
* For no pink, take it out of the oven when the internal temperature of the pork is 155F/68C - takes 18 minutes at 200C/390F. After 10 minutes, it will be 160F/70C