Blackberry Pork Tenderloin

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4 part picture collage of various stages of cooking blackberry pork tenderloin

Blackberry Pork Tenderloin is one of my favorite dinners to prepare. It’s easy to prepare for a small crowd or to scale up for a large crowd. The recipe takes a little preparation at the beginning to get it set up to roast but then after you put it in the oven you can walk away for a few hours. It’s delicious year round but somehow this dish just screams Welcome Spring to me!

Where Did This Recipe Come From?

This recipe was inspired by a trip with my husband to Charleston, South Carolina. We had a version of this pork at one of the fancy restaurants in the downtown area.  I knew once I got home I would have to attempt to re-create the magic.

I ended up testing out several recipes I found online and ultimately ended up taking bits and pieces from lots of recipes and creating my own recipe and method for the YUMMIEST version of Blackberry Pork Tenderloin you will ever eat!

Also, it should be said that I’m generally NOT a fan of any kind of meat dish that tastes like fruit. Lemon chicken? Orange Beef? YUCK. But this tangy blackberry sauce is sweet and savory at the same time and it’s the sauce that just pushes this dish right over the edge into amazing deliciousness.

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Holiday… or Every Day?

I’ll be serving this for Easter dinner at my house this year for sure. It’s our tradition for Easter in our little family. However, no need to wait for a major holiday. This recipe is pretty darn easy and would also work for an average Tuesday night too. If you aren’t a big pork fan it’s also delicious with chicken. And it makes delicous leftovers!

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds pork tenderloin (probably 2 small loins)
  • 4 cloves garlic, smashed (or 2 TBSP of pre-chopped garlic in a jar)
  • 1 Pint fresh or frozen blackberries
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups beef stock
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme (or 1 teaspoon dried)
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary (or 1 teaspoon dried)
  • 1 TBSP PLUS 1 tsp salt
  • 1 TBSP PLUS 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 TBSP cornstartch (gluten free variety)

How to Make The Blackberry Pork Tenderloin

Kitchen Equipment Needed:

(I’ve included links with each item below, in case you need a reference for what I used for this recipe.)

Set Up

To begin this receipe, there are two components to work on at the same time: the sauce and the pork. You can work on both at the same time to multitask and get the dish in the oven faster.

Step 1 – Assemble the Sauce

First, I like to start the sauce cooking because it needs to simmer for about thirty minutes so that the flavors all meld together.

Blackberry sauce ingredients in a pot

PS – This is my favorite picture from making this entire recipe. It looks so gorgeous with all the ingredients just thrown in the pot!

Put all the sauce ingredients in a 3 quart pot and bring to a boil. Sauce ingredients are the garlic, blackberries, vinegar, brown sugar, beef stock, thyme, rosemary and salt (only 1 teaspoon!) and pepper (only 1 teaspoon!).

*NOTE – As seen in the picture above, no need to chop anything into small pieces, just throw it in whole. We will strain this sauce before you serve it over the pork.

Step 2 – Simmer the Sauce

Blackberry sauce simmering on the stove

Turn down the heat to simmer for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, the sauce will still be very liquidy and that’s how you want it to be.

Step 3 – Go ahead and Preheat Oven

Preheat your oven to 325°. It takes a little bit for our oven to warm up.

Step 4 – Sear the Pork

In the meantime, in a heavy pan that can go from stove to the oven that has a lid (I use a shallow dutch oven), drizzle the oil in the pan and turn it on to high heat.

Generously salt and pepper your pork tenderloin on all sides with the remaining tablespoon of salt and pepper. Wait for the oil to be rippling/wafting hot and then place your pork tenderloin down on one side to sear. When the meat releases easily from the pan, flip it to the other side. Continue flipping the pork until all sides are browned and seared. This locks in the moisture and makes for great flavor for your pork.

Once the pork is browned/seared on all sides, remove the pork from the pan and remove the pan from the heat for a few moments.

Step 5 – Strain The Sauce

Backberry sauce in mesh strainer

By now, your blackberry sauce should be done simmering. Remove it from the heat and pour the sauce through a fine mesh strainer into a heat-safe bowl or another pot. Discard the contents of the strainer. This leaves you with a nice, smooth blackberry sauce.

Smooth, strained blackberry sauce in saucepan

Step 6 – Combine the Sauce and Pork

Put your braising pan back on the heat and pour the blackberry sauce into the braising pan. Stir the sauce around in the pan and scrape up any pieces of pork and brown bits that are stuck to the pan (this is flavor!). Put the pork back into the pan with the sauce.Pour all of the blackberry sauce into the pan with the pork tenderloin.

Pork tenderloin and blackberry sauce combined, ready to go in the oven

Step 7 – Roast the Pork with Sauce

Put the lid onto the braising pan and put the pan into your 325° oven and let cook for about 2.5 hours. (I had 2 small tenderloins that weighed a total of 2.0 pounds, and I ended up cooking mine on 325° for about 2.5 hours, turning the pork over about halfway through. I like to cook mine low and slow so that the meat is just falling apart and so delicious.)

Step 8 – Flip the Pork Tenderloin

After an hour and fifteen minutes, flip the pork tenderloin over so the other side cooks in the sauce.

Step 9 – Thicken the Sauce

Finished roasted blackberry pork tenderloin

When the pork is done, I remove it from the oven and turn the oven off. I gently pull the pork out of the pan, put it on a plate and cover it with aluminum foil to let it rest for a few minutes. The foil will keep the pork warm.

Leave the blackberry sauce in the pan, and put it back on the stove. The sauce has cooked for a good long while already, but I like to thicken it up so it’s gooey and thick on top of the sliced pork.

To thicken it up, bring it to a boil, add in a cornstartch slurry (1 TBSP of cornstarch stirred together with 1 TBSP of water until smooth). Once the sauce begins to thicken, I turn the heat down and stir another minute and then remove from heat.

Step 10 – Slice the Pork and Serve

Blackberry pork tenderloin with sauce drizzled over it on blue plate

While the sauce rests and thickens for a moment, go ahead and slice up your pork and put it onto plates. Then drizzle as much or as little sauce over your pork as you would like. It’s totally heaven, so I recommend a lot.

Side Dishes

I like to serve this dish with simple roasted carrots and garlic mashed potatoes. I could get expelled from living in the South for saying this, but I use an instant mashed potato pack that has the roasted garlic flavor. They are delcious and I’m not even a little sorry!

In Conclusion

In conclusion, this meal takes a little work, but it’s totally worth the effort. It makes an amazing dish with a real “wow” factor. But really, it’s a pretty simple fake out. It’s really not complicated at all! I hope you will make this dish for your family soon and that you all enjoy it as much as we do!

Roasted pork with blackberry sauce with carrots and mashed potatoes on the side

Blackberry Pork Tenderloin

Print Recipe
This delicious, fall apart pork tenderloin is slow roasted and then drizzled in a tangy, thick blackberry sauce.
Prep Time:10 mins
Cook Time:2 hrs 30 mins
Additional Time:40 mins
Total Time:3 hrs 20 mins

Equipment

  • 3-quart saucepan
  • medium mesh strainer
  • 3-4 quart braising/roasting pan with lid

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds pork tenderloin
  • 4 cloves garlic smashed/chopped
  • 1 pint blackberries fresh or frozen
  • ½ cup apple cider vinegar
  • ½ cup brown sugar light or dark is fine
  • cups beef stock
  • 1 teaspoon thyme 2 fresh sprigs
  • 1 teaspoon rosemary 2 fresh sprigs
  • 1 Tablespoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 Tablespoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • cup vegetable oil
  • 1 Tablespoon corn starch

Instructions

  • Combine (No need to chop anything, just throw it in whole. The sauce will be strained.) garlic, blackberries, apple cider vinegar, brown sugar, beef stock, thyme, rosemary and 1 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon black pepper into a 3 quart saucepan and bring to a boil.
  • Once boiling, reduce heat to simmer and let simmer 30 minutes.
  • Go ahead and preheat oven to 325°.
  • While the sauce is cooking, on your stovetop, put 1/3 cup vegetable oil in your braising pan or Dutch oven and turn the eye onto medium high heat.
  • Use the remaining 1 Tablespoon of Salt and black pepper to season the outside of the pork tenderloin, on all sides.
  • Once the oil is rippling in the pan (just give it a few minutes and it will be ready), place your pork tenderloin(s) in the pan and let them sear on all sides. To let them properly sear, leave the meat alone until it moves easily on it's own from the pan. If you try to jiggle it in the pork and it is firmly stuck, it's not ready to turn yet. Continue flipping until all sides are browned and seared.
  • When the pork is done searing (not cooked through) remove from heat. Put the pork on a plate to the side for a moment.
  • Once your sauce has cooked for 30 minutes, pour it through a fine mesh strainer into a heat safe bowl or another pot. Discard the contents of the strainer and pour the freshly strained sauce into the pan where the pork has just finished cooking.
  • Stir the sauce around in the pan and scrape up any pieces of pork and brown bits that are stuck to the pan (this is flavor!).
  • Gently put the pork back into the pan with the sauce and pour any juices from the plate into the pan as well.
  • Put the lid onto the pan and put it into a 325° oven. After 1 hour 15 minutes, take the pork out of the oven and turn it over and return to oven.
  • After another 1 hour and 15 minutes, remove pork from oven and let rest with the lid on for 10 minutes.
  • Remove the pork from the pan and put on a plate and cover well in aluminum foil. The meat will rest and this lets the juices redistribute.
  • Meanwhile, put the pan on a stove eye over medium high heat and let the remaining sauce come up to a boil.
  • In a small container, mix 1 Tablespoon cornstarch with 1 Tablespoon cold water. Whisk until a smooth liquid forms with no lumps.
  • When the sauce boils, add in the cornstarch slurry and immediately turn the heat down to medium low. Stir with a whisk until the sauce thickens. Remove from heat once thickened.
  • Serve over sliced pork tenderloin and enjoy.

Notes

***If you aren’t a fan of cornstarch or have an allergy, you can also use Arrowroot powder. Its a natural thickener you can find in the spice aisle. Just use it in the same amount, in the exact same way to make a slurry to thicken the sauce.
Special Kitchen Items Needed:
  • 3 quart saucepan
  • medium sized mesh strainer
  • 3-4 quart braising pan with lid
  • Aluminum foil

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 416kcal | Carbohydrates: 29g | Protein: 34g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 8g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 98mg | Sodium: 1755mg | Potassium: 900mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 22g | Vitamin A: 196IU | Vitamin C: 18mg | Calcium: 65mg | Iron: 3mg
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: blackberry, blackberry pork tenderloin, pork tenderloin
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 416kcal
Author: Sarah
Cost: $20

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