Anchovy-Rubbed Pork Tenderloin with Anchovy-Lemon Butter

This recipe calls for an anchovy-based rub, which creates an appetizing crust around the tenderloin. 

Pork tenderloin is an easy way to serve a crowd: A quick sear in cast iron gets them going, and you can get your side dishes together as they finish in the oven. This recipe calls for an anchovy-based rub, which creates an appetizing crust around the tenderloin. It’s a dramatic presentation that looks like you worked way harder than you actually did.

Anchovy-Rubbed Pork Tenderloin with Anchovy-Lemon Butter

Pork Tenderloin

  • 2 2-oz tins anchovies in oil, drained
  • 5 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 3 Tbsp fresh rosemary leaves, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
  • ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 lbs pork tenderloin (about 1½ lbs each), at room temperature
  • kosher salt, for sprinkling
  • anchovy-lemon butter, for serving (recipe follows)

Anchovy-Lemon Butter

  • 6 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 6 tinned anchovy fillets, drained
  • 1 Tbsp lemon zest
  • pinch chile flakes
  • juice of 1 lemon

| Preparation – Pork Tenderloin | Preheat oven to 400˚F. Add anchovies, garlic, rosemary, mustard and pepper to the bowl of a food processor; pulse until mixture has broken down and is combined, but not completely smooth. Set a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat while preparing meat.

Sprinkle tenderloins with salt; remove anchovy mixture from food processor and rub evenly over both tenderloins. When skillet is hot, sear tenderloins – one at a time – on all sides until deep golden and crusted, 2 minutes per side. Transfer first tenderloin to a dish while searing the second. Place both tenderloins back in cast iron, leaving 1 to 2 inches of space between and transfer to oven. Roast until thermometer registers 140˚F (for medium-rare with a little pink), then remove and tent with foil for 10 minutes.

| Preparation – Anchovy-Lemon Butter | While pork is cooking, melt butter in a small saucepan with oil, stirring occasionally. Add anchovies, lemon zest and chile flakes and simmer, pressing anchovies against bottom to dissolve, 2 to 3 minutes. Once anchovies have dissolved, whisk mixture until smooth. Remove from heat and whisk in lemon juice. Set aside and keep warm until ready to use.

| To Serve | Slice pork tenderloin against the grain and lay on platter; drizzle with anchovy-lemon butter and serve hot.