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Back to Butter: Roasted Pork Tenderloin with Onion Marinade

  • Author: Author: Adapted from "Back to Butter: A Traditional Foods Cookbook" by Molly Chester and Sandy Schrecengost


  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • ¼ cup grated onion
  • 1 teaspoon powdered mustard
  • ¼ cup melted bacon fat
  • 2 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 pound pork tenderloin
  • 3 tablespoons ghee, divided
  • 5 slices from the center of a sweet onion
  • ¼ cup diced sweet onion
  • 4 strips uncooked bacon, roughly chopped
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper, plus more to taste


  1. To make the marinade: In a zip-top bag, combine the marinade ingredients. Squeeze lightly to mix, and then add the tenderloin. Squeeze the ziplock bag lightly to cover the meat. Seal the bag. Allow the meat to rest at room temperature for 1 hour. If you have more time, let the meat marinate in the refrigerator for up to 12 hours. Take the meat out of the fridge 1 hour before roasting to bring to room temperature, allowing the roast to cook evenly.
  2. To make the topping: Preheat the oven to 425F. In a 7 x 11 inch glass baking dish, add 2 tablespoons of the ghee. Place the dish in the oven as it preheats for 2 to 3 minutes, until the ghee is fully melted.
  3. Remove the pan from the oven and line the onion slices down the middle of the pan in a single layer. each slice should slightly overlap the next, creating a “roasting bed” for the tenderloin. Using a pastry brush, brush the tops of the onions with the melted ghee in the pan. Set aside.
  4. In a small-size bowl, use a fork to toss the diced onion, bacon, sea salt, and black pepper. Evenly spread one-third of the bacon mixture across the top of the onion slices and set the rest aside. Remove the tenderloin from the bag, leaving the excess marinade behind, and set on a plate. In a large-size cast-iron skillet over high heat, melt the remaining 1 tablespoon ghee. Carefully add the tenderloin and quickly (1 to 1.5 minutes per side) sear the meat on all sides until browned. Remove immediately and lay the tenderloin across the bed of onions. Carefully press the remaining bacon mixture on top of the seared tenderloin, allowing the excess to fall into the pan. Season one last time with a liberal amount of freshly cracked pepper, to taste.
  5. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until a meat thermometer (inserted into the thickest part) reaches 150 F. Pork is well done at 160 F and will continue to cook during the next and final step, so take it out at 150 F to avoid overcooking.
  6. Remove from the oven, cover loosely with foil, and allow to rest for at least 5 minutes. Slice and serve with the extra bacon and onion topping heaped over the sliced tenderloin.


  • Not Included in the Large Kitchen Box: Powdered Mustard, Cider Vinegar, Salt, Pepper, Bacon
  • For the Slaw: Millet, Honey, Mustard, Apple Cider Vinegar, Walnut Oil, Walnuts.