The Special Marinade That Keeps Ina Garten's Pork Tenderloin Tender And Juicy

When it comes to flavoring meat, celebrity chef Ina Garten has a few tricks up her sleeve. She uses little more than three ingredients for a flavorful fried chicken buttermilk marinade, while she embraces a one-skillet technique for flavoring chicken and potatoes. For pork tenderloin, Garten pays equal attention to her cooking approach and ingredients. She makes an herb marinade that seems simple, but flavors and tenderizes an otherwise basic pork tenderloin. 

In her Food Network recipe for herb-marinated pork tenderloins, Garten combines aromatic, staple ingredients for her pork marinade. She uses lemon zest and juice, olive oil, garlic, rosemary, thyme, mustard, and salt for her marinade. These ingredients work well together and have a pivotal role in the recipe. 

The lemon zest, for example, has oils in it, which add flavor, Garten explains in her cooking tutorial. Likewise, the olive oil keeps the pork tenderloins moist, she said, while the combination of rosemary and thyme channels Mediterranean flavors. As for the mustard, Garten recommends Dijon, which introduces an element of sharpness. If these sound like your ideal flavors, try substituting Garten's marinade in your next simple roasted pork tenderloin.

Ina Garten's marinade flavors and tenderizes a variety of seared, then baked, meats

Ina Garten's pork tenderloin recipe isn't limited to just pork. Rather, her herb marinade can work just as well with other meats such as chicken, steak, and even fish. Each of these may taste great seared and baked à la Garten's recipe but will taste even better when flavored with the herbs of her marinade. 

Of course, regardless of your chosen meat, you'll want to allot ample time for the marinade to soak into your food, typically when sealed in a plastic bag. That way, your pork, chicken, fish, or steak can absorb those delicious herbs and juices. A few hours should do the trick, but the longer your meat marinates, the more flavors you'll extract.

When cooking, it's best to avoid adding any marinade directly to the pan, says Garten. Yet that's not to say your meat will taste bland and dry. With Garten's marinade — and a few hours — you won't be lacking flavor.