Roasted Pork Tenderloin with Balsamic Reduction (SUPER easy!) – and the weird thing in my kitchen :)


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You’re looking at a photograph of our Sunday dinner from yesterday. This is an EASY PEASY meal to throw together but sure won’t taste like you took any shortcuts!. Roasted Pork Tenderloin with balsamic reduction, MeMe’s Mashed Potatoes, and a light and lovely Squash side dish. All of this was thrown together in about thirty minutes, counting prep and cooking time. Today I’m going to share the recipe for the pork tenderloin and balsamic reduction with you, the Mashed Potatoes recipe can be found by clicking here, and the squash dish can be found by clicking here.

But first, it’s Monday and I want to chat a bit :)

I have a lot of neat things in my kitchen. Vintage items I’ve picked up from time to time, family heirlooms, mason jars filled with dried beans and corn sitting on the counter rather than in the pantry because they’re just too pretty to put away, enough Pyrex for a museum, and even an obituary of Mr. Edward C. Upton, professionally framed and hanging at eye level directly across from the main entryway to the room.

Usually, when folks spy the obituary they ask if he was a relative. My reply is “No, I found that in an antique shop and figured that if I could live a life where folks would write an obituary like that about me, I’d really done something.” At this point their curiosity is piqued and they mosey over to read it, and then come back to me with a smile of understanding.

I happened upon the newspaper clipping of his Obituary in an antique shop during my college days and, being my mother’s daughter, paused to read it. The words written about this precious man warmed my heart so I bought it and paid to have it framed. It has hung in the kitchen of every place we’ve ever lived as a reminder to me that I need to be the kind of person I want to be today, instead of dreaming of the person I might become tomorrow.

Lest you think I’m trying to bring you down, I thought I’d share the obituary with you today in hopes that you’ll feel as inspired as I am by it. And I want to assure you that though this was written in another era, technology has changed but basic human makeup has not. People like this still exist and from what I know about the folks who read this site, you’re more than likely one of them.

Edmund C. Upton

E.C. Upton died at his home in Trenton township March 4th, after an illness of two months with a complication of diseases. He was born in Clark county, Ohio, and on January 28, 1908, he and his wife who survives him, celebrated their golden wedding. James C. Green, justice of the peace, married them in Trenton township and they lived on the same farm for fifty years.

They never had any children, but their marriage was a very happy one and they had hundreds of friends in this county. Mr. Upton was one of the finest men we have known, honest and upright, he didn’t know how to do wrong.

In politics he was a ____ and you always knew where to find him on the big questions of the party. He was on the side of right and justice.

He was not a rich man as his ambition was not to accumulate a lot of money which he could hoard. He always made a good living and owned a farm and enjoyed life. When he was doing something for a neighbor or a friend he was happiest. For years, he paid for four copies of the Free Press, three copies being sent to people who formerly lived in this county. He said that would have him writing letters, but we think he did it also because he enjoyed doing things for his friends.

The funeral was held Thursday at Green Mound which is located in the township in which he lived so long and where he had many, many friends who mourn the deth of a noble and good neighbor.

His wife who is not in good health will live with Mr. and Mrs. Jaco Beaber of this town. Her friends extend their sympathy in her hour of grief.

At the end of our lives, I doubt anyone’s obituary will read “He/She had a lot of facebook friends.” or “They updated their status religiously, our newsfeeds will never be the same.”

The world of new media can never replace the importance of a hug, a face to face conversation, being a person of honor, or being a friend to others.

Inspire someone today. Don’t wait for a stranger to write your obituary, make your life count for something now.

Note:I left the political party out of the obituary because folks don’t come to Southern Plate to hear about politics.

Now let’s make some food!  

You’ll need: boneless pork tenderloin (about 1 pound), coarse ground peppercorns, kosher salt, and a dried herb of your choice. I’m using basil – because I love Basil.

To decide which herb I want to use in a dish, I usually just open the lids and smell them to see what I’m in the mood for. I’m sure there are more complicated ways to do this, because there exist people whose only goal in life is to come up with complicated processes for pretty much everything, but my smell method has always served me well so I’ll just stick with that. Life is complicated enough.

For the Balsamic reduction, all you need is Balsamic vinegar and sugar.

First off, we need to make our reduction. I know that word sounds fancy but it’s not. All it means is that we’re going to cook this until it boils down to about half as much. If you don’t like Balsamic, this tenderloin is also delicious without it so feel free to skip these steps. I LOVE the gentle, yet sweet tang this gives it though. My husband, who is not a vinegar fan, also really enjoys this.

Pour balsamic vinegar into a saucepot and place over medium heat, stirring often.

Once it comes to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until it’s cooked down to about half as much as you started out with, still sturring often.

This will take about ten minutes. During this time, prepare to have your sinuses cleaned out with the vapors!

Remove from heat and stir in sugar until dissolved. Set aside and let cool. I like to refrigerate mine to get it even thicker.

You can even make this the day before if you want.

Now that big old package I showed you at the start actually has two pork tenderloins in it.

I’m going to freeze one for later because one is plenty to feed my family.

To help keep our grocery budget in check, especially if we have a more expensive meat, I usually make plates in the kitchen, put one meat serving on each, and then load up on veggies. :)

Place your pork tenderloin on a greased baking sheet.

Sprinkle BOTH SIDES with cracked pepper, dried herb of your choice, and kosher salt.

You can just eyeball this but if I had to guess how much I used I’d say about a 1/2 tsp coarse pepper, 1/2 tsp kosher salt, and 1 teaspoon dried herbs per side.

Bake this at 475 for 10 minutes.

Flip and bake 10-15 minutes more, or until no longer pink in the center. I stick a sharp knife down in the middle and open it up a little bit to have a peek.

Remove tenderloin from oven and allow it to rest for 5-10 minutes before slicing. 

Drizzle pork slices with Balsamic Reduction just before serving.

I’ll be sharing the recipe for my squash and zucchini side dish later in the week!

Roasted Pork Tenderloin with Balsamic Reduction (SUPER easy!)
  • 1 pork tenderloin (not whole pork loin but tenderloin), about 1 pound
  • 1 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons dried herb of your choice (I used basil)
To make ¾ cup Balsamic Reduction:
  • 1+1/4 cup Balsamic Vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons sugar
  1. Preheat oven to 475.
  2. In small sauce pot, pour balsamic vinegar. Bring just to a boil over medium heat, while stirring constantly. Reduce heat to medium and continue to cook, stirring often, until it is reduced by about half. Remove from heat and stir in sugar until dissolved. Set aside and allow to cool while you prepare roast.
  3. Spray baking sheet with cooking spray and place tenderloin on it.
  4. Sprinkle each side with salt, pepper, and herb of your choice.
  5. Bake for ten minutes, flip over, and bake 10-15 minutes more, or until no longer pink in the center.
  6. Allow to rest 5-10 minutes before slicing. Drizzle slices with Balsamic reduction when serving, if desired.


“As you read my stories of long ago I hope you will remember that the things that are truly worthwhile and that will give you happiness are the same now as they were then. Courage and kindness, loyalty, truth, and helpfulness are always the same and always needed.”

~ Laura Ingalls Wilder

Submitted by Jenny. Click here to submit your quote! 


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  1. Danielle D. says

    Looks delicious as do all of your recipes. Looks like something I’d find coming out of my own kitchen, which is how I like it! I can’t wait for garden season to get here, I’m looking forward to fresh veggies. My Ma usually cooks huge suppers during garden season and sometimes leaves out the meat but no one notices because there is such an abundance of veggies.

    Now you’ve got me excited and hungry!

    • SweetCarol says

      I like to do my roasts long and slow and the meal just cuts with a fork. Same rub but I add some more spices including cinnamon. I pan sear outside and then put in ov efn with some veggies and add wate or broth and cook it at 325 for 3 hours or at 300 degrees. I love pork roast.

  2. Melissa Souther says

    What herbs do you use when you fix this? I like to cook with them, but don’t always know what to use. I so enjoy your blog. At home sick today…looking forward to getting my energy back so I can give this recipe a whirl! God bless you!

  3. Kim says

    The recipe looks awesome! I believe that even I can do this! :) I loved reading the obituary! It would be an honor to live such a life as to have such wonderful things said about you. A great reminder! Thanks!

  4. susan says

    Gonna have to try this. (and I think your husband and I have some similar food tastes – I don’t like hunks of tomatoes in stuff either, and I’m not a vinegar fan!)
    thanks for all you do…and hoping to find you at the cornbread festival!

  5. laurie says

    What happened to your drop biscuits & sausage gravy recipe?!?!?! I saw it posted last night, but when I went to print it, it disappeared!!!!! I’ve been looking for a good version of this recipe and I thought I’d found it. :(

  6. Brenda Caldwell says

    Love the recipe and I also loved reading Mr. Upton’s obituary. That is so special of you to think of framing it on your wall! (He is probably looking down upon you today!)

  7. Debbie Strum says

    Hey Christy! It’s always fun to see what you’ve been cooking and baking in your kitchen as well as what dishes you have chosen to use to serve it in or on. Love the ‘plates’ you used this time. Also love to read the stories that you post as well. No matter how busy my day might be a ALWAYS read and re-read your stories and sure feel sorry for the folks who might think they don’t have the time to do so. They sure are missing out!! Keep doing the great work you do! We love you all the more because of what you do!!

  8. Darrelyn Jean Cowan says

    Thank you for sharing the obituary of Mr Edmund C Upton. What an inspiring obituary. I could tell he was truly loved by his community. His positive actions made a big impact to the lives of those he touched. This really has me thinking about how I can touch the lives around me. Sometimes the simple gestures are the ones that touch people the most. Thanks for sharing, Christy. This has made me realized that I am needed by others. : )

  9. Dianne Johnson says

    My herbed pork loin is even easier. I use salt, pepper, maybe a little garlic powder, then roll it in a whole cup of chopped fresh rosemary. Throw it in the slow cooker and let it cook for around 6 hours. You don’t have to add any liquid. Maybe the last couple of hours I’ll throw in some new potatoes and baby carrots. It’s hard to get it out of the pot because its falling apart in chunks. It’s sooo good! Even better the next day….take an onion roll, heat some of the pork and add that with a slice of swiss cheese. Yum!!!

  10. Stacy Warnken says

    Hey, Christy, one of my best memories from my growing up years was the pork roast, rice and gravy, black eye peas, cole slaw, and cornbread meal my mom used to make. It became our traditional New Year’s dinner, although we enjoyed it throughout the year, as well. Growing up in southern Louisiana provided a wonderful opportunity to learn to prepare good ole Southern food, compliments of my mom’s patient tutoring. : o ). Whenever I stir up a roux, the mouthwatering smell and the deep, rich brown color sweep me back to my childhood.

    Thanks for sharing the obituary. What a lovely tribute to an ordinary man’s life. It is a true testimony that, in the end, all that matters is how we are remembered.


  11. Lisa says

    I made your whole meal tonight and it was delish! I cooked the pork loin on the grill and also cooked the squash on the grill (sliced longways). I didn’t care for the balsamic reduction (I was surprised I didn’t – I think it was just too sweet for me), but my hubby really liked it. And both of my boys, one of whom is EXTREMELY picky, loved the mashed potatoes!

  12. Linda says


    Thank you for sharing yet another inspiring message! I really look forward to them; they remind me to keep working on becoming the person I truly want to be. Also, thank you to Jenny for reminding me of one of the reasons Laura Ingalls Wilder is one of my favorite authors! I thinks it’s time to reread the Little House books!

  13. Rita says

    I really enjoyed your post today. Last friday a wonderful friend of mine and many others was laid to rest. She was 91 years young and had lost her husband in the late 70s She was very active until the last months of her life. She had no children but many friends that loved her. She was always doing things for others .She will be missed by so many and it was a pleasure to know her and be one of her friends.

    • says

      That is SUCH A Deal! Usually, when I get those, I have them cut into pork chops, which are pretty much delicious any way you cook them. You could cook them as chops and then serve them with the reductions for an awesome supper. If you want to roast a whole pork tenderloin, the Pork folks recommend cooking it for 20 minutes per pound at 350, until no longer pink in the center. This will likely be an hour or so as the whole loin is much bigger than the tenderloin. Hope this helps and WOW what a deal! I’d sure be proud of that!!!

  14. Ceilsa says

    Hey Christy! I choose my herbs the same way! It’s also how I decide if I will Like a herb I have yet tried. I discovered I like curry on my scrambled eggs one morning by smelling my spices to liven up my eggs! Now I use it every time! Thanks for sharing Mr. Upton’s obituary, I found it very touching! Hope you have a lovely day!

  15. debbie from canada says

    Once again a simple delicious recipe. You are now my go to site for recipes. I made this for dinner tonight, with leftover baked potatoes & lima beans…family loved it. Thanks for the great recipes.

  16. Shelby says

    Christy, I read about your aluminum pans as plates somewhere on your blog-
    I use wide flat and shallow Corningwear bowls regularly. They are so handy.
    Especially when you eat in front of the TV. The sides keep everything in the plate.
    Hope you see this. Always enjoy your blog.

  17. Trice Kastein says

    Christy – My husband and I love a little pork tenderloin. Now I can’t wait to make one and use the balsamic reduction (I just love a good aged balsamic vinegar…I can use for salad dressing with no oil!!) Keep up the wonderful job you do of inspiring so many of us with your excellent recipes, and wonderful words. You are very wise for one as young as you are! Thank you for all of it. I have been telling my friends about Southern Plate and now one of them is posting on FB with pictures of all the cakes, each one credited to SP! Have a wonderful first day of spring!

  18. Julia Anderson says

    Made this and it was just as promised – tender, juicy and delicious. I did cheat and line my baking sheet with foil because I am a lazy cook. It appeared at a wonderful time as well, since my grocery store was running a BOGO special on pork tenderloin packages. So I have three more wonderful meals waiting in the freezer. Thanks for this wonderful addition to the recipe rotation at my house.

  19. Sheila Miller says

    Just perfect post for me today as I have a tenderloin in my fridge, calling my name! Got all the other ingredients too, so definitely this will be our family’s Halloween Treat tonight! We don’t even have to worry about being disturbed during dinner with the doorbell ringing. Sadly we live out in the county and no kids ever have rung our doorbell since we moved here in 2007. (The Trunk-or-treat events have replaced door-to-door here) We moved from a neighborhood that had buses, vans and truckloads of people drive through. On any given Halloween, we saw 300-400 kids of all ages. Now, I digressed from the recipe but….Happy Halloween, Christy!!!

  20. Simi says

    Hi Christy!

    I know you posted this recipe in 2013 and it is now 2015 but I just had to tell you what a lovely meal this turned out to be! I am newly married and trying to master the “art” of cooking for (only) two–such a struggle but I will have to add this to our rotation. I loved your photos of the dish and had recently bought two pie pans so I had to copy you on that as well!

    I couldn’t find Tyson pork tenderloin (did you get that at Kroger?) but found Hormel pork tenderloin that was preseasoned/coated in a sauce. I wanted to make this dish exactly like you did so I just washed all that coating off and proceeded with your instructions–worked out just fine!

    Before bed, my husband said “Can you make that meal again?” which made me so happy! Thanks Christy!!

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