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Caramelized Pork with Orange and Sage

6 Servings

25 minutes

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Looking for a way to add flavor to all-too-often utilitarian pork tenderloin, we drew inspiration from Francis Mallmann, the Argentine chef best known for pushing the limits of browning—using live fire to cook vegetables, meat and fruit until they're almost burnt. Mallmann tops pork tenderloin with brown sugar, thyme and a fruity orange confit tinged by bay leaves and black peppercorns. The flavorful coating is seared onto the surface in a cast-iron griddle until the orange and thyme are crispy and charred. We loved the flavors, but the technique wasn’t home cook friendly. To simplify and preserve the flavors, we started by streamlining the orange confit: Orange zest and fresh sage, coarsely chopped, gave a similar texture and fragrance. Gently pounding the tenderloin ensured a flat surface for a sugar mixture to adhere. Instead of searing the pork, we opted to broil it, making it easier to maintain the topping. Brown sugar became a sticky mess under the broiler, so we used coarse turbinado sugar, which kept its shape and crunch. If the sugar gets too dark before the meat comes to temperature, turn off the oven; the pork will finish cooking in the residual heat.




Don't tent the pork with foil after removing it from the oven. It will lose its candy-like crust. For the same reason, don't spoon the sauce over it. Instead, serve the pork set over pools of sauce on individual plates.

25 minutes


  • 2

    pounds pork tenderloin, trimmed, cut into 6 pieces

  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper


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Blake O.
May 24, 2024
Easy and tasty
Simple, easy, good balance and not too sweet. Used brown sugar instead of turbinado and didn’t have issues in the broiler. Will put in regular rotation for speed and simplicity.
Scott M.
April 15, 2024
Crunchy orange topping was perfection.
Deborah B.
January 7, 2024
New dinner party favorite
This was delicious! Went a little light on the sugar, and heavier on orange peel/zest and sage but not at all sweet. Served with israeli couscous and sheet pan roasted veg + feta which complemented nicely.
Julie L.

This was amazing and quick enough for a weeknight!! My family's new favorite way to eat pork.

Heather G.

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Cynthia F.

Looking forward to trying this. What did people serve with this?

Marcy W.

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Daniel M.

The crunch was amazing, recipe was easy, but the degree of sweetness of the topping was overwhelming- unanimous vote in my family. I was born in Argentina, but I never tried something like this. We prefer savory meat dishes, so I don't think I'll make this again. Don't mean to be a downer, cause we otherwise love Milk Street!

Alan A.

We had an off week at our supermarket, and found ourselves unable to get tenderloin. So we tried pork loin. The recipe worked well, disguising the less tasty and drier pork loin.