Winter Rub Pork Tenderloin with Marinated Kale

Have you ever had one of those days where you just want to make dinner work with what you’ve already got in your pantry?  My winter rub pork tenderloin resulted from one of those days, and not only is it really convenient, but it’s also a quick and easy dish to make.  The spice rub has a winter theme to it, as well as the spicy sweet going on.  The subtle hints of cinnamon and anise seed give it complexity, while the cumin gives it a smoky savory contrast, and the thyme and oregano give it freshness.

Make the spice rub for the pork.

Rub the pork all over and pop it into the oven until the pork reaches 145 degrees F.

Gather up a big basket of kale leaves.

And marinate in a balsamic vinaigrette for 10 hours.

Winter Rub Pork Tenderloin with Marinated Kale


For the pork:

  • 2 lbs pork tenderloin
  • 1 tsp anise seed
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 4 tsp packed brown sugar
  • 1 tsp red chili flakes
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

For the kale:

  • 1/2 lb kale leaves
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • salt and pepper


  1. Preheat the oven to 400F. For the rub, mix everything in the ingredients list (besides the pork) in a small bowl to combine.
  2. Season the tenderloins well with salt and pepper, then rub the spice mixture evenly over them, pressing the spices into the meat. Heat an ovenproof pan over medium high heat, and sear the tenderloins for 5 minutes to brown all sides. Stick the pan in the oven, and let the tenderloins heat through for about 15-20 minutes, until it reaches 150-155 on your instant read thermometer (the temperature will rise another 5 degrees during resting). Pork gets dry very easily, so it’s important to not let it go over 150-155 degrees.
  3. After the pork has rested for at least 5 minutes, use a serrated knife to slice off 1/2 inch thick pieces, and spoon the spicy sweet pan drippings leftover in the skillet over the pork.
  4. To make the kale: Toss all ingredients together and let it marinate in the fridge for 10 hours.
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