Pork Scallopine in Port/Lemon Sauce

Yesterday morning I found a package of pork tenderloin defrosting on the counter. Lorraine had just left for a marching band event and there was no note, no explanation.

No biggie. I assumed (rightly) that Lorraine wanted me to do something with it. A few hours later when she got home she confirmed that she wanted me to make dinner … and just getting the pork out and not saying anything was an in-joke for us. I doubt that anyone else would understand OR think there was a joke, but after 26 years together, Lorraine and I have our own “things” that no one else is expected to understand. LOL!

I looked at my recipe database (I’m a computer geek, I have a recipe database that currently has 9,000+ recipes, plus probably several thousand more I haven’t loaded) and didn’t find anything I liked.

Got lemons in the fridge and chocolate-orange port downstairs … figured it would be interesting.

Pork Scallopine in Port/Lemon Sauce

  • 2 pork tenderloins, 2 to 3 lbs
  • corn starch for dredging &thickening
  • salt & ground black pepper
  • butter & olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp ground or rubbed sage
  • 1/2 tsp thyme
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • juice of 2 lemons
  • 1/2 cup port wine

Clean the tenderloins of excess fat and silverside. Cut in 2″ to 3″ pieces. Pound thin: Place a couple of pieces on a solid cutting board, cover with plastic wrap to avoid spattering, and pound thin (3/8″) with a good meat mallet. Repeat until all pork is processed.

Heat 2 Tbsp butter and 1 Tbsp olive oil over medium-high heat in a large saute pan until the butter sputters. I reduce the heat after the butter/oil is hot, typically to medium.

Dredge pork in cornstarch. I do enough to fit in the pan and then dredge the next batch while the first one is frying. Brown the pork on both sides, making sure to not overcook. If it’s still a bit pink in the middle it’s fine. The pork has to reach only 145 F to kill parasites, so rare pork is actually ok.

After each batch is browned remove to a covered dish and keep warm. Add more butter/oil as needed, bringing it up to temperature before adding the next batch of pork.

Add chicken stock and lemon juice, and bring to a boil. Add port. Boil for 2 minutes, scraping the browned bits up. Add seasonings. Yes, I did not directly season the pork. If desired, the pork can be seasoned with salt and pepper before dredging.

Mix 1/2 cup cold water with 2 Tbsp cornstarch, and add slowly to the pan while stirring. Thickening is an art, not a science, so it may take more or less to make the stock thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Reduce heat to low and add the pork back into the pan, stirring to coat. Cover and simmer for 2 minutes to ensure the pork is hot.

Serve over pasta.

Final Note: Lorraine told me it was one of the best pork dishes I’ve done!


The cornstarch coating increases the amount of butter/oil required. I do a lot of dishes without a coating to reduce calorie count, any coating increases the amount of oil needed for sauting … but sometimes it’s nice to do it the old fashioned way. While this recipe can be done without the coating, it tastes a lot better with it.

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