This classic dish is easy and company-worthy
Pork medallions (sometimes called noisettes) are small discs of meat cut from the tenderloin or boneless loin. They look fancy on the plate, but they’re easy to prepare.
Dress them up with classic cream-and-mushroom sauce, and you’ll be chef de cuisine.
Best of all, this dish can be prepared about an hour ahead of time, then finished just before you’re ready to serve.
That means stress-free entertaining. Which is the best gift you can give yourself for the holidays, no?
Recipe: Pork Medallions in Cream and Mushroom Sauce
We like to use pork tenderloin in this dish (veal or chicken would work well too; see Notes). You can find whole tenderloins in any supermarket, usually sold in Cryovac bags (you’ll often see two tenderloins packaged together).
You can ask your butcher to cut medallions for you, but it’s easy to cut your own. We prefer thick-cut medallions (about ¾-inch). Because their diameter is small, we serve 3 per person. So for four people, you’ll need about 1½ pounds of tenderloin. You’ll probably end up buying more than you need – but you can freeze the trimmings and use them in soup or stir-fry.
Cream-and-mushroom sauce is a classic French preparation for many sautés of meat (veal in particular; see Notes). Sometimes seafood too. In fact, this recipe follows the same general procedure as our Seared Scallops in Cream Sauce.
The dish is easy to make: Sauté the pork medallions. When they’re done (which takes just minutes), set them aside. Deglaze the pan with some white wine, then add cream and let the sauce thicken a bit. Add sautéed mushrooms to the cream and stir to combine. Then return the pork medallions to the pan, warm them in the sauce, and serve.
Prep time for this recipe is about 15 minutes. Cooking time adds (at most) another 15 minutes.
This recipe serves 4.
- ~1½ pounds pork tenderloin (exact quantity can vary)
- ~1 teaspoon kosher salt (to taste; see Notes)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil (for sautéing the pork medallions)
- freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 1 large shallot
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- ¾ cup white wine (or ½ cup dry vermouth)
- 1 cup heavy cream (or more to taste)
- ½ pound mushrooms (or more to taste)
- 2 tablespoons butter (for sautéing the mushrooms)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil (for sautéing the mushrooms)
- additional salt to taste (about ½ teaspoon kosher salt for us)
- additional freshly ground black pepper to taste (about a dozen grinds or so)
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 3 to 4 tablespoons chopped parsley for garnish (optional)
- Cut the pork tenderloin crosswise into medallions about ¾-inch thick (plan on 3 per person; if you have extra meat, you can cut it into additional medallions or reserve it for another purpose). Dry the medallions thoroughly, then salt them to taste.
- Place a large frying pan over medium stovetop heat. When hot, add the oil. When the oil is heated (about 15 seconds; it’ll shimmer), add as many medallions as will comfortably fit in one layer (don’t crowd the pan). Sauté the first side for about 3 minutes, until nicely browned. Flip the medallions, then cook them until done (an additional 3 to 4 minutes or so; “done” means an internal temperature of 145 degrees F – see Notes). When the medallions are cooked, remove them to a plate lined with paper towels. Sauté the remaining medallions in batches if necessary. Season the cooked medallions with black pepper to taste.
- While the medallions are cooking, peel the shallot and mince it finely. When all the medallions have been cooked, drain some of the oil from the frying pan, leaving about 1 tablespoon. Add the chopped shallot and cook it for one minute. Add the lemon juice and white wine. Cook until the mixture is reduced by about half. Add the cream, then cook until the sauce is reduced to your preferred thickness.
- While the wine and cream are reducing, wipe the mushrooms with a damp paper towel and cut them into halves or quarters. Place a second frying pan on medium stovetop heat. When hot, add 2 tablespoons of butter and 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Add the chopped mushrooms, then season them with salt, black pepper, and thyme. Cook the mushrooms until they’re browned (about 5 minutes).
- Add the browned mushrooms to the cream sauce, then add the cooked pork medallions to the pan. Spoon some cream sauce over the pork pieces to baste them. (If you wish to cook ahead to this point, see Notes.)
- Once the pork medallions are reheated in the cream/mushroom sauce, you’re ready to serve: Plate the pork pieces and spoon sauce over them. Garnish with chopped parsley, if you wish, and serve.
- If you want to cook this dish ahead of time, prepare it through Step 5. Then cover the frying pan and set it aside for up to one hour (but don’t go longer – the meat will cool down too much and won’t taste as fresh). When ready to serve, warm the sauce and meat, then serve.
- You can also sauté the mushrooms an hour or two ahead of time, then set them aside until you’re ready to add them to the cream sauce (we often do this).
- BTW, don’t overcook the mushrooms – they’ll cook some more in the cream sauce.
- Speaking of overcooking, the USDA says pork is safe to eat if cooked until 145 degrees F, followed by a 3-minute rest before serving. Use an instant-read thermometer to make sure you’ve cooked your pork sufficiently. Pork cooked to this temperature may still be a bit pink on the inside.
- We like to use pork tenderloin in this dish, but you could also use pork loin. The loin is basically the eye of pork chops without the bone. It tends to be tougher than tenderloin, particularly when overcooked, so we suggest slicing it no thicker than ½ inch. You might also want to pound it flat so that it will cook more quickly.
- You may often see variations of this dish that use thin veal or chicken cutlets (sometimes called escalopes or scallops) that have been flattened by pounding (so they cook very quickly). In fact, we’d bet there are several restaurants in your town that feature veal scallops in cream and mushroom sauce (escalopes de veau à la crème et aux champignons).
- More down-home restaurants often serve chicken-fried steak with cream sauce. That dish is pretty similar to this one, minus the mushrooms. (And the cream sauce is usually flour-based, not reduced.)
- We think broccoli makes a terrific side dish for cream sauce. Cooked spinach also works well (particularly creamed spinach).
- We often serve pork medallions over mashed potatoes or polenta.
- Clarified butter is ideal for making this dish (use it to replace the oil and/or regular butter). But most of us don’t have it on hand.
- You may prefer to add black pepper at table rather than adding it while cooking.
- We use kosher salt in cooking. It’s less salty by volume than regular table salt (the crystals are larger and more irregular, so they pack a measure less tightly). If using table salt, start with about half the amount we suggest. But always season to your taste, not ours.
“Cream and mushroom sauce. Yummy!” said Mrs. Kitchen Riffs. “You’ve earned your chef’s medallion with this dish.”
“Thanks,” I said. “This recipe is really cream of the crop.”
“I hope these ‘jokes’ of yours aren’t going to mushroom,” said Mrs K R.
They probably will. In fact, I may go hog wild.
You may also enjoy reading about:
Seared Scallops in Cream Sauce
Turkey (or Chicken) Picatta
Stroganoff-Style Leftover Beef
Deconstruced Fajitas with Grits
Chicken or Turkey Tetrazzini
Or check out the index for more
You are such a wonderful cook, John. I can't remember when I last had some pork medallions. This has me seriously crave some with lots of creamy mushroom sauce!
This looks like a wonderful dish for wintery weather.
Hi Angie, isn't this a great dish! We don't have this often (it's pretty rich) but always enjoy it when we do. :-) Thanks for the comment.
Hi Eva, it's COLD here, so this is totally appropriate. :-) Thanks for the comment.
This is beautiful John! I don’t eat pork, but my husband and daughter do, and I like to make it for them once in a while.
Hi Balvinder, isn't this nice? Your husband and daughter are in for a treat! :-) Thanks for the comment.
My favourite type of sauce, so creamy and aromatic, yum!
This really does hit that sweet spot of being easy to prepare and looking like you went to a lot of trouble to make something special for company. Nice!
Hi Matalia, and really easy to make, too. :-) Thanks for the comment.
Hi Terry, exactly. :-) But good stuff is often pretty simple, isn't it? Thanks fr the comment.
Oh how comforting and delicious! Anything with "cream of mushroom" usually grabs my attention. And with pork, I love it! :-) ~Valentina
Hi Valentina, pork plays really well with cream -- terrific flavor combo. And mushrooms are good with anything! :-) Thanks for the comment.
I'm all for stress free entertaining! Looks delicious!
Hi Ashley, we love dishes that we can prepare ahead of time! Thanks for the comment.
Another great recipe from the Master Chef! Thanks, John....this is a perfect recipe for tonights dinner!
Hi Pat, :-) This is SO good -- enjoy! And thanks for the comment.
This sounds delicious. I have 4 tenderloins in the freezer. At least one of them will be cooked this way, possibly this week!
Hi Anne, isn't this good? And SO easy! :-) Thanks for the comment.
Hi Izaa, it is! :-) Thanks for the comment.
I'll save this one for when the weather cools down. I know it will be delicious. Love to get some good pork on my fork, did you see that Aussie ad? Cheers Pauline
Hi Pauline, you'll like this. I didn't see that ad -- have to go looking for it. :-) Thanks for the comment.
Absolutely love pork fillet and cook it often with a mixture of the wonderful mushrooms available here. Must admit I cut them thicker still and not using cream in this house manage a moreish sauce with yoghurt, white wine and strong chicken stock plus fresh herbs from the garden . . . often serve it with couscous or barley . . . lovely . . .
Hi Eha, we sometimes cut it thicker, also, but then serve fewer pieces. Hard to decide which we like better! We've done a yogurt sauce with other dishes that are similar, but haven't tried it with pork medallions -- we should do that. Thanks for the comment.
Oh this is such a great winter dish. I don't eat a lot of pork throughout the year but for some reason I tend to eat it in the winter.
Hi Dahn, we like to BBQ with pork in the summer, but otherwise it's mainly winter for us, too. And dishes like this are wonderful in the winter! :-) Thanks for the comment.
That sauce... oh my that looks delicious. Actually that is some plate licking deliciousness. Need to get this on our menu plan this week.
I shy away from this cut as it can be difficult to cook to perfection, as you have undoubtedly managed to achieve, so thanks for your guidelines, thickness, time and temperature. I have to cook this dish your way :D
Hi Bobbi, definitely worthy of plate licking. :-) Thanks for the comment.
Hi Merryn, if you cook it to 145F it'll come out perfectly (don't forget to give it that 3 minute rest, but with this recipe that's automatically built in!). And thick is good -- even thicker than we suggest. Thanks for the comment.
broccoli? yum cream and mushroom sauce? super yum. pork?! eek no! no can do! so, oddly i love bacon (doesn't every living creature?) well maybe the pigs don't :) but pork is a no-no. that pink dense flesh -- and i do mean flesh. long pig? you know what i mean? cannibals! naaaaa
I like pork medallions but I've never done with with a cream sauce - it looks great especially with the mushrooms!
This is a real classic, so good with pork as well as chicken!
Such a perfect dish for entertaining. I must give this one a try. Thanks John.
Just can't go wrong with a mushroom cream sauce for me. Love it! We just has pork chops last night and this would have been primo on them. YUM!
I love everything about this. I love pork loin; love a guest-worthy recipe, especially at this time of yeat; love mushrooms, and who doesn't love cream? The prep tips are so helpful.
Hi Sherry, LOL! This sauce works really well with chicken, too. :-) Thanks for the ocmment.
Hi Marcelina, mushrooms make everything better. :-) Thanks for the comment.
Hi Caroline, classic dishes are classic for a reason, aren't they? :-) Thanks for the comment.
Hi Lea Ann, this looks kinda fancy but is easy and really good -- your company will swoon. :-) Thanks for the comment.
Hi Judy, this would have been excellent with pork chops! :-) Thanks for the comment.
Hi Jeff, pair this with one of your terrific desserts and you'll have a meal your guests will be speaking about for years! :-) Thanks for the comment.
Hi R, yup. :-) Thanks for the comment.
YUM! Anything with creamy mushroom sauce is good to me.
Hi Pam, don't you just love this sauce? SO good! :-) Thanks for the comment.
This looks wonderful! I'll have mine with mashed potatoes, though I wouldn't turn down the polenta either.
Hi Jean, we did serve this with mashed potatoes. :-) Thanks for the comment.
This recipe is right down our alley, John! We love pork tenderloin, and I often make medallions with a creamy mustard sauce. I love the idea of using mushrooms instead… And your classic sauce is, well, classic! I’m very much like you – I like stress-free entertaining, especially during the holidays.
Hi David, we've done versions of this with mustard, too. Really good! Thanks for the comment.
My favortie pork cut, yumm! And the sauce, calssic and deliscious. Just got my hands on 40% cream, that would be so amazing. Happy Holidays!
Hi Evelyne, 40% cream would be excellent. :-) Happy Holidays, and thanks for the comment.
This has just become a contender for our Christmas Eve menu! I always make pork as we have a prime rib on Christmas. This is one elegant, yet easy, entree!
Hi Liz, this is really easy and really, really good. :-) Thanks for the comment.
This is a delicious meal! So elegant, easy, and yummy!
Hi Amy, really, really yummy. :-) Thanks for the comment.
I love how this is both an elegant dish and comfort food in one. Perfect for company -- or for just noshing when you want to stay home and be a couch potato. ;)
Hi Carolyn, yup, versatile dish. :-) Thanks for the comment.
From Costco I buy 2 pound pork loin roasts which I usually butterfly or cut into cubes for a dish. I've always wanted to do something with medallions and your recipe looks perfect. I mean, who couldn't love pork smothered in a mushroom cream sauce. This looks quite delicious. Thanks John!
This sounds great, John! We always have pork on New Year's Day and this sounds like a great way to make it. Perfect for company due to making ahead. Good recipe, thanks!
Hi MJ, this dish tastes great, looks great, and is easy -- the most important thing. :-) Thanks for the comment.
Hi Pam, this is SO good -- we love pork prepared this way. Veal, too. Thanks for the comment.
What a delicious looking dish. A proper meal.
Hi Amalia, it's really good. :-) Thanks for the comment.
Yes, please. Love the side dish as well. I would love someone to whip this up for me as a wrap, pack and ship gifts! :)
Hi Debra, we all need this made for us as we work at getting our gift shopping and shipping completed! :-) Thanks for the comment.
I love all of the creamy and rich flavors you've incorporated into this dish. Just looking at it makes me feel like celebrating a holiday!
Hi Heidi, it's a good holiday dish, actually. :-) Thanks for the comment.
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