The Basics: How to Make Breaded Peppercorn Pork Medallions

A comforting winter dinner

From the store to the kitchen to the table: We outline the steps that get you from something raw to something cooked using simple ingredients, free of measurements and complicated techniques. A method that you can have in your back pocket and whip out whenever you like. We call it recipe-free cooking.


  • a bowl
  • a fork
  • a resealable plastic bag
  • a meat mallet
  • two plates
  • a knife
  • a baking sheet
  • plastic wrap
  • a frying pan
  • paper towels
  • two eggs
  • whole black peppercorns
  • breadcrumbs
  • salt
  • a one-pound pork tenderloin
  • vegetable oil


  1. Crack the eggs into the bowl, add a splash of water, and beat well with a fork until combined.

  2. Put a generous handful of peppercorns into a resealable plastic bag and seal it. Smash the peppercorns into medium-size pieces using a meat mallet (if you don’t have a mallet, you can use a heavy frying pan), trying not to break the bag.

  3. Put two handfuls of breadcrumbs onto a plate. Add the crushed peppercorns and a generous pinch of salt, then mix.

  4. Slice the tenderloin into about six pieces.

  5. Evenly space the pieces on a baking sheet. Cover with a sheet of plastic wrap and flatten each one using the smooth side of your mallet; they should end up being about 1/4 inch thick. Remove the plastic wrap and lightly sprinkle both sides of the pork medallions with salt.

  6. Dip the first medallion in the egg wash and let the excess drip off. Then place it in the breadcrumb mixture and coat both sides evenly. Set the medallion back on the baking sheet and repeat with the remaining pork.

  7. Heat the frying pan over medium heat and add a generous amount of vegetable oil (it should form a shallow layer in the bottom of the pan). Meanwhile, put a few paper towels on a plate.

  8. When the oil shimmers, add the first three medallions. Cook three to four minutes on each side until they are nicely browned. Transfer to the paper-towel-lined plate to drain. Repeat with the remaining medallions.