Sunday, August 14, 2011

Pork Tenderloins (2)

I've had some success with braising pork tenderloins, but I wanted to roast them and I went looking for a way to roast them and still keep them moist. This was a knock-off on a recipe I saw Rachael Ray do a couple of years back but I never tried. I think she did hers with a pork loin roast, but I was looking for something for tenderloins, so I borrowed the approach of high heat and short cooking time. It roasted the outside well and the cook time was so short the inside didn't dry out. I tried this method, which worked very well.

  • 2 pork tenderloins
  • 1 tbs Fennel seeds
  • 1 tbs rubbed Sage
  • 1/2 tbs kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp white pepper
  • Grind the fennel seeds until a coarse powder
  • Add the sage, salt, and white pepper and grind until well mixed
  • Trim silver skin from the tenderloins
  • Pre-heat oven to 500F and position a rack in the bottom of the oven
  • Dry the tenderloins and rub with the spice mixture.
  • Sit in a shallow roasting pan and place in the oven
  • Cook for 10 minutes, turn over and rotate the pan and cook for another 8-10 minutes
  • Aim for 150F-155F, then remove from the oven, place the tenderloins on a cutting board and cover with foil for about 10 minutes. The temp should rise to about 160F-165F.
  • Slice in 3/8 inch slices and serve.
I did up some sauteed onions with a couple of cloves of chopped garlic tossed in for the last 30 seconds of cooking. I used a combination of butter and olive oil and browned the onions nicely. I served this on top of the pork and it helped keep the pork slices, more like medallions nice and hot and the buttery sauce from the onions went well with the pork.

The meat was nice and moist, and I did have an afterthought, but I didn't do it (this time). I thought afterward that the brown bits in the bottom of the roaster would make a good pan sauce. Add some stock, water, or white wine and deglaze the pan over a stove top burner. Reduce the liquid down and hit it with a pat of unsalted butter right at the end or maybe add the sauteed onions -- then season to taste and serve over the pork.

It went over quite well, even my graddaughter liked it -- and she is a picky eater. It worked well. I think oiling the surface of the meat and even letting it marinate with the dry rub on it might add to the taste. Well all that is for the next time.

Update: I was re-reading this post and realized that the idea of oiling the tenderloin is a bad idea. Oil + 500F = smoke! Since my objective is moisture, I think I will brine the tenderloins the next time and keep the surface dry. If anyone else has a good idea for roasting tenderloins and keeping them moist and tender, please pass it on. I was able to cut it with a fork, so this method was good, but I am always looking for more.

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