Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Pan Roasted Pork Tenderloin

I'd bet good money that the pork tenderloin might be one of the most overlooked pieces of meat in the whole department.  Maybe because it's tiny and tucked away?  Maybe most folks don't know what to do with it?  If that's the case, it's high time to clear the air!  How "yummo" does this look to you?

If you've ever found yourself standing in your grocery store with the little Pork Tenderloin package in your hands wondering, "It looks good, but..." read on!

You Will Need:
  • 1 Twin-Pack of Pork Tenderloins
  • 1/4 cup Olive Oil
  • Dry Rub for tenderloin, Equal Amounts of:
    • Kosher Salt
    • Dried Minced Garlic 
    • Black Pepper
    • Cayenne Pepper
    • Dill Seed
    • Brown Sugar
    • Coriander
    • Paprika
  • Preheat your oven, grill, or smoker to 450 degrees 
First step?  Find your tenderloin!   You might be tempted to pick up a "pork loin."  While a pork loin is delicious, it's an entirely different cut of meat.  A pork loin is a couple of feet long and is cut from the shoulder to the hip of the animal.  The tenderloins (there are two) are found on each side of the spine, near the lower back.  Typically, a package of tenderloins is a foot long and there are two to a pack.
Lay the loins out on your board and look for any untrimmed ribbons of silver-skin or fat.  Simply "shave" them off with your knife.  This is tough stuff and will not break down or render like regular fat!
Give each of them an olive oil massage and a generous sprinkle of the dry rub!  Gently press it in so it sticks well.  You remembered to preheat your oven or grill, right?  (just checking)... Do NOT proceed with the next step until you reach 450, because things will happen quickly and you don't want to be caught unprepared!
Pour the 1/4 cup of olive oil into a cast-iron skillet, over medium high heat.  Let it get hot!  Lay the loins down in the pan and listen as they sizzle... Spin them around after 5-7 minutes so that all sides get a nice brown crust.
Once you've browned the outside, insert an oven-safe temperature probe and set the alarm to 145 degrees.  Pick up the pan while it's still sizzling (Do I really need to tell you to use an oven mitt?), and slide it into the hot oven/grill.  I know, I know, most of the things I write about are cooked slowly over low heat.  Why the change?  Well, tenderloins have very little fat in them.  They're super tender, not because of the fat and connective tissue, but because they're a muscle that is rarely used.  Ever see a pig doing lower-back raises at the gym?  Me neither.. Anyway, cooking them slowly can allow what little moisture there is inside to evaporate and the result will be too dry to contemplate so...

Observe!  The hotter environment of the oven or grill was able to put a final crust on the loins while quickly cooking the inside up to an FDA approve "Medium" 145 degrees!  Mine took about 15 minutes, so keep an eye on your temperature alarm!  Carefully remove them from the hot pan and wrap them in foil to rest for 10 minutes before slicing!
Slice the loins into little medallions and serve them over some "Dirty Rice" or mashed spuds.  I laid mine over a fresh batch of jalapeno coleslaw!


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