The Joys of Pork Tenderloin
Last night I made my first ever pork tenderloin and it was easy and fabulous. The recipe came from Epicurious and involved making slits into the meat and stuffing in slivers of garlic, then seasoning with salt, pepper, and cumin, browning it, then adding broth and wine to the pan and popping it into the oven for 10 minutes.
Totally fantastic. Now I'm dying to know other preparations for this cut of meat... Please share.
Timely question. I've been doing a similar roast tenderloin for years and was getting bored, though it's easy and very tasty. I found a great recipe on Epicurious for slivered pork tenderloin in a lime cream sauce. I wasn't convinced it would be great but I had all the ingredients on hand and decided to try. The sauce had a really nice snap to it. I subsituted pancetta as I didn't have bacon, and the pork took quite a bit longer to cook than the two minutes indicated in the recipe, but it was a big hit.
I have the ZC Cookbook, so I'll have to go back and look at this. Do you mean traditional brining (saltwater) or does she do the advance salt-curing thing she does for her famous roasted chicken to pork tenderloin also?
I bought a pre-brined tenderloin awhile back (it was on sale), which seem to be appearing more and more. They call it something else ("enhanced" or something), and it was pretty darn good. Not willing to pay extra for it if I can do it myself, though.
You just plop the pork tenderloin in a salt and sugar water solution for up to 3 days in the fridge beforehand. I think the cookbook recommends warming the water to extract the most flavor out of the chile peppers and a few other spices that are also in the brine, but I have never done that.
I tried her salted roasted chicken and bread salad stuffing recipe too, but it was not worth the work. Next time I am in SF I want to try the real thing.
..I am brining a HUGE chicken (7.57 pounds? Whoa!) using the ZC brine method prior to roasting it tomorrow. It will be rubbed with a homemade herbes de Provence blend, heavy on the lavender, and ultimately glazed with lavender honey. No bread salad, but I am using the fine Zuni buttermilk mashed spuds recipe, with the addition of some roasted garlic cloves.
Haven't used so mild a brine before, for such a long time - two days now - and on a whole bird. Bulletins as events warrant.
Cha Shao Pork
1 lb pork fillet
1 Tbs mild oil
1 Tbs honey
2 Tbs light soy
½ Tbs sugar
1 Tbs Rice Wine
1/8 tsp 5 spice
1 clove garlic
¼ tsp pepper
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp mixed herbs
Cochineal or red food colouring
Slice loins into long strip down the middle.
Mix marinade. Stand pork in overnight. Turn often.
Drain, reserve marinade.
Roast 12 mins @ 220 deg c. Baste with oil and marinade.
Reduce to 180 deg C for 10 mins
Baste with honey, roast 5 mins.
Serve hot or cold
Slice thinly cross-grain.
This is our favorite cut - we buy the vacuum sealed ones at TJs - they can be kept for at least 10 days, and are a great item to have in the fridge for nights when we forget to get a "main course" meat.
Here's one of my favorites:
In a mortar & pestle, crush to a fine powder the following:
- seeds from 15 - 20 pods of green cardamom
- 1 Tbsp cumin seeds
- 1 star anise pod
- 1/8 tsp each of allspice, cinnamon & fenugreek
- heavy pinch of good, coarse salt
- peppercorns to taste (i like a combo of white & green)
Rub the pork with a blend of 1 part EVOO to 1 part sesame oil, then pat the spice rub on well.
from this point, you can sear, then finish in the oven(which i prefer), or you can roast from start to finish.
I like to serve these with roasted root veggies (beet, shallot, garlic, potato, carrot & parsnip) & quinoa.
No matter what the preparation method, I always brine it for about 4 hours or more in a salt, brown sugar and pepper solution. Then I rinse it off and season and BBQ or roast it. The brining seems to make it even more moist and gives me a bit more room for error if I overcook the meat.