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Sep 10, 2007 05:20 PM

Pork Tenderloin noob questions

I have a two pound pork tenderloin that I want to make soon. My cookbook tells me you can roast it for 1.5-2 hrs at 350 til it reaches the 155 degree mark. Should I go slightly lower temp on the meat? Pork being one of the kinds of meat you have to cook fully I don't want to get sick or anything. The book says take it out before it reaches 160 so it can rest and still cook a bit more, but not to let it get past 160 or it will be dry. It also gives directions to broil it in the oven for only 12 minutes. Which is the better choice? Alternatives?

I would probably make the whole thing as the roll and then let it rest a bit and slice it. Should I just give it a dry rub first or coat it with oil and then rub in some seasonings? Should I marinate it overnight in something? It says on the package it's extra lean. What should I serve with it? I'm thinking pulled pork bbq sandwiches or something. Not sure.

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  1. Is it a loin or a tenderloin? That seems like a long time for a tenderloin to me. Also, I readily ignore cautions to cook pork well done. In my experience, it always ends up dry, and the concerns about trichinosis (sp?) are much lower today than in years gone by. I often cook pork loin (butterflied and rolled up) so that it is still a bit rosy in the middle. Delicious. I can dig up the recipe that I have - it's a Batali one, and has loads of garlic, white wine, parsley and sage that you spread over the flattened piece of meat before rolling it up.

    8 Replies
    1. re: MMRuth

      Here's a photo of the dish ...

      1. re: MMRuth

        Hi MMRuth!

        That looks delicious. I just bought a pork tenderloin and woudl love to have the recipe, if you'd be so kind (or is it in one of his books? I have a couple that have a recipe for butterflied and rolled pork loin porchetta). Thanks!

        1. re: Rubee

          I'll post it - it's from a book on Italian wines - there's a recipe for each region - mostly from Batali and Bastanich (sp?).

          1. re: MMRuth

            Porchetta Sarda - Batali recipe paraphrased from "Vino Italiano"

            NOTE - START THE NIGHT BEFORE - but, it is served at room temperature, which makes it a very convenient dinner party dish.

            5 pound piece of pork loin, butterflied/pounded into 10 x 7 inch square, about 1/2 to 3/4 inch thick (Now, I always end up with a much larger square - I don't see how 5lbs of pork can end up that size - I have my butcher prepare it for me)
            4 T Kosher salt
            12 large garlic cloves, cut into 4 pieces each
            1 cup Vermentino wine,or other dry white wine
            12 Fresh Sage leaves, julienned (I use additional whole ones to decorate the top of the roll)
            2 bunches finely chopped Italian Parsley
            1/4 cup plus 2 T extra-virgin olive oil
            1/2 cup honey - preferably acacia or bitter Sardinian variety
            Zest and juice of one lemon
            1 Cup Chicken Stock


            The night before:

            Put pork in large pan and cover with 3 T salt and 4 cups water, brine in refrigerator overnight.
            Mash garlic into paste and put in bowl with the wine, to sit at room temp overnight.


            Oven - 400 degrees
            Rinse and dry pork
            Combine garlic and wine with sage and parsley, whisk in 1/4 cup olive oil.
            Sprinkle remainings salt on inside of pork, then rub in wine-garlic paste - in my experience, you don't get a paste - it is still quite liquidy - I rub in the solids and pour some of the liquid on - and save some of it for a later step.
            Roll and tie with butchers knots at 1 inch intervals - I make sure to tie it quite tightly - and actually run the string across the bottom of the roll and then do the "loops" in 1 inch intervals and then run the string around the middle of the whole thing, b/c the filling falls out easily - I think you can see from the photo above how I do it.

            Put it in a roasting pan. Mix honey with lemon juice and zest and brush a thin layer on the pork and season with lots of ground pepper. At this point, I carefully tuck whole sage leaves under the string in a pretty pattern.

            Cook for 70 minute or until internal temp is 140 degrees (worth checking after 50 minutes or so) - I like it a bit rosy in the middle.

            Baste every 15 minutes with honey mixture - this is where I add in whatever wine/oil is left. Also, even though it doesn't say to do so, I think I turned the pork as well, so that it spent some time on each side and each side got browned.

            Cool on a rack over a plate for 30 minutes. Deglaze the pan w/ the chicken stock and reduce to 2/3 cup, strain and whisk in remaining olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.

            Serving - cut off string and slice into 1 inch slices - drizzle w/ sauce, serve at room temp. I've made this twice for dinner parties and it has been a hit.

            1. re: MMRuth

              Sounds fantatstic. Thank you so much for taking the time to type that up! I can't wait to try it.

              1. re: Rubee

                You are welcome. BTW - that wine book is wonderful - there is a recipe for each region - I found this one b/c we decided to start exploring Italian wines from the south - Sicily and Sardinia - haven't made much progress from there though!

              2. re: MMRuth

                Adding this note from cooking it again subsequently:

                "After 50 minutes, the thermometer was at 140, so I took the roast out of the oven. It was incredibly moist, though not rosy inside. "

                1. re: MMRuth

                  MMRuth - Just read this post some 4 years later... your recipe sounds lovely. Have you ever done the Zuni mock porchetta and if so, are there any comparisons to your method/recipe above? Thanks for any advice/thoughts on the subject. Grazie!

      2. I think extra lean tenderloin will get way dried out if prepared by that method. Marinating can be a good idea, but with tenderloin I like it stuffed (for flavor) and cooked quickly.
        Crowd pleaser:
        Cut your loin in half to make 2 manageable pieces. Use a knife to carve a hole through the pork, forming small tunnels through each half. Roll up (together) thinly sliced prosciutto and mozzarella, and slide the roll-ups into the meat cavities. Lightly dredge the the pork rolls in a flour/salt/pepper mix. In a hot pan, melt 1 part butter to 1 part olive oil, and sear the pork pieces on all sides. Lower the heat and cook for a couple of minutes on each side. Remove the pork, and make sure that it is cooked through (but light pink is fine). Add some white wine to the pan, and simmer it quickly down to a sauce. Slice the pork rolls on an angle, into pieces about 1.5 inches thick. Plate them and pour sauce over. This goes well with sauteed mushrooms.

        1 Reply
        1. re: vvvindaloo

          That's how I ended up making it. Thanks. Turned out pretty well. I think I put a little too much salt in the flour though, but live and learn right? That's cooking.

        2. Yes it is a Smithfield Extra lean tenderloin looks a lot like MMRuth's pic, of course not cooked yet!

          MMRuth and vvindaloo, both your recipes look great. Thanks for the tips. I do like the idea of putting prosciutto/mozz in there and wine. Good to know that trichinosis is less likely a factor in cooking pork these days.

          If you want to send me a recipe you can PM me (I don't know if you can do that on this site) or just post it in the thread for others as well. Thanks a lot!

          1. I prepared a port tenderloin last week for pulled pork sandwiches. I used my slow cooker. Added 2 cups of chicken broth, about a tablespoon of homemade bbq rub and 1/4 cup of homemade bbq sauce to slow cooker. Mix rub and bbq sauce with chicken broth. Add tenderloin and cook on high for about 2-1/2 hours. I found an easy way to pull pork is to add 2" or 3" chunks to my KitchenAid mixer. Mix on medium with triangular beater. The pulled pork comes out moist and tender.

            3 Replies
            1. re: Antilope

              I love pulled pork. Your recipe sounds similar to mine (though my sauce and rub both have a ridiculously long list of ingredients). I made some recently, but would never think to use tenderloin. I actually cooked a 4lb. pork shoulder in a dutch oven for 7 hours on low heat, with beautiful results. I do not own a slow cooker, and have never used one. This may sound like a dumb question, but why would one use a "slow cooker" on high heat? Perhaps I am not understanding what one is.

              1. re: vvvindaloo

                High on a slow cooker is 200F-220F. I would normally make pulled pork (from butt or shoulder) in my backyard Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker (charcoal fired, bbq smoker) at the same temperatures. However, pork tenderloin is so lean, I didn't want to risk drying it out in the smoker. Cooking pork tenderloin in a slow cooker with a little seasoned broth results in a very moist and tender pulled pork. You can also add a little liquid smoke to the recipe. My wife prefers pulled pork from the tenderloin. She says it doesn't taste fatty like pulled pork from the shoulder or butt.

                1. re: Antilope

                  The fat content of the shoulder is exactly why I like it! Thanks so much for the slow cooker explanation.

            2. I always put mine in a rub of some sort (sometimes molasses and mustard, sometimes just fresh herbs rubbed into the meat), sear it (this is pretty much a must in my book) and then toss it in the oven. If the seasoning of choice allows it, some fruit cooked slightly on the stove top (apricots or apples) is always a welcome accompaniment.

              1 Reply
              1. re: danikm

                Does the molasses not burn when you sear it?