pork tenderloin questions
For Thanksgiving, my family goes and rents cabins in a national park, far away from any decent butchers.
My night to cook dinner is Saturday and I'm leaving Washington DC on early Thursday morning which means I'll have to pick up my meat on Wednesday.
Here are my questions.
1. Is it safe to buy pork tenderloins on Wednesday and cook them Saturday? They will be refrigerated.
2. I need to flay and brine them. Should I go ahead and do that before I go or can they be over-brined?
I plan on stuffing, rolling, and roasting the pork in an oven. Any advice at all on this would be greatly appreciated. Thanks so much.
Also if anyone has any ideas on what to serve as side dishes I'd love to hear those too. The tenderloins will be flayed and stuffed with sundried tomatoes, roasted garlic, pancetta, and shallots, then rolled and wrapped with proscuitto then roasted.
I don't know about your source of tenderloin, but I usually buy mine two to pack (cryopack?). The use-by-date is often several weeks after I buy them. In fact if I get the double pack from Samsclub, I'll freeze one of the two.
In addition once I open the pack of two, I often use one right a way, and keep the other in the fridge for a couple of days. Alternatively, I'll cook both, and have leftovers. Brining overnight sounds about right, I don't know about several days.
It is hard to picture what your finished product will be like. It is a lot more elaborate than anything I do with the tenderloin. But given that the flavors are Italian, how about polenta, or a pasta with a simple cheese and butter dressing. A variant on polenta that I recently tried is Roman style gnocchi. The side should be flavorful enough to not need sauce or flavoring from the meat, but not so elaborate as to steal the show.
I wouldn't brine for more than 8 hours. Everything I've read suggests that the texture will change.
If you are buying the meat from a butcher that you can talk to, tell him when you intend to use it. If he thinks the shelf life of a 'fresh' piece from the counter is too short, he should be able to sell you an unopened package.
I'm wondering why you put the pancetta on the inside, and wrap it with the proscuitto. To me it would make more sense to put the fat on the outside. I also would worry about over cooking the proscuitto. But it's been some time since I used either.