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Ruined roast?

I bought a 4 lb pork tenderloin this weekend and decided I was going to try this slow cooker recipe with it:

http://www.deepsouthdish.com/2012/01/...

I did add a step to brine it last night...

So, it's been cooking on low now for about 5 hours, and I expected it to have 1 - 3 hours left to go, but... I just checked the meat temperature and it is around 180 and the meat is tough. I also check the vegies and the carrots and potatos still are not tender. I was a little skeptical, so I tried a different thermometer and got the same results../

Do I need to cook it longer? Pull the meat and let the vegies continue?

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  1. veggies are on the bottom, right? Also, it may take 8 hours, don't lift the lid.

    3 Replies
    1. re: wyogal

      Yes, vegies on the bottom, and I only lifted the lid long enough to probe it twice.

      I was just worried that since the meat temp is so high already, that cooking it longer was just going to make the meat tougher. I also stuck the probe down in the "sauce" to get a ready on what temp low is on my pot. Around 180 in the middle and higher as I lowered the probe towards the bottom.

      1. re: THoey1963

        If it were a roast with lots of connective/collegen, then, yeah cook longer, but that's a pretty lean cut. You could hold it where it is, out of the slowcooker, and finish the veggies on high.

        1. re: THoey1963

          It's already overcooked so cooking it longer would make it even tougher. Pork tenderloin doesn't do well in the slow cooker to begin with and takes less time than the boston butt to cook. It'll be dry but you can slice it thin and across the grain to make it easier to eat.

          The Boston butt (in the blog) is very fatty, has connective tissue and does well w/ long slow cooking. The loin is less so and the tenderloin is very low fat and doesn't do well past 140 degrees. It's not one to use for braising.

      2. If it's 4 lbs, it's a loin, not a tenderloin. Either way, it's not a great cut for braising.

        4 Replies
        1. re: biondanonima

          This was also my thought. Neither cut does well as a braise.

          1. re: Terrie H.

            That's odd. I use pork loin (not tenderloin) exclusively for my pulled pork in the crockpot and it always comes out moist and tender and easy to shred. Not sure why others have a hard time with this cut of meat.

            1. re: ludmilasdaughter

              I think it's personal preference on taste/texture. I prefer the fattier cuts of meat that do well w/ braising. Some like chicken breast that shreds easily and falls off the bone. I find it dry. No different from someone enjoying a well done sirloin vs a more rare rib eye--it's not in the difficulty cooking; it's in the taste preference.

              1. re: ludmilasdaughter

                I think chowser said it well -- I am not a fan of pork loin for pulled pork, but it's great that you make one that you like. It's not that someone is having a hard time with it - it's that the result isn't how we prefer it.

          2. pork tenderloin should never go in a crockpot. It's too lean and tender.

            A crockpot will destroy it.

            1. I think everyone else hit the nail on the head with it being the wrong cut for the crock pot. Just wanted to mention that I love that blog you pulled the recipe from. Mary has a lot of throwback recipes that remind me of my father's cooking. When I'm in a pinch and don't feel like thinking what to make my picky eaters, I go there.

              1. I cooked this in a slow cooker recently, using loin rather that tenderloin:

                http://www.tablespoon.com/recipes/3-i...

                I was worried that it would not be the right cut for this treatment, but I need not have feared as it worked really well. Easy to shred.

                So, as wyogal says, a few more hours may be the answer.

                3 Replies
                1. re: Robin Joy

                  Is brining a good start for a braised pork loin?

                  1. re: sr44

                    Not sure about brining, and a pork loin is not a cut I would normally braise, but it worked fine for the pulled pork in that link. A pork loin, preferrably with skin on and bone in, makes a great roast though.

                    Actually I don't think that pork in general is a very braise/stew/cassreole friendly meat. There are some nice recipes of course, but for me beef, lamb and poultry make more enjoyable dishes of this type.

                    1. re: sr44

                      IMO brining is best for a dry heat cooked product, not a braise

                  2. A 4 ?? pound pork tenderloin??? sure it wasn't a pork loin? Pork tendeloins generaly weight aprox 1 pound.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: treb

                      Agreed, that sounds like a pork loin...either way, it's no good now for that recipe. In order to at least eat it, I'd use it in a stew or chowder, which would make it tender, if overcooked. You could add bacon & some of it's drippings in a chowder, which would add flavor to make up for the loss of flavor with the overcooking of the pork.

                      You could also shred it, simmer in BBQ sauce and make pulled pork sandwiches....not a great cut for it without the fattiness but probably healthier and can be flavorful if you season it right.

                    2. imho, a pork tenderloin doesn't have enough fat to be a good choice for cooking in a slow cooker. I would say that is your problem.

                      1. Look at the picture of the seasoned roast the blogger put up. All of that fat is going to break down in the slow cooker and melt into the meat, making it moist and tender. A pork loin, as others have said, is too lean to slow cook.

                        1. First, thanks for the replies. I consider myself a cook, but am far frokm being a chef, so I am bound to make mistakes along the way.

                          I went back and looked, and as y'all thought, it was a "loin" not a tenderloin. But, after a couple more hours it was very tender, much more so than when I originally made this post. I was having a hard time inserting the probe when I tested it at first.

                          Now, although tender, I would not have wanted to eat it without the gravy as it would have been dry. All in all, it was a very good meal, even the reheated leftovers were good today.

                          My concern with buying a different cut like the Boston Butt mentioned in the original recipe is that there are just two of us in the house and I can only go so many days eating the same food before I get tired of it, no matter how tasty. And the wife only eats leftovers if they are a Korean dish that she has made. So, that is why I went with the smaller cut that may not have been the preferred cut for a crock pot.

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: THoey1963

                            That's why God invented freezers! :-)

                            If your wife is Korean or a fan of Korean food consider making David Chang's Bo ssam.

                            It's Korean pulled pork.

                            http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/15/mag...

                            Here's the recipe:http://a-girl-and-her-fork.blogspot.c...

                            I'd add gochchang, personally.

                            There are threads about this recipe here on chowhpind.

                            1. re: THoey1963

                              I find that when using lean cuts, I prefer a different method (dry roast, just until temp, sliced thinly), although I have done many loins in the slowcooker. I slice it thin, and it makes a decent hot roast pork sandwich kind of deal. Lunch counter style. But, again, I would rather roast it just until done, take it out, let it rest, slice. Yes, they can be fall apart "tender" and some use that cut for pulled pork, but not generally. The strands are lined up, going the long way, and are best for slicing across the grain.
                              For a braise, in a slowcooker, I prefer a butt or shoulder, something with connective tissue, well marbled. That stuff melts down well. For those cuts, I do not "slice" them, they are pulled, or chunked. They have natural places where they "fall apart tender" and the strands of meat are not so long, avoiding stringiness one can get with the loin. I don't use these types of roasts if I want to slice the meat, yes, I know some do.