|Roasted Pork Tenderloin|
One of my favorite meats to cook is pork tenderloin as it is lean, tender (duh) and cooks in about 1/2 hour. Plus, it is ideal for guests, the delicate slices look beautiful plated. The most important thing about cooking pork loin is DON’T over cook it. Get yourself a meat thermometer and roast the pork until it reaches 150-155 (160 Max). Then take it out of the oven and let it rest so that all the juices distribute in the meat. Leave it for at least 10 to 15 minutes.
The FDA used to want pork cooked to higher temperatures because of the trichina worm. However, trichina is not as prevalent in modern farming and testing showed the worm is actually killed at a lower temp, so the new standard is pork cooked to 145º F for 15 seconds. You can read further about this and other temperature cooking guidelines on FDA.gov. I like cooking to 150 – 155 because you still get just the slightest pink center and the meat is always tender. Pink pork still freaks people out, so just use your thermometer to make sure you are cooking properly.
Pork is always nice to serve with something sweet to accompany it. My collard greens or red cabbage recipes on this blog would be ideal, but you could also make a little apple cider gravy, cole slaw or just slice some apples and saute them with a little butter and brown sugar to serve alongside. If you fancy a potato, mashed parsnips and potatoes would be delicious as the parsnips add sweetness to the potatoes without being overpowering.
When shopping for pork tenderloin, you will find that it is typically packaged in twos. You think you are getting a big thick tenderloin only to find two small ones in the package. Tenderloin only gets so big – a typical piece will be about 3 inches across at the thickest part and about 15″ in length. That is part of the appeal, there isn’t much butchering involved, no waste and its a beautiful piece to work with.
When you lay out the tenderloin, there may be a thin silvery white connective tissue on one side that you can remove. Make sure you pat the meat dry before searing, that will help you get better browning!
Roasted Pork Tenderloin – By Debra Crawford
1 – Pork Tenderloin (approximately 1 lb)
Olive oil for searing
Remove silver skin from tenderloin then season generously with spices of your choice. The above combination is what I used in the picture above. The cumin and paprika went particularly nice with the curried lentils I served on the side as it tied the two dishes together.
Heat oven to 400. Heat your roasting pan over the burner (or use a frying pan that is oven safe) until hot. Add about 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil and then lay the tenderloin gently in the pan. Sear thoroughly on all sides, put your meat thermometer in the thickest part of the meat, then place in the oven.
Roast until internal temperature reaches 150-155. (160 max). Remove from oven and let rest for about 15 minutes. Remove thermometer and slice to plate.
|Searing the tenderloin|