…from the California Kitchen
How you doin’? Pork can be a challenging meat to cook, and many people over-cook it out of an abundance of caution. When over-cooked it can have the texture of pig jerky. No one should do that to a beautiful pork tenderloin. It should be a fast, easy, flavorful and delicious succulent dish. The secret is in the marinade. If you’re rushed for time, you can do a quick marinade for only 15 minutes. Got more time? Leave it to marinate overnight. Either way it will produce a wonderful flavor.
I’ll bet you have most of the marinade ingredients in your pantry--light brown sugar, whole grain mustard and back notes of rosemary. That’s all it takes to enhance the flavor from the pork’s rich, meaty notes. Here’s the best part—just ten minutes under the broiler, and it caramelizes and chars, giving the tenderloin a decadent crust, but leaving the inside tender and juicy. No more over-cooked pork in your house!
Why do so many people overcook pork? Because of trichinellosis. Pigs used to be raised and slaughtered under less than sanitary conditions. I believe that the forbidding of pork in the kosher diet was the result of illness and deaths caused by the ingestion of undercooked pork from dirty animals. Many Jewish people say it was a commandment from God and written in the Talmud, but there must have been underlying health related reasons for that. Muslims who follow a halal diet believe the same is true. Trichinellosis is uncommon in the United States today. It used to be more common however infection is now relatively rare. During the years 2011–2015 only 16 cases were reported per year.
Here are some reasons to keep this juicy pork in your repertoire of recipes. It’s safe and delicious. It’s also a one-pan meal. I usually cook 2 tenderloins and roast some precooked potatoes and Brussel sprouts in the pan with them. You get a nice well-rounded meal, plus plenty of pork tenderloin leftovers.
Prep time: 10 minutes
Marinade time: 15 minutes up to overnight
Cook time: 10 to 12 minutes
Rest time: 5 minutes (before cutting)
Yield: 4 servings, plus leftovers
6 tablespoons light brown sugar
3 tablespoons whole grain mustard
1 tablespoon, plus 1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary, divided
2 tablespoons minced garlic, divided
1 tablespoon dry red wine (or port)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
1 teaspoon liquid smoke (I prefer Wright’s brand)
2 pork tenderloins (about 2-1/2-pounds total)
8 ounces potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
6 ounces Brussel sprouts, trimmed and halved
ChefSecret: I use the top level in the broiler but keep an eye on it to prevent the tenderloin and vegetables from burning.
Quip of the Day: “Everyone has told me Covid-19 is part of history. I just wish it was history already!”
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