RECIPE: BRAISED PORK TENDERLOIN
Pork Tenderloin is such a lovely cut of meat in terms of texture, with its mild flavor making it a great candidate for punchy sauces and seasoning.
This recipe is very easy, but plan ahead (i.e. best to let it marinate a few days) for this recipe and follow my cooks notes for an incredibly tasty and moist result.
PREP TIME: 10 min
COOK TIME: 35 min
Salt and pepper
2 pork tenderloins
1 sachet TASTE OF TUSCANY spice blend
1 TBSP dijon or grain mustard
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 cup (240ml) milk
3 TBSP (45 ml) olive oil
2 yellow onions, diced
½ cup (120 ml) white wine
MARINATE THE PORK
Salt and pepper your pork tenderloins on all sides and place in a ziploc bag.
In a small bowl, whisk together the TUSCANY spice blend, mustard, worcestershire and milk, then pour into bag with the pork and seal tightly.
Place in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Remove the ziploc bag from the refrigerator one hour before cooking to let the meat come closer to room temperature.
Preheat your oven to 350F/180C
1) Remove pork from marinade, reserving the liquid for later.
2) Heat a 2 ½ quart (3 litre), shallow braising pan on medium-high, add 2 Tbsp (30 ml) olive oil and brown the pork on all sides (about 3 min per side). Remove pork from pan and set aside.
3) Add reaming 1 Tbsp (15 ml) olive oil and onions, and sauté for 5 minutes, until soft and golden.
4) Add the wine to deglaze the pan, cooking for about 2 minutes and stirring to dislodge any of browned tasty bits from the bottom of the pan.
5) Pour in the reserve marinade and bring to a boil, whisking constantly.
6) Place the browned pork loins on top of the boiling onion mixture and transfer your dish to the oven.
(If you don't have a shallow braising pan, then use a normal frying pan for steps 1-5, and transfer to an oven-proof baking dish).
7) Roast in your preheated oven for 15-20 min, or until an internal meat thermometer measures 145F/62C. Remove pork from oven, cover with foil and let rest 5 minutes before carving.
Transfer the pork to a cutting board for carving, and slice on the diagonal.
Pour sauce into a pitcher, gravy boat, or directly over the platter of meat...as you wish!
Recipe & Photo Credits: Cathy Menees
INGREDIENTS & TECHNIQUE
Pork Tenderloin can be a bit tricky to cook. Many people have told me they tend to over cook it, it dries out and/or becomes chewy. I’ve had the same experiences in early days, and I’ve found my success with cooking pork tenderloin comes from 2 things:
1) Marinating it in milk (yes milk) and spices for 4 days (yes, 4 days) to tenderize, swell the fibers with moisture, and infuse with flavor.
2) When cooking, it’s important not to completely submerge the meat in boiling liquid as it needs a slow cook at a low temperature (aka, below boiling point). If the meat goes above 145 degrees Fahrenheit (62 Celsius), you’re going to have a nice piece of shoe leather on your plate (yes, sarcasm).
When your bring the reserve marinade to the boil, the milk might look like it wants to curdle, but just keep whisking it vigorously to emulsify and it will smooth out nicely.
When carving your pork, try to slice it thin, on a diagonal (45 degree angle) as this will deliver the tenderest bites…and it just looks better!
My go-to pan for braising is a round, 2½ quart (3 litre) Le Creuset, cast iron pan that measures 11 inches (30cm) in diameter, and almost 2.5 inches (6cm) deep (with a tight fitting lid of course).