Well I figured since I haven’t posted anything in over 2 weeks I could at least come back with something good. August and September are always slow months in the kitchen, it’s the busy time of the year for the boy and he is on the road what seems like every other week. And as you know, when I’m home solo I rely on steady diets of canned soup on popcorn. Additionally we were out of town the weekend of the 21st in Melbourne Beach gorging ourselves on fresh fish and eggs benedict to celebrate my 30th birthday. Needless to say I have now been on a strict diet of salads ever since, damn hollandaise sauce…why do you have to be so good!?!
So this past Sunday was the first time I spent an actual entire day at the house in over 3 weeks. Needless to say it was time to cook and not just anything but something amazing!
I’ve never been much of a pork person, well besides bacon, it was never something I regularly craved. Pork chops were always dry and roasts unimaginative in their flavoring. Then I discovered the tenderloin and all was once again right in the world. So moist and juicy and packed with flavor I have a whole new appreciation for the pig. If you’re like me and have had prior lackluster experiences with your pork attempts I beg you to give this a whirl. Seriously I was transformed!
Herb Roasted Pork Tenderloin with Pan Gravy
Serves 4 - 6
1 pork tenderloin, about 2 lbs
6 cloves garlic, chopped
2 sprigs fresh rosemary, finely chopped
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Juice of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
½ cup chicken stock (preferably homemade)
Fresh cracked black pepper
Most packages of pork tenderloin actually come with 2 tenderloins per package. Remove both tenderloins from the package and with a sharp knife remove all of the silvery skin from each. If not removed your pork will be tough and not the moist, decadent, fork tender goodness it was meant to be.
In a large freezer bag combine the tenderloins, garlic, rosemary, olive oil, lemon juice and a generous helping of salt and pepper. Remove the excess air from the bag and make sure it’s sealed. Now give your meat a good massage, make sure all of the ingredients get well incorporated and evenly distributed on each of the tenderloins. Pop the bag in the fridge and allow to marinate for at least an hour, if you have the time let it sit overnight and it will be that much more amazing.
Preheat your oven to 425°. Heat a large oven proof stainless steel skillet over medium high heat. Remove the tenderloins from your freezer bag and one at a time, sear off each on all sides until golden brown (about 2 minutes per side). Remove pan from heat and transfer into the preheated oven. Now please make sure your pan is oven proof, meaning 100% stainless steel…no rubber or plastic handles here folks. If you do not have an oven proof skillet, line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and cook the tenderloins that way. Cook until a thermometer placed in the center of each tenderloin reads 140°, depending on your oven, about 20 minutes. Yes, I know pork is supposed to reach at least 160°and it will once it’s removed from the oven and left to rest.
Remove pan from oven and transfer the tenderloins to a plate and cover tightly with aluminum foil. Place the skillet back on the burner over medium low heat. Now see all those baked on brown bits? That’s flavor folks, and those brown bits are going to make the best pan gravy! You will never buy that stuff in a package or jar again. Add the butter to the pan and with a wooden spoon begin scrapping up all those bits. Once all the bits have been scrapped up and you have a brown buttery sauce sprinkle in the 2 tablespoons of flour. Grab your whisk and make sure all the flour is mixed in with the butter. It’s going to clump and look awful but it’s what you want. Now let the butter and flour mixture sit for about 2 minutes, letting the mixture sit allows all of that powder taste in the flour to cook out. Now grab the chicken stock and slowly add about ¼ cup of the stock to the butter / flour mixture, or ‘roux’ as the French call it, and start whisking like crazy. When the roux begins to combine with the stock add more liquid. Keep whisking and adding the liquid until all of the clumpy flour bits are well combined and the gravy is the consistency you like. Cut the heat to the pan and salt and pepper to taste. Now this is when you can get really fancy and strain the gravy from the pan to remove all the garlic and pan drippings from your gravy but I leave it all in there…nice and rustic!
Remove the foil from the pork and slice each tenderloin into ¼ inch pieces. Arrange the slices over some garlicky smashed potatoes and smother in as much gravy as you can stand! Leave the knives in the drawer cause if you’ve done this right your fork is all you’re going to need, then sit back and get ready to be transformed. Hands down this is the most moist and juicy piece of pork I’ve ever had…the boy likes to call it ‘pork sushi’ :P Enjoy!