You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to myDaytonDailyNews.com

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.

GREAT REASONS TO SUBSCRIBE TODAY!

  • IN-DEPTH REPORTING
  • INTERACTIVE STORYTELLING
  • NEW TOPICS & COVERAGE
  • ePAPER
X

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and bonus content- exclusively for subscribers. Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks

X

Welcome to myDaytonDailyNews.com

This subscriber-only site gives you exclusive access to breaking news, in-depth coverage, exclusive interactives and bonus content.

You can read free articles of your choice a month that are only available on myDaytonDailyNews.com.

How to keep the tender in pork tenderloin


When it comes to pork, I’ll happily eat the ears. I’ll linger over the liver, fricassee the feet, chomp on the chops. I’d even figure out how to cook the oink if I could get my hands on it.

The only cut that has ever left me cold is the tenderloin.

A thin, lean muscle that runs along the central spine of the pig, its name reflects its reputation as one of the most tender cuts of the animal.

But that’s only if you don’t overcook it.

The cut contains very little fat, so overcooking can happen in the mere seconds it takes to dig your meat thermometer out of the drawer, turning a potentially juicy piece of pork into something dry and tough.

For years I avoided the tenderloin, choosing the fattier options.

But at a friend’s suggestion, I recently gave it another go. After all, pork tenderloin is easy to find and fast to cook, making it extremely weeknight friendly. My goal was to come up with a surefire recipe that helps preserve the moisture of the meat.

One solution is to stuff the meat with something that will keep its moisture and zip up its inherently mild character. A pungent mix of shallots, capers and herbs accomplishes both.

The best way to stuff a pork tenderloin is to butterfly it — that is, cut it in half lengthwise, but not quite all the way through, keeping the two pieces attached so you can open the cut like a book. This gives you maximum space for stuffing. Then all you have to do is close it up, tying it with some kitchen twine to so the filling doesn’t escape in the pan.

A bonus of tying up the meat is that you can form it into an evenly shaped cylinder. Untied, the tenderloin tapers at one end, which means either the thinner side or the thicker side — but not both — can be cooked to pink perfection. Tying it solves this problem; simply fold the thinner end up over itself to make the roast thicker, and secure it.

And about the word “pink”: You should take your pork off the heat while it’s still a little pink on the inside. An internal temperature of 145 degrees will give you succulent meat that lives up to its name, a tender loin that is flavorful, too.

Pork Tenderloin Stuffed With Herbs and Capers

Yield: 4 servings

Total time: 45 minutes

Ingredients:

1 3/4 pounds pork tenderloin

1 teaspoon kosher salt, more to taste

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

4 shallots, minced

2 1/2 tablespoons minced capers, plus a splash of their liquid

2 1/2 teaspoons chopped sage

1 1/2 teaspoons chopped rosemary

1 1/2 teaspoons chopped thyme, more for serving

1 garlic clove, finely grated or minced

1 tablespoon dry white wine or vermouth (or use more stock)

1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice

1/4 cup pork, chicken or other meat stock

1 to 2 tablespoons butter

Squeeze of fresh lemon juice (optional)

Preparation:

1. Heat oven to 375 degrees. Slice pork tenderloin lengthwise to butterfly it, but don’t quite slice all the way through: The 2 pieces should remain attached. Season with salt and pepper, then let sit while you prepare filling.

2. In a large, oven-safe skillet, heat 2 tablespoons oil over medium-high heat. Stir in shallots, 1/2 tablespoon capers, 2 teaspoons sage, 1 teaspoon rosemary, 1 teaspoon thyme and salt and pepper to taste. Stirring frequently, cook until shallots start to brown, about 5 minutes, then stir in garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. (Adjust heat if necessary to prevent burning.) Transfer to a plate to cool slightly. Wipe out skillet and reserve.

3. Spread cooled filling evenly on pork, then close pork, along the hinge, like a book. Then fold the thinner end up against the thicker portion so that pork is the same width all over. Tie with kitchen twine at 1 1/2-inch intervals.

4. In the same skillet, heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil over medium heat until oil is hot but not smoking. Place tenderloin seam-side up in the skillet, then transfer to oven and roast for 15 minutes. Flip pork over and continue roasting until meat reaches 140 to 145 degrees in the center, about 10 minutes longer. Transfer meat to a cutting board to rest; reserve skillet and juices.

5. While the meat rests, make the sauce: Heat skillet over medium-high heat, then stir in vermouth and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon each sage, rosemary and thyme, scraping up the browned bits on bottom of pan. Cook until vermouth is almost evaporated, then add orange juice and stock, and cook over medium-high heat until thickened and syrupy. Whisk in remaining 2 tablespoons capers, their liquid and the butter; season with salt and pepper to taste. If the sauce tastes too sweet, add a squeeze of lemon juice.

6. To serve, slice pork into 1/2-inch-thick slices and top with sauce and fresh thyme.

— Sidebar:

And To Drink ...

With this zesty, herbal tenderloin roast, my first choice would be a riesling. While almost any riesling in the range of dry to moderately sweet will go well, this dish also presents an opportunity to drink a really good riesling, like one from a top vineyard in the Wachau region of Austria; a balanced, dry riesling from Alsace or Germany; or, if you don’t fear sweetness, a spatlese riesling from the Mosel or Nahe regions of Germany. Other white options? A chenin blanc from Savennières or Saumur-Champigny would go brilliantly, as would a Chablis or a Sancerre. For a red, I would try something fairly light: a straightforward Valpolicella, a cru Beaujolais or a village Burgundy.


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Food & Dining

This Century bartender shares her ideal last meal
This Century bartender shares her ideal last meal

They say “you are what you eat,” and I tend to agree that what you choose to eat says a lot about who you are.  At a dinner party, when everyone’s sated and could not eat another bite, I like to bring up my favorite topic: food. Always more food. When I’m trying to get to know someone new, I always like to find out what...
The single most important ingredient
The single most important ingredient

This article is excerpted from “Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat: Mastering the Elements of Good Cooking” by Samin Nosrat (Simon & Schuster, 2017).; (ART ADV: With photos XNYT43-46.) Growing up, I thought salt belonged in a shaker at the table, and nowhere else. I never added it to food, or saw Maman add it. When my aunt Ziba sprinkled it onto her...
Everything’s up to date (for 1958, that is)
Everything’s up to date (for 1958, that is)

Forget the famous power lunch. For the time being, forget about any lunch at all in the rooms that used to house the Four Seasons. When the Grill, the first of two new restaurants in the Seagram Building space, opens to the public next week, it will serve only dinner. Jeff Zalaznick, a partner in Major Food Group, which now runs the restaurant complex...
Ask the Test Kitchen: Do you peel bananas before freezing?
Ask the Test Kitchen: Do you peel bananas before freezing?

A: If there is one cool thing about bananas, it’s that they freeze wonderfully. And they keep just fine in the freezer for about three months. Freezing is a way to preserve bananas that have reached their ripeness peak or are close to overripe. Rather than tossing them because you can’t eat them out of hand, freeze them to use in making...
How to make a sushi bowl
How to make a sushi bowl

Deconstruction once ruled academia. The literary theory insisted that the text (pre-texting) be taken apart, like some Lego castle, and left in pieces on the classroom floor. The game kept professor and student busy for years. Now new fads roam campus, and deconstruction has moved on to the menu. The enchilada, for instance, no longer dresses for dinner...
More Stories