Pork tenderloin could be considered a “beginner’s” cut of meat due to its very forgiving characteristics. As long as the meat is not cooked for too long, causing it to dry out, there is very little a cook can do to ruin it. Once the tenderloin is cooked to perfection, allow this succulent cut of meat to rest for up to ten minutes to allow the juices to redistribute throughout itself.
Although it has a nice mild flavor of its own, pork tenderloin is chameleon-like in that it takes on the flavor of its marinade. Like any good co-star, this cut of meat highlights rather than competes with whatever herbs are used to flavor it. It is equally suited to a thick barbeque sauce or tangy citrus marinade as it is to a Jamaican jerk or a simple sprinkling of rosemary.
At first glance, pork tenderloin may seem to be an expensive cut of meat, but there is no extra fat or bone to waste money on. When one considers that a single two pound tenderloin can serve five to six people, it almost becomes a bargain. Although the tenderloin comes from the butcher as one long hunk of meat, it does not have to be cooked like that; it can be chopped and sliced in any number of ways to fit a particular recipe. Below is a simple recipe which allows the natural flavor of the pork tenderloin to shine.
• One onion, sliced
• 2 fresh sprigs of rosemary
• 2 lb pork tenderloin
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 9×13 pan with nonstick spray and cover the bottom of the pan with onion slices. Place two sprigs of rosemary in the center. While the oven is heating, warm 3 tablespoons of oil in a skillet. Gently place the tenderloin into the heated oil and turn when the bottom is brown. Continue to brown each side of the meat and then place it onto the rosemary in the pan. Cover the meat with foil. Place the pan in the oven and allow it to cook for forty minutes. Begin checking the temperature of the loin now, and check every five minutes until it reaches 140 to 150 degrees. Remove the pan from the oven and remove the foil. Allow the tenderloin to rest for at least ten minutes so the juices do not escape. Slice and serve with red skinned potatoes or another side of your choice.
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