Sunday, November 14, 2010

Rosemary, Garlic & Mustard Rubbed Pork Tenderloin

Shhh! I have a secret - while I might wish that I was a world traveling, music loving, NYC bar hopping super star sometimes in real life I sometimes am just absolutely unable to leave the 4 walls of my living room behind. I am currently in the middle of a particularly busy November that had me away from home more than half of the month (18 days). I knew that this weekend would be one of the only chances that I had to cook at home and I was really excited to eat something that didn't come wrapped in its own single serving package! Before I left I had stocked up on a few things so that I would have some supplies when I got back waiting for me....because as I have mentioned before grocery shopping on the weekends is just not an option!

Pork tenderloins are one of the fastest and easiest dinners to serve a crowd. Because of their even size and shape, it cooks well in the oven and can be quickly done to a perfect medium. The benefits and the downfall of pork tenderloin lies in its low fat content - as a very lean meat, it is prone to being dry if overcooked (similar to a chicken breast). Don't be afraid of cooking it though! Just invest a few dollars into a meat thermometer and you will never have to second guess if it is done enough for safety but still retains enough juices to make it delicious. I removed this pork tenderloin around 142 F which is in the medium range - it then rested for about 10 -15 min while we all gathered around the table and sorted out seating assignments (we had to vote on who got the "kids" chair....luckily as the hostess I was given the head of the table!) The pork was served with a side of string beans dressed in 15 yr balsamic and red & purple roasted potatoes.

Pork Tenderloin with a Dijon Mustard, Rosemary and Garlic
2 pork tenderloins (each will serve 3 people)
1/2 c whole grain dijon mustard
5 cloves of garlic - minced
2 heaping Tbsp dried rosemary - crushed (this was from our own little window box garden this summer!)
salt & pepper
olive oil
1 tbsp butter

1) Rinse and then pat dry the tenderloins
2) Mix together the mustard, garlic and rosemary to form a paste like spread
3) Liberally salt & pepper the tenderloins and then spread 1/2 of the mustard mix on each tenderloin
4) Allow to sit for 30 min or so and absorb some of the mixture
5) In an oven safe pan, heat the butter and oil
6) Once melted sear the tenderloins for approx 3 min on all sides
7) Place pan into preheated over (350F) for 30 min or until meat reaches 140-145 internal temp - make sure that all juices are clear and the center just has a touch of pink

Note: Next time I make this dinner I would definitely serve some sort of sauce on the side because while the pork was perfectly cooked and very tender it could have used a bit more flavor - this cranberry mustard based sauce sounds like a contender!