How to Tenderloin

I often pick up pork tenderloin when browsing through the pork section for club packs of some sort.  It is lean and tender – one of those delicate and succulent dishes – if it is done right.

But it must be done right.

There are two ways, in my humble opinion, to do pork tenderloin.  The first is excruciatingly slow – over indirect heat on the barbecue for hours and hours, preferably bathed in something tangy and saucy.  The second is lightning fast.  Anything in-between does not cut it.

I share the second recipe for success because the happiness of my family wanes with every extra minute it takes me to get supper on the table.

There are some very strict rules, here, because death to the perfect tenderloin is any steaming or poaching that begins to happen when too much moisture accumulates in your pan.  This happens very easily – and it results in grey, chewy pork.

To avoid steaming

  • start with a hot cast iron skillet bathed in bacon drippings or coconut oil.  Do not put meat into a cold pan.
  • do not cover your pan.  Ever.
  • cook two batches (or more) if you need to.  Do not over-fill your pan so much that steam cannot escape as moisture renders out of the meat.
  • defrost your meat thoroughly if it was frozen.  Frost means more moisture.
  • slice it sliver-thin and cook quickly – just below high.

I tried tenderloin twice last week and both times it came off famously.  In the picture at the top, I think the second version was a little grey, but some of my pieces were still frosty and I got some steam happening.  It happens so easily.

Creamy Mushroom Tenderloin

2 tablespoons coconut oil or bacon drippings, divided

1/2 medium onion

6-8 mushrooms

1 crushed clove of garlic

1 pork tenderloin

1/4 cup coconut milk

Heat one tablespoon of the oil or drippings in a cast iron skillet.  Saute the onion, mushrooms and garlic over medium heat until partially cooked.  Turn heat up to high and add the second tablespoon of oil.  When the pan is hot, add thinly sliced tenderloin and stir-fry for 2 – 3 minutes.  When pork is just browning on the outside, turn off heat and pour in 1/4 cup coconut milk.  The pan should sear and heat coconut milk into a light, brown sauce.  Stir and serve immediately.

Ginger Tenderloin and Chives (pictured)

2 tablespoons coconut oil or bacon drippings, divided

1 tablespoon ginger, finely grated

2 cloves crushed garlic

1 good splash wheat-free tamari sauce

1 pork tenderloin

1 bunch of fresh chives

toasted pecans (optional)

Heat one tablespoon of the oil or drippings in a cast iron skillet.  Saute the ginger and garlic over medium heat for less than one minute.  Turn heat up to high and add the second tablespoon of oil.  When the pan is hot, add thinly sliced tenderloin and stir-fry for 2 – 3 minutes.  When pork is just browning on the outside, turn off heat and splash in tamari sauce.  Garnish with chopped fresh chives or green onion and toasted nuts.  Serve immediately.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s