Basic Sear-Roasted Pork Tenderloin and All about Roasting with Molly Stevens
Cook Time: Under 30 minutes
Molly Stevens is a food writer, editor and cooking teacher living in Northern Vermont. Her cookbook All About Braising: The Art of Uncomplicated Cooking won a 2005 James Beard Foundation award and an International Association of Culinary Professionals award. Food & Wine magazine listed the book as one of the top 10 cookbooks of 2004. Molly’s articles and recipes appear regularly in Fine Cooking magazine where she is a contributing editor. She has contributed regularly to Bon Appétit, Saveur and Eating Well magazines. Her latest book is All About Roasting: A New Approach to a Classic Art.
I asked Molly for her suggestions for great gifts for foodies and here’s what she suggested:
A ThermaPen instant read thermometer
Beautiful kitchen towels
She also shared her recipe for Basic Sear-Roasted Pork Tenderloin. Here’s more, from Molly:
This simple pork tenderloin is one of my go-to recipes for weeknight dinners when I want something quick and good. If I remember to season the pork ahead, the flavor is even better, but it’s also excellent when seasoned at the very last minute. Most nights I’m happy with just salt and pepper, especially when I have a good piece of pork, but you can certainly up the ante with one of the options I suggest or improvise with your own seasonings. You can apply herb and spice rubs before searing, but anything at all wet or sticky (like miso-sesame paste or mustard-herb coating) should be added after searing and before roasting.
You’ll notice that I sear the pork in a skillet and then transfer it to a small baking sheet to roast. This enables the narrow little tenderloin to roast evenly; if you leave it in the hot skillet, it cooks too quickly, especially the bottom. One tasty way to help justify the two-pan method is to turn the drippings left in the skillet into a little pan sauce as the pork roasts.
If you are 2 for supper, as we so often are at my house, a single tenderloin provides enough for dinner and a tasty sandwich or two the following day. Of course, if you’ve got more people to feed, simply double, or even triple, the recipe. One word of caution when multiplying the recipe: Be sure not to crowd the tenderloins when searing. Either use a skillet that is large enough to sear them side by side or sear them one at a time.
Method: Combination sear and moderate heat
Roasting time: 13 to 18 minutes (plus 6 to 8 minutes to sear)
Plan ahead: For the best flavor, season the pork 4 to 24 hours ahead.
Wine: Deeply flavored Zinfandel with spice and pepper notes from Sonoma or San Luis Obispo.
1 Season the pork. Pat the pork dry and season the entire surface with salt and pepper. If seasoning ahead, set on a plate and refrigerate, uncovered or loosely covered, for 4 to 24 hours.
2 Heat the oven. Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat to 350 degrees (325 degrees convection). Let the pork sit at room temperature as the oven heats, 25 to 30 minutes. Pat the surface dry. Tuck the last 3 inches or so of the “tail” or narrow end of the tenderloin under the rest (this will help prevent it from overcooking) and tie it in place with a loop of kitchen string. (Some markets trim off this narrow tail, in which case you won’t need to tuck and tie it.)
3 Sear the pork. Heat an ovenproof skillet (10 to 11 inches works well) over medium-high heat. When the skillet is quite hot, add the oil, swirling the pan to coat. Add the pork; if the tenderloin is a bit longer than the diameter of the pan, simply arrange the meat in a curve so it fits without forcing, as it will shrink some as it cooks. Sear, undisturbed, until brown on one side, about 2 minutes. Turn the tenderloin with tongs to brown all four sides, for a total of 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer the pork to a small rimmed baking sheet.
4 Roast the pork. Roast until the internal temperature at the thickest point, measured with an instant-read thermometer, reaches 140 to 145 degrees, 13 to 18 minutes.
5 Rest, slice, and serve. Transfer the pork to a carving board, preferably one with a trough, to rest for 5 to 8 minutes. Remove the string if tied, carve the pork into 1/2- to 1-inch-thick slices, and serve.
1 pork tenderloin (1 to 1-1/4 pounds), trimmed
1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon grapeseed oil or other neutral-tasting oil
to you by Amy Tobin
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