Monday, January 30, 2012

Trying Tenderloin

Dinner: January 30

I have a thing for sales. I saw the 1.5 pound boneless pork tenderloin in my grocery store with the sale sign next to it, and it leapt into my shopping cart. That’s the way I remember it, anyway.

It then sat in my refrigerator for a few days as I scoured the Internet for recipes. I found a lot of information about 3 pounders and 4 pounders - roasts, really - but nothing for my little slim tenderloin. So, hopped up on cold medicine and fighting a bit of a fever, I took that sucker out of the fridge. We were going to tangle without a plan.

I had seen cooking shows about how to filet a piece of meat, so I did that. I skinned off some of the fat, then opened up the tenderloin and pounded it out to flatten a little bit more. I seasoned with salt and pepper. I cooked some fresh spinach with the intention of filling that tenderloin with spinach, mushrooms, and garlic, which I did.

(I meant to include some grated parmesan cheese in the mixture but forgot.)

I rolled the meat around the mixture, but since it wasn’t holding very well, I tied it with cooking twine in several places. I heated some olive oil in my Dutch oven and put the rolled tenderloin in, browning a little on all sides. I deglazed the pan around the meat with some red wine and added about ½ can of beef stock. I added salt, pepper, some cut carrots, more garlic, and fresh mushrooms, put the lid on the pot, and slid the whole thing into the oven at 400 degrees for 20 minutes.

As I waited nervously, I realized that I forgot to add that cheese. I also thought that I wanted to season the meat with some herbes de Provence, but forgot that, too. There’s always next time! I also had no idea how long to cook that meat, but I assumed 20 minutes would be sufficient.

It worked! As Vinny as my witness, it worked. The meat was perfectly cooked and tender, as the juices around it and the water from the spinach kept it moist. The missing cheese could’ve made it even more succulent, but I grated some parmesan over the top, and that sufficed. The carrots and mushrooms were the perfect side and carried some of the pork flavor, having cooked in the same pot. The meal was really delicious, and though it was missing some seasoning, it was a fantastic and fairly quick one-pot meal.


  1. Please tell me that you made a mistake and that that's a pork tenderloin?

  2. Or, I guess that could be a lot of camera flash?

  3. Oh, for the love of Nyquil, it's pork. I'm editing now.

  4. Congratulations on becoming a freestyle cook! Way to go!

  5. Two words: Probe thermometer.

    It is your friend for all things roasted. Take all the guesswork out of timing. Set the right temp, put in the thermometer, set the alert temperature, and it's done when it beeps.

    Poultry - 165 in the breast
    Pork - 145 - juicy and pink
    Beef - Depends on how you want it done, 135-155