Friday, January 29, 2010
Pork Tenderloin....That's Hot!
I know a lot of people out there don't eat pork. For whatever reason. I'm cool with that. One of my own daughters doesn't eat pork. She had wanted to become a vegetarian back when she was.....I dunno.....6th grade? I didn't want her to so we made a deal....I told her she could omit one meat group from her diet. Beef, Chicken, or Pork. The pig got the axe.
Whether you eat pork or not, do you realize how much it's still a part of your life in one way or another? I don't think there's another meat out there that is such a huge part of the english language. I mean, we have pork, pork chop, porker, porky, porky pig, pig, pigsty, piggy, pigpen, this little piggy, 3 little piggies, piggly wiggly, ham, ham hock, hamburger, hamming it up, bacon....(and for some reason, I have no idea why....but spankin' keeps coming to mind as a bacon slang. shhhh)
Anyways, you get the idea. In the food world, pork might not be the hottest topic, but I think its more versatile than any other meat group that I know of.
And that brings me to this delicious dish...Pork Tenderloin with Jalapeno Paste. It's been a family favorite for several years. As a matter of fact, when my daughter decided to go porkless, this was the one dish that she was sad about not getting to eat.
I found the recipe in Everyday Food and have only made a couple very minor changes. It's a "grill" recipe but...(ssshhhhh, don't tell Sir Sportsalot) I got tired of it coming out dry and charred. Bless his heart...I mean, he thinks he likes to BBQ, but he's not the type that's going to sit out there and work the grill. He looks at the clock...and runs inside the house to watch his sports and in 7 minutes will run back out to flip the meat. Meanwhile, how many flare-ups did he miss? Soooo, what's my point? I make this in the oven now.
I start out with 1 pork tenderloin. The recipe calls for 2....but I like lots of Jalapeno Paste....I dunno..you be the judge.
For the Jalapeno Paste get out:
1/4 cup canola oil
4 garlic cloves
1 chopped jalapeno chile
1 teaspoon thyme savory
1/2 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
1/2 teaspoon coriander
1/4 teaspoon pepper (or to taste)
1/4 teaspoon cumin
I like the jarred "Nacho Jalapenos". Especially for this recipe. They seem to blend down really well and stick to the meat. Sooo....when you're dealing with pre-sliced jalapenos, how do know when you have enough to equal a whole?
Why......you stack 'em up and put it back together
Yep.....that looks like it's about the size of whole one, dontcha think?
In a food processor (and this is when I really really love my mini food processor) combine all your paste ingredients
and process until smooth......for about...I dunno...a minute?
The aroma is amazing!!
Preheat your oven to 400' F
I got out my heavy cast iron skillet and heated up a little oil in there. Covered the tenderloin with half of the paste and seared this little piggy in my very hot skillet.
The reason I'm using my skillet is because this baby is goin in the oven soon. But not yet...
Get it all nicely seared all around....then cover the top with the remaining jalapeno paste
Stick in a meat thermometer (if thats the way you roll) and plop this little fatty in your 400' oven for about 25 - 30 minutes, or until your thermometer reads 160'
Remove the meat to a warming platter, cover with foil and let it rest for about 10 minutes
Take that skillet with all those juices in there....remove all but 2 tablespoons of fat..errrr, juice from the pan. Put over a medium heat, and add about 2 tablespoons of flour....stir. Continue stirring until it's well combined...about a minute or so....let the flour get good and brown. Pour in 2 cups of chicken broth while stirring and stirring and stirring some more, until you're gravy is made. If necessary, season with a little salt and pepper.
I didn't want to keep those little blackened bits in my gravy so I strained them out before I served it.
But look how nice and juicy this tenderloin is
Pour some gravy over it and enjoy with a nice side of stuffing and steamed asparagus.
And poor Jacquie didn't get any cuz this little piggy had none.