Since I began blogging I have become quite bold about asking people for their recipes and then making sure that I get them written down. I almost feel guilty at my directness, especially when I follow up with, “Do you mind if I blog this?”
This particular recipe came from my next door neighbor, Michelle. However, I got the recipe via Michelle’s best friend, Tracy, who lives just down the street. Tracy recently served this wonderful, and wonderfully easy, pork tenderloin at a get together of several couples in our church who had served with each other in various capacities for the past 5 years.
When several of us remarked on how much work to which Tracy had gone to prepare the tenderloin, she kind of snorted at us and rolled her eyes. “Ha! This was so easy, you won’t believe it!” She pulled out her recipe and sure enough, there wasn’t much to it. True to a great recipe that is passed from good cook to good cook, there were not even any measurements on the spices. It was all left up to taste and personal preference.
Despite the simple ingredients and easy prep, this tenderloin is BIG on flavor. It is great for parties or even an intimate dinner for two.
If you want an absolutely wonderful tenderloin, then I must defer to my daughter, Tricia. Tricia has preached and preached to me about temping meats when I cook. I have always been afraid of undercooked meats and consequently have generally overcooked them. They have often ended up tough and dry, but I have taken solace in the fact that they were “safe” to eat.
Slowly I have been employing Tricia’s teachings regarding meat temperatures and now regularly employ the use of a thermometer. I have been shocked at the difference in the quality of the meats that come out of my humble oven. What a delicious difference.
Traditionally, the rule for cooking pork has been to cook it until there is no more pink. Now however, because of the incidence of diseases, such as trichosis, carried by pigs has dropped considerably, it is permissible to cook pork to a lower internal temperature. A little pink is now okay, even encouraged for tenderness and flavor.
The USDA gives the following recommendations: Cook all raw beef, pork, lamb and veal steaks, chops, and roasts to a minimum internal temperature of 145 °F as measured with a food thermometer before removing meat from the heat source. For safety and quality, allow meat to rest for at least three minutes before carving or consuming. For reasons of personal preference, consumers may choose to cook meat to higher temperatures.
My first very big surprise with cooking this tenderloin to a lower temperature was just how fast the tenderloins were ready. It only took about 20 minutes for them to come to temp and I was cooking four of them at one time. A single tenderloin would cook faster. The second surprise was how incredibly tender they were. I kept thinking over and over while I was eating the succulent slices, “Did I really do this??????”
Try this simple recipe for yourself. Your family and friends will think you are a genius.