Cooking a festive pork tenderloin - need ideas

I’ve got a full pork tenderloin that I want to cook for dinner tomorrow. This thing is about a yard long by about 4-5 inches diameter. Big piggy!

Sure, I can salt and pepper it, coil it up in a pan and roast it, but that’s boring. (But safe)

What can I do with it that might be more intersting?

How about a Pork Wellington? Check out Gordon Ramsay’s beef wellington youtube video to demystify it, then get a recipe for the cooking times and puff pastry recipe.

Once you’ve made one, you’ll see how easy it is and it’s a crowd stopper.

Interesting idea, but the mushrooms would be a killer. And I’m not so sure about the mustard going well with pork.

I’m dealing with some people that have pretty boring tastes - what could I put between the pork and the pastry that wouldn’t make them run away in horror?

(Freudian typos… I keep typing “port” for “pork” here. I must need a drink!)

I’ve made this recipe from Epicurious before. It’s very good.

Here’s another one I’ve made. Couldn’t tell you where I got the recipe, though. It’s very good also.

Pork Loin in a Rosemary Jacket
Makes 4 to 5 servings

One 2-pound boneless center-cut pork loin, about 8 inches long and 4 inches in diameter (see note)

3 large navel oranges, rinsed and dried

1 1/2 teaspoons chopped rosemary, plus 10 to 12 long rosemary sprigs

1 teaspoon chopped thyme, plus 10 to 12 long thyme sprigs

1 tablespoon chopped garlic

kosher salt, coarsely ground black pepper

1/4 cup Dijon mustard with seeds

Place roast on work surface, and with sharp knife held parallel to work surface make a slit 3/4 of the way through center of roast. Do not cut all the way through. Open meat out like it was an open book and set aside.

Grate enough zest from oranges to yield 1 tablespoon and place in small mixing bowl. Juice oranges and set aside.

To bowl with orange peel, add chopped rosemary, chopped thyme, garlic, 1/4 teaspoon salt and several grinds of black pepper. Mix well. Spread mixture on one side of opened meat and then close. Brush entire outside surface (top, bottom, sides and ends) of meat with mustard. Encase roast alternately with rosemary and thyme sprigs, leaving short, rounded ends uncovered. (The mustard will help the herbs adhere to the meat.)

Tie roast with cotton kitchen twine at 1-inch intervals. Place roast in ziplock bag and add reserved orange juice. Refrigerate, turning several times while marinating, 6 hours or overnight.

One hour before grilling, remove meat from refrigerator and bring to room temperature. Pour marinade into small saucepan and boil over high heat 5 minutes. Set aside for basting roast.

Oil grill rack and arrange 4 to 5 inches from heat source. Prepare grill. When ready, grill roast over a hot fire, covered with lid of grill. Turn and baste roast often with reserved marinade as this will keep herbs and string from burning. Grill until instant-read thermometer registers 155 to 160 degrees when placed into thickest part of roast. Grilling time should be between 55 and 70 minutes or longer. Time will vary depending on type of grill used and intensity of heat.

When done, remove pork loin and cool 10 minutes. Cut string and remove herbs. Slice into 1/4 - to 1/2 -inch-thick slices. Arrange overlapping slices on platter and salt lightly.

Note: Pork loins of similar weights can vary in shape. For this recipe, a single loin, which is long and slender, is the best choice.

Is it a pork loin or pork tenderloin? From your description, it sounds like a loin. Tenderloins are much smaller.

This is my recipe, originally from Cook’s Illustrated. It’s really yummy. It’s for a smaller loin than you have, but you can easily recalc for however big yours is.

2 t. dried thyme
1/4 t. ground cloves
2 t. salt
1 t. pepper
2 cloves garlic, peeled & sliced thin into slivers
1 pork loin roast, about 2-2.5 pounds, tied

Mix the thyme, cloves, salt & pepper together. Toss the garlic slivers into the mixture. Poke holes in the loin with a paring knife, stick the garlic slivers into it. Rub the rest of the spice mix onto the loin. Wrap it in foil, refrigerate for a few hours.

Heat oven to 475. Remove the tinfoil from the loin and put on a rack set in a shallow roasting pan. Roast for 30 minutes.

Take it out, reduce oven temp to 325. Let the roast sit for 30 minutes, outside the oven. Take it’s temperature - you want it to be about 115-140 degrees. Put it back in the oven, roast for 15-30 minutes longer until it’s at 145 degrees.

Take it out of oven, let it rest for 15-20 minutes to finish cooking. Should be about 155 degrees at the end.

Yum Yum Yum

If you can manage to find rhubarb or happen to have some frozen rhubarb on hand (which I do, but I know I’m weird that way), then you MUST try the roasted pork tenderloin with rhubarb chutney from Epicurious. It’s incredibly good… we’re serving the chutney with our roast goose tomorrow, actually.

For a festive touch, just use dried cranberries in the chutney instead of the cherries called for in the recipe.

You ready? This could take a while ;). Mix equal parts McKesson Caribbean Jerk Seasoning and vegetable oil (e.g., 5 tbls of each or more). Slather onto tenderloin. Grill about 5 minutes a side - about 15 minutes total - then take off and let rest for 10 minutes. Check for doneness and put back on the grill for a minute or two as needed - I serve it pink in the middle…

Gets raves.

I always wrap tenderloins in prosciutto. Keeps it moist and makes it taste nice and porky!

Amazingly simple and unbelievably delicious:

Salt, pepper, and roast as usual. About a half hour before it’s done, mix apricot preserves or jam with horseradish at about 1 tablespoon of horseradish to half a cup of jam. Make more than you’ll think you’ll need. Mix it on the stove until it’s runny. Use some of it to glaze the roast during the last part of cooking, and use the rest as dipping sauce. It’s the only way we make pork any more.


My deisres to try something different were squashed with a “We’re not going to surprise our friends with something wierd!” :frowning:

In reality, I had enough pork (and yes, it did turm out to be a mere loin and not a tenderloin) to split it in two and do something “weird” with half of it. I was at least able to sneak in a rub made of lots of salt and pepper, rosemary, garlic and nutmeg. Roasted in the usual way and it became a magical disappearing roast. :smiley:

Mustard and pork are an established combination, so you need not worry about that. There are two basic tenderloin roasts I do: one is just salt, cracked pepper, and coarsely ground fennel. The other is a more French roast rubbed with mustard, garlic, salt, pepper, and rosemary.

The main “secret” I have to tenderloin or loin is to not overcook. Pork should still be a little bit pink (but cooked through) in the middle. I pull the pork out of the oven at 155, and let it sit for 10-15 minutes under a loose tent of foil before carving.