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Related Ingredients
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Tasting Notes

Delicate, savory pork loin just needs a simple seasoning of salt and pepper to wake up its flavors – there's no sense in overpowering it with heavy spices.

The other key ingredient in this simple recipe is butter. As we brown the butter, we add thyme to infuse it with a woody, floral flavor and pungent garlic adds just enough spice to keep things interesting. When basting the pork with butter, the milk solids in the butter caramelize and give the pork a rich, nutty coating.

Tips & Techniques

  1. Plan the perfect sear. For maximum caramelization, dry your pork before it hits the pan. To brown the meat without scorching it, your pan should be very hot but not smoking.
  2. Escape plan. The idea is to eliminate unnecessary moisture while caramelizing the meat. Moving the pork a couple of times in the pan allows steam to escape and results in a better sear.
  3. Better basting. Push the seared pork to the far side of the pan before adding the butter on the side closer to you and let the butter get foamy before you start to baste. This way, you’ll have more control of the pan and the caramelized milk solids will easily adhere to the meat.
  4. Pink pork is a-ok. In short, it is safe to cook pork loin at a temperature of medium even though the meat may appear more pink than when beef is cooked medium. If the thermometer reads between 140ºF and 145ºF, it is good to go. Bacteria lives on the surface of meat, so it is key that outside of the loin is cooked or seared. If cooking ground pork, make sure it hits the mark of at least 160ºF before consuming.

Toolbox

These tools are the ones we find especially helpful when making this dish.

  1. Digital probe thermometer. This type of thermometer can be inserted into the thickest part of a piece of meat to measure its internal temperature – and it can help you avoid tough, dry, overcooked pork. When the thermometer reads 135°F, you can stop basting the pork and let it rest.

The list below includes all the equipment you’ll want to make this dish.

Medium sauté pan

Small sheet pan with rack

Tongs

Large spoon

Knife and cutting board


Ingredients
  • 4 (6-ounce) portions pork tenderloin
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 sprig thyme
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed

Serves: 4

Total Time: 15 minutes

Active Time: 15 minutes

Method
  1. Place pork on small baking sheet or plate.  Season with salt and pepper.
  2. Heat medium saucepan over high heat. Add grapeseed oil.  Place pork in pan and sear on all sides, including ends, turning with tongs.
  3. Push your pork to one side of the pan (or you can transfer the pork to a sheet pan fitted with a resting rack) and then add butter, thyme and garlic to the pan over medium heat. Once butter has melted, return the pork to the pan if you transferred to cooling rack and baste to finish cooking. Baste by spooning butter over each piece of pork until internal temperature reaches 135°F, about 3 to 5 minutes.
  4. Remove pork from the pan and place on cooling rack over baking sheet. Let rest for 5 to 10 minutes.

Here is a great way to turn this dish into a meal

Pork tenderloin & parmesan cauliflower gratin

Cauliflower gratin is a quick and tasty side dish for this pork tenderloin.  Roast the cauliflower florets on a sheet tray and then mix with cream and Parmesan.  Add diced shallots and place in a shallow baking dish before browning under broiler.

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