Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Herb-marinated loin of pork

So my mom gave the "Barefoot Contessa: Back to Basics" cookbook for Christmas and it is great! This is the first (and only) thing I've tried so far, but I've got my eye on several others. Anyway, this pork is so tasty. I've decided pretty much anything marinated/cooked in garlic, lemon juice, olive oil and herbs is delicious, so it's hard to go wrong there. This was super easy and very tasty.

Herb-marinated loin of pork

Grated zest of 1 lemon
3/4 c. freshly squeezed lemon juice (4-6 lemons)
1/2 c. good olive oil, plus extra for brushing the grill
2 T. minced garlic (6 cloves)
1 1/2 T. minced fresh rosemary leaves
1 T. chopped fresh thyme leaves
2 tsp. Dijon mustard
Kosher salt
3 pork tenderloins (about 1 pound each)
Freshly ground black pepper

Combine the lemon zest, lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, rosemary, thyme, mustard and 2 tsp. salt in a sturdy 1-gallon resealable plastic bag. Add the pork tenderloins and turn to coat with the marinade. Squeeze out the air and seal the bag. Marinate the pork in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours but preferable overnight.

When you're ready to cook, build a charcoal fire or heat a gas grill. Brush the cooking grate with oil to prevent the pork from sticking. Remove the tenderloins from the marinade and discard the marinade but leave the herbs that cling to the meat. Sprinkle the tenderloins generously with salt and pepper. Grill the tenderloins, turning a few times to brown on all sides, for 15 to 25 minutes (depending on the heat of the coals) until the meat registers 137 degrees at the thickest part. Transfer the tenderloins to a platter and cover tightly with aluminum foil. Allow to rest for 10 minutes. Carve in 1/2-inch-thick diagonal slices. The thickest part of the tenderloin will be quite pink (it's just fine!) and the thinnest part will be well done. Season with salt and pepper and serve warm, or at room temperature with the juices that collect in the platter.

A few things: First, I bought my pork in a pack of 2 loins, each a little over 1 pound, so I just did two. Second, I have fresh rosemary in my backyard, but I didn't buy thyme, so I used dried thyme and halved the amount. And third, we don't have a grill (yet) and even if we did it's freezing here, so I cooked my loins (haha) in the oven at 425 degrees for 10-15 minutes and then I turned on the broiler to brown it on all sides. It turned out really tasty, so I guess it worked. Of course a grill would be better, but this worked out. Oh, and her picture in the book looks way more appetizing than mine. Oh well.

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