Before trying this recipe, I don’t think that I’ve ever had pork tenderloin before. Boy, was I missing out! I’ve always liked pork chops, but this cut of meat has a much better texture, and almost melts in your mouth. I got it on sale so it wasn’t even that much more than pork chops. I think I may be forever converted!
The pork is rubbed in rosemary and thyme, then seared to lock in the juices. It creates the perfect crust without being overly herby. The sweet potatoes made a perfect accompaniment and the spicy maple butter made everything work. Serve with a side of peas or corn and you have yourself a perfect meal for two.
Special equipment: 10-12 inch oven-proof skillet. I don’t think mine is oven-proof, but it didn’t melt or start on fire. I just wrapped the plastic handle in foil.
Herb Crusted Pork Tenderloin with Sweet Potatoes and Spicy Maple Butter (serves 2)
For the spicy maple butter:
2 Tbs unsalted butter
2 tsp maple syrup
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
In a small bowl, eat butter with a large fork until fluffy. Stir in maple syrup and cayenne pepper. Set aside.
For the pork:
1 12-ounce pork tenderloin, trimmed of silver skin
1 tsp dried thyme, minced
1 tsp dried rosemary, minced
1/8 tsp ground cloves
2 tsp vegetable oil
Preheat oven to 425F. In a small bowl combine thyme, rosemary and cloves. Pat pork dry with paper towels and rub herb mixture evenly over the pork.
Heat oil over medium heat in the 10 inch oven-proof skillet. Carefully lay the tenderloin in the pan and sear on all sides. If herbs start to burn, reduce heat slightly. Transfer skillet to the oven and cook until internal temperature registers at 140-145F, about 15-20 minutes. Meanwhile, start the potatoes below.
For the sweet potatoes:
1 large sweet potato (about 1 lb), peeled and sliced in 3/4 inch rounds
3 tsp vegetable oil, divided
1/8 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
Toss potatoes, 1 tsp oil, salt and pepper in a microwave proof bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and microwave on high until tender, about 5-7 minutes, turning halfway through. Drain potatoes.
After the pork has cooked, remove from the pan and place on a large plate and tent with foil. Add the additional 2 tsp of oil to the pan and heat. Add potatoes in a single layer and brown them on all sides, about 6 minutes.
Carve pork and serve immediately with sweet potatoes and spicy maple butter spread over the top.
Recipe from Cooking for Two (America’s Test Kitchen)