The Heart of New England
Roasted Herb Encrusted Pork Tenderloin
By Charlie Burke

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Pork tenderloin, versatile and easily prepared, is suitable for family meals or for
entertaining. Because it is very lean it must not be overcooked, but served with
just a trace of pink remaining, the meat is tender and moist. Depending upon the
size of the tenderloin and your guests’ appetites, one tenderloin will serve two
to four. If more is needed, several tenderloins will cook in the same time as one,
as long as an inch or two separates them.

I usually coat the meat with a mix of herbs and olive oil which I believe helps
retain moisture. Rosemary or sage goes well, as do herbes de Provence. Dijon
mustard adds another level of flavor, but simply seasoning with salt and pepper
and rubbing with olive oil is fine. Cooked at high heat, it is ready to serve in less
than half an hour.

1 pork tenderloin at room temperature (bring out of refrigerator for one hour)
¼ cup olive oil
3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary or sage (or 1 tablespoon dried herbs)
½ teaspoon kosher or sea salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
½ cup bread crumbs (I use Panko or ground day old crusty bread)

Preheat oven to 500 degrees. Mix coating ingredients and spread over
tenderloin. Place tenderloin into a shallow baking dish and place in the upper
third of the oven. Cook until internal temperature reaches 150 degrees. Remove
and tent with foil for 10 minutes which permits the temperature to reach 155
degrees. We serve this with roasted potatoes and whichever vegetable appeals,
in this case, roasted fennel.

If you wish to cook the tenderloin over charcoal or on a gas grill, use the
restaurant trick of browning over direct heat, then finishing cooking with indirect
heat. Build a moderate fire on one side of the grill or heat one burner on high,
leaving the other unlit. Brown the tenderloin directly over the fire, turning with
tongs for 5 minutes or so, then move the meat off direct heat and cover with an
inverted disposable aluminum cake pan, with one end of the pan just at the edge
of the fire. The tenderloin is usually done in 15 – 20 minutes, at which time it
reaches 150 degrees.

Either way results in moist, flavorful meat, and this easy preparation is as
suitable for a busy week night as it is for entertaining.

About the author: An organic farmer and avid cook, writer Charlie Burke is the vice
president of the
New Hampshire Farmer's Market Association, president of the NH Farm
to Restaurant Connection and helps run the Sanbornton (NH) Farmers' Market.  Along
with his wife, Joanne, Charlie grows certified organic herbs, greens and berries at Weather
Hill Farm in Sanbornton, NH.  
The Heart of New England
Celebrating the unique character & culture of Maine ~ New Hampshire ~ Vermont
Pork Tenderloin
©The Heart of New England online magazine
...celebrating the unique character & culture of Maine, New Hampshire & Vermont!
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