Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Ad Hoc Brined Pork Tenderloin

We're cooking our way through Thomas Keller's Ad Hoc at Home...
#66 - Ad Hoc Brined Pork Tenderloin
This tenderloin has to be the simplest of the recipes in the book we've tried so far though it does require some advance planning. Actually you need to plan two weeks ahead of time to make this in order to cure the lemons, not that curing the lemons was hard or anything. You just slice the lemon thin & let it sit in an airtight container covered in a salt & sugar mixture for two weeks in the fridge. You need to make sure the lemons are completely covered so they won't get moldy.
Ad Hoc Cured Lemons
The lemons get quite soft & have a salty flavor but to tell you the truth next time I make this pork recipe I'll just use thin slices of fresh lemon. The brine makes the pork salty enough & I think it's the tart lemon flavor was the important part.

Ok, so you've cured your lemons & now two weeks later you are ready to make your pork. First you must brine it for 4 hours. The book says do not brine it any longer as it will get too salty (believe this do not let your pork brine too long!). To be completely honest I have to tell you we only brined ours between 3 - 3 1/2 hours.

Pork Brine
(from Ad Hoc at Home)

3 T honey
6 bay leaves
2 fresh rosemary springs
1/4 oz fresh thyme sprigs
1 oz fresh flat leaf parsley sprigs
6 cloves garlic, crushed with the skin left on
1 T black peppercorns
1/2 c kosher salt
4 c water
1 pork tenderloin, silverskin removed)

Bring all the ingredients to boil. Stir & boil for 1 minute, until the salt is dissolved. Cool completely before adding the pork. (If you want to cool your brine quickly put the pot in a large bowl of ice & it'll do the trick.) Put the pork tenderloin & brine in a bowl just big enough to hold them. Let sit in the fridge for 4 hours.

Enough to brine one tenderloin.

Ok, your pork has sat in its briny goodness for 4 hours now its time to cook!

Brined Pork Tenderloin
(from Ad Hoc at Home)

1 T canola oil
salt & pepper
1 T unsalted butter
1 garlic clove, crushed
3 fresh thyme sprigs
1 fresh rosemary sprig
4 - 5 slices cured lemon slices
sea salt

Remove the pork from the brine, rinse it & pat it dry. Let the pork sit at room temperature for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Heat the olive oil over medium-high heat in a large skillet. Salt & pepper the pork. Put the pork in the hot skillet & cook until golden brown on all sides, about 6 minutes. Add the butter, garlic, thyme, rosemary & lemon slices. Cook for another two minutes basting the herbs, lemon & garlic with the juices in the pan.

Move the pork to a roasting pan with a rack set in it. Lay the lemon slices across the top of the pork, overlapping them a little. Top with the thyme, rosemary & garlic. Roast for 20 minutes, until the pork registers 135-140 on & instant read thermometer.
Ad Hoc Brined Pork Tenderloin
Here the recipes tells you to sprinkle the pork with sea sat. We didn't & believe me it did not need more salt.

Let the pork sit for 15 minutes before slicing to serve.

4 servings

So, how was it? It was amazing! This pork was so tender it just melted in your mouth. Plus you can really taste the flavors from the brine & cooking. All the flavors blend together really well without any of them overpowering the other. It was also wonderful the next day sliced thin for cold sandwiches. We will be using this method to cook pork tenderloin again.

If you are not reading this post in a feed reader or at http://agoodappetite.blogspot.com OR at http://agoodappetite.com then the site you are reading is illegally publishing copyrighted material. Contact me at katbaro AT yahoo DOT COM. All recipes, text and photographs in this post are the original creations & property of the author unless otherwise noted.
© 2007-2010 Kathy Lewinski

19 comments:

Elle said...

How could it not be good with all of those amazing flavors in there? Makes me hungry just thinking about it. It must be great on sandwiches!!

Tangled Noodle said...

Well that is just beautiful! I can't imagine a more perfectly-cooked piece of pork. Outstanding!

Beth said...

I'm sure it's worth the 2 week wait!!! Loving pork at mo

Deborah said...

I love all of your brining. I really need to follow your lead!

Carrie said...

I've been making my way through the book, too. It's so extensive that I'd have to dedicate myself to it--which I would gladly do. It would make me a great chef. I've made the split pea soup and asparagus/poached egg. Both are good choices, but I would have preferred a thicker pea soup.

Fresh Local and Best said...

The pork tenderloin looks perfectly cooked, pink and moist! This looks like a great approachable recipe.

grace said...

moldy lemons? boo. awesomely-brined and supremely succulent pork loin? hip hip hooray! this looks so delicious, kat--excellent work!

Lori said...

When I'm hungry for meat, pork tenderloin is always my first choice. This version sounds simple, yet delicious.

Michelle said...

I love Keller's books. The Veal Stock in his French Laundry book is the best!! No more beef stock for me!!

"Ad Hoc" is on my list of books to buy and I can't wait to get it!

Unplanned Cooking said...

Would love to try that pork! His book is *still* on my list, just need to get to the bookstore (and remember what I'm looking for :).

Lori said...

Sounds delicious. I love my brined turkey, I can only imagine how succulent this would be.

I wonder if you could use preserved lemons as well?

Carla and Michael said...

Kat, that first picture of the pork loinn looks so succulent. We have never done any brining. This one we will have to try. Going to look for the book on the internet now ;0. Thanks.

Patty said...

Usually when I make pork it turns out bad but I tried this recipe and it was amazing, thank you so much!

Foodycat said...

That pork looks wonderful! I like the idea of curing the lemon slices as a short-cut to the Moroccan style though.

[eatingclub] vancouver || js said...

I often lack for ideas when it comes to pork tenderloin: this one looks delish!

oak dining room tables said...

I love its color. You have perfectly cooked it. I am always amazed with people who can make this.

Ted said...

I served it on Tuesday night. Knowing that at least one of my friends probably popped a Lean Cuisine in the microwave for dinner that night...well that makes me feel extremely lucky to be a guinea pig for a potential MasterChef

SuzyBPack said...

I was really looking for a baked pork with garlic, but ran across your post. I brined and browned the tenderloin as directed, then followed a wild hare and topped it with several cloves of garlic that I had minced and sauted in butter and finished with some Sherry. Baked for 20 minutes as directed. It was fabulous!

Anonymous said...

Nice recipe but WAY too much salt. Way, way, way, too much salt. Can half the salt in the brine especially if doing for four hours, the ratio is too high.

Otherwise a killer recipe!

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