Twice-Cooked Pork Tenderloin

Nights have been busy here. Dishes have been piling up. Laundry strewn on the floor and I am very tired. About a year ago, in a moment of madness, I decided to undertake a challenge to sit for a finance industry exam. It meant reading through thousands of pages of accounting, quantitative analysis, portfolio management theory, oh and did I mention the pass rate is roughly 40% for each test. There are three levels. Also if I fail to pass one level I'll have to wait an entire year for another shot. What do I get out sitting for this exam? Perhaps a pretty piece of paper to post on the wall, maybe my name in The Wall Street Journal and some personal satisfaction. I am sadistic. Yes, I admit it.


With less time and energy on my hands, I've had to carve out creative ways to put food on the table. But this has not meant sacrificing flavor...not yet at least. Cooking big meals and surviving the week on leftovers have been our strategy. Plus some of our all time favorites take very little time to prepare. This twice-cooked pork tenderloin takes no more than half an hour from start to finish. The tenderloins are seared to a crisp, sliced into medallions for a second sear, and then coated with a delicious creamy mustard sauce. The simplicity of this recipe is what makes it brilliant, allowing one of my favorite cuts of meat to stand on its own. Good enough for a special meal, this recipe also makes an excellent last ditch effort to put food on the table.

Twice-Cooked Pork Tenderloin 
From the NY Times
Ingredients 
  • 1 boneless pork tenderloin, about 1 pound 
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper 
  • 4 tablespoons butter, extra virgin olive oil, or a combination 
  • 1/4 cup cream 
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard, lemon juice or Calvados, optional 
  • Chopped fresh parsley leaves for garnish, optional 
Method
  1. Sprinkle meat with salt and pepper. Put a large skillet over medium-high heat; a minute later add 2 tablespoons butter and/or oil. When butter foam subsides or oil dimples, add meat (curve it into skillet if necessary). Brown it well on all sides, for a total of 4 to 6 minutes. Turn off heat, remove meat from pan, and let it sit on a board. When skillet has cooled a bit, proceed. 
  2. Cut meat into 1-inch-thick slices. Once again turn heat to medium-high, add remaining butter and/or oil and, when it's hot, add pork slices to pan. Brown on each side, about 2 or 3 minutes each. Turn heat to low and remove meat to a warm platter. 
  3. Add 1/2 cup water to pan, turn heat to high, and cook, stirring and scraping, for a minute. Lower heat slightly, add cream and cook until slightly thickened. Stir in mustard, lemon juice or Calvados, if you're using them, then taste and adjust seasoning. Serve meat with sauce spooned on top, garnished, if you like, with parsley.
Serves 4.

27 comments:

Megan Ginsberg said...

The mustard sauce sounds amazing. It's definitely good to have some go-to simple recipes.

Lori said...

Sometimes those pieces of paper and that personal satisfaction are completely worth it! Hope it's going well! This looks delicious. We usually stay in for Valentine's day and something simple like this would be perfect.

Andrea said...

Hope things will slow down for you a bit soon... :)

I LOVE leftovers, and when I cook on the weekend and have leftovers for the week life is so much easier. Your pork tenderloin sounds wonderful!

Belinda said...

The sauce looks amazing. You are brave for taking the test on!

bellini said...

The New York times is such an inspiration for great recipes.

Penny said...

Good luck on the exam Christine. I just got a pork tenderloin out of the freezer. This recipe sounds like a winner.

Bunkycooks said...

I am sure you are incredibly busy with the exam prep, Alex, and general household responsibilities. I am amazed that you have any time to post on your blog! The pork sounds excellent and most importantly, good luck to you.

Karen (Back Road Journal) said...

Sounds like the perfect dish when you don't have a lot of time. Good luck on the exam.

Claudia said...

I have 3 tenderloins in the freezer and fresh snow on the ground. The day begs for this. Just delicious! Best of luck with the exam - what an accomplishment that would be. Sometimes little pieces of paper are worth it.

A Canadian Foodie said...

Vanja would love this. Great ingenuity. You are certainly a gal who doesn't sit around. Good luck!
:)
V

Mari Núñez said...

Looks scrumptious. With the Dijon mustard it must be awesome.

lostpastremembered said...

I'm doing a pork tenderloin next week.. love them and always want to do them more often. The sauce looks beautiful.

Good luck with your test... I know you will ace it!

Lori Lynn said...

Sounds absolutely delicious.
I'm cooking pork too!
Good luck with your exams...
LL

Jamie said...

Oh and very very good luck to you! What a wonderful recipe - simple is the best (and I can see adding both mustard and calvados!) and a sauce like this would be equally perfect over chicken or rabbit.

SavoringTime in the Kitchen said...

My daughter is in the finance industry too and I remember her taking these tests. Other other perk is you get to put lots of letters behind your signature :)

Love love pork tenderloin - especially with mustard sauce. This sounds like a wonderful way to prepare it!

lisa is cooking said...

I love cooking a lot in advance for leftovers for a busy week. And, what a great sauce. The flavor must have been fantastic!

Caroline - All That I'm Eating said...

This sounds so good. Best of luck!

Erica said...

I love pork tenderloin and that dish looks amazing! good luck with your test....:)

kale said...

do you realize how awesome it is that despite what's working against you, you still even consider flavor and creativity as must-haves?! you are fantastic. so it comes as no surprise that your food is as well. :)

El said...

That's great that your working for certification. Look forward to hearing more about it. It seems your able to make some pretty amazing meals in spite of your hectic schedule!

Velva said...

Only best wishes and positive vibes headed your way for your finance exam. I can imagine the undertaking!

Your pork tenderloin rocks!

Velva

Victoria said...

Christine, good luck on that exam! There is always room for more fast and easy recipes like this one. I love pork tenderloin and this preparation looks fantastic :)

nancy at good food matters said...

Hi Christine, That test would be my nightmare! I wish you all the best with this challenge. Good thing you know how to whip up a nice meal for your family in the midst of life and studying. The mustard sauce-with the Calvados--is really delicious. Nancy

Barbara said...

Good luck on the test!! Down deep you know something good will come out of it.
Love this dish...and the mustard, Calvados sauce.

Amy (Savory Moments) said...

I love pork tenderloin and this looks like a really delicious way to enjoy it!

Caroline - All That I'm Eating said...

This sounds so good, I don't cook with tenderloin enough.

Sam @ My Carolina Kitchen said...

This sounds and looks fabulous Christine. Best of luck with your exam. It's hard to find the time to do it all...
Sam