Thursday, January 27, 2011

Dijon Pork Tenderloin

I will be honest, most of my life I have not been a huge pork fan.  I like bacon, but am very fussy about how it's cooked; and wasn't inching to try other pork dishes.  This all changed when I got a waitressing job at a fine dining restaurant in college.  Working there changed my pallet a lot.  The mentality was, we had to taste all the food so we'd be able to properly describe the dish to the customers.  Tough life I know! :) I think the biggest takeaway from trying all of that new food, was that I LOVE pork tenderloin.  Cooked medium with a slice of pink on the inside, oh-so-good!
While I have tried to make a couple different pork dishes at home, I usually find they never taste as good as when a chef makes it, and a waiter/tress brings it to your table.  Ain't it the truth.  This recipe was delicious though, and fairly simple.  If you're a new timer to cooking pork, this would be a great introductory dish.  Recipe calls for four cuts of pork, I cut it in half and just made two.  Pat the meat dry with a paper town, and sprinkle with salt and pepper on both sides.
Start by heating olive oil in a large skillet.  Stir in the butter, as soon as it's completely melted, add the pork.
Sear the tenderloins, about 2-3 minutes on each side.  Reduce the heat slightly if they start to brown a little too quickly.  I know people get a little nervous about not cooking pork until it's well done, but it truly is better cooked to around medium or 145 degrees.  At least try it, if you don't like stick it back on the stove!
Remove the tenderloins from the pan, and pour off most of the fat.  I left just a little to cover the bottom of the pan.  Add shallots and cook them on medium high until soft - about one minute. 
 Add 1/2 cup wine and bring to a boil.  Stir in the chicken stock and return pork to the pan. 
Bring sauce to a simmer, reduce heat, cover, and cook until pork is cooked through to 145 degrees F internally, about 10-15 minutes. Remove the pork, and place on a warm platter, if you have one, to keep warm.  I put on a plate, covered with foil, and placed in the microwave to stay warm.  Add the remaining 1/2 cup of wine.  Increase the heat to high to boil the juices in the pan.  When they're reduced by half, around three minutes, add the heavy cream and boil for another three minutes.  When you can scrape the pan with a wooden spoon and it leaves a trail, the sauce is ready to be removed from the stove.
Remove from heat, and in a bowl whisk in mustard and parsley.  If you want, you can add more mustard to taste. 
Place tenderloins on a bed of sauce and serve.  I made mashed potatoes and zucchini as sides.  The sauce was great on the mashed potatoes as well!  Enjoy :)

Dijon Pork Tenderloin *makes 4, I cut in half
1 tablespoon butter 
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 center cut pork tenderloin or chops
ground black pepper
1/4 cup shallots or green onions
1 cup dry white wine
3/4 cup chicken stock
3/4 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon chopped parsley *optional

Pat pork dry with paper towel, and salt and pepper both sides.
Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Stir in butter.
When butter is melted, add pork to pan and sear.  Around 2-3 minutes on each side.
Reduce heat slightly to make sure pork doesn't brown too fast.
Remove pork from pan and pour off most of the fat. 
Add green onions or shallots and cook them on medium high until soft, around one minute.
Add 1/2 cup wine and bring to a boil.
Stir in the chicken stock and return pork to pan. 
Bring sauce to simmer, reduce heat, cover, and cook until pork is 145 degrees F internally, around 10-15 minutes.
Remove the pork and place on a warm platter to keep warm.
Add remaining 1/2 cup of wine and increase to high to boil.
When juices are reduced by half, add heavy cream and boil for another three minutes, until sauce is thick.
Remove from heat and whisk in mustard and parsley. 
Place pork on a bed of sauce and serve.

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