Published September 1, 2006.
Boneless, lean, and tender, pork tenderloin offers plenty of hope for the time-pressed weeknight cook. If it only offered plenty of flavor.
When cooked properly, ultra-lean pork tenderloin has a tenderness rivaling that of beef tenderloin; unfortunately it also has ultra-mild flavor. Long marinades and hybrid searing and roasting techniques help remedy the flavor deficiency, but they take the home cook a long way from the realm of the no-fuss meal.
We wanted a recipe for a fast weeknight dinner that still offered maximum flavor.
Packaging and shape presented the first challenge: we needed to deal with the tenderloin's oblong, tapered shape as well as the fact that the tenderloins (which are usually sold in a pair in a vacuum pack) were almost guaranteed to be substantially different in weight and length. The solution was to cut them into 1 1/2 inch thick medallions (the end pieces were scored, creating a small flap of meat that folded underneath the larger half to yield the right-sized medallion). To keep their tidy cylindrical shape, we developed two approaches: tying the medallions or wrapping blanched bacon around them, fastened with toothpicks. We found we could create a beautiful sear on all sides of these neat packages in the time it took to reach an internal temperature of 145 to 150 degrees, and the searing process had the extra benefit of producing enough fond to create several easy, flavorful pan sauces.list of recipes