Tuscan Roast Pork Tenderloin
This pan-roasted pork tenderloin makes an easy midweek supper. The combination of fennel, garlic and other spices brings a satisfying flavor to the meat and perfumes the vegetables roasted with it. While the meat is roasting I steam some brocolli or make some bok choi Italiano. A crusty ciabatta and a bottle of Chianti Classico and dinner's ready!
2 lb. pork tenderloin
4 medium cloves garlic, cut in slivers
2 T fresh rosemary, minced
2 T fennel seeds, ground in mortar and pestle
2 T fresh parsley, minced
2 T fresh oregano, minced
1 T dried crushed basil
1 T dried crushed thyme
1/4 tsp cayenne powder
2 tsp dried chopped onion
1/4 lemon, cut in 2 wedges
1/2 C white wine
2 tsp salt
6 medium carrots, peeled, cut in 2-1/2" pieces
6 small potatoes, washed, cut in half
Wash the tenderloin and pat dry thoroughly. With a sharp pointed knife, cut slits in the meat at 1/2" intervals and force the garlic slivers into the slits. Mix the rosemary, fennel, oregano, basil, thyme, cayenne, and salt. Rub the tenderloin with olive oil, then with the herb mixture, patting and pressing the herbs into the meat. Allow to rest at least 20 minutes.
Heat a small amount of olive oil in a heavy ovenproof pan or Dutch oven and brown the meat on all sides slowly. Remove from heat. Squeeze the lemon wedges into the pan and add the wine. Place the lemon wedges, potatoes and carrots in the pot and roast, partially covered, in a preheated 300º oven until the meat reaches 146º internal temperature, about 25 - 30 minutes. Remove the meat to a warmed platter and cover tightly with foil. Return the pan to the oven, raise the heat to 375º and roast the vegetables until tender, about another 20 minutes.
To serve, slice the meat and arrange it with the vegetables on a serving platter. Remove fat from the pan, deglaze with a few tablespoons of white wine or water, scraping loose any bits clinging to the pan. Pour the liquid from the pan over the meat and vegetables.
Note: the same technique can be used with a pork loin roast.
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