Check out Pork Tenderloin

The key to making quick dinners is selecting the right cut of meat. A lot of quick dinners around here involve broiling or grilling meat. One of my favorite go-to dinners is the pork tenderloin.

If you’ve never had pork tenderloin, it’s like the filet of pork. The meat is juicy and tender. You really don’t even need a knife to cut it when cooked properly. Tenderloins are generally small (1/2 to 1 lb) and the perfect size to feed two or four people. Don’t confuse tenderloin with a pork loin roast. Pork loin roast is much larger and will therefore take a lot longer to cook.

Last week, pork tenderloin was on sale for $2.99 a lb. At my store, they are generally sold in packs of two.

Here’s how I prepare it:

Preheat your oven to 450 degrees. Cover a cookie sheet with foil and place your tenderloin on the sheet. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and your choice of seasoning. I’ve used a number of different things:

Herbes de Provence
Garlic powder and dried minced onion
Pork rub (omit salt and pepper if using this one)
Lemon pepper (omit pepper if using this one)
Seasoning salt (omit salt and pepper if using this one)
Italian herbs

You can be really creative with this. Last night, I used Herbes de Provence.

I used the instructions in my Betty Crocker Cookbook (which is my go-to cook book for meat). Bake the tenderloin at 450 degrees for 20 minutes per lb. I’ve found that 20 minutes is the minimum even for a small tenderloin. You know it’s ready when the internal temperature is about 155-160 degrees and then poked with a fork, the juices run clear. If you don’t have a thermometer, make sure to fork test the center of the loin. Now take the foil and wrap it around the loin like a little pouch, sealing the ends tightly.

Let the loin rest for 5 minutes before slicing. If you generally have trouble with your meat drying it, it may be because you aren’t letting it rest. By letting it rest after baking, the juices redistribute into the meat. If you cut it immediately, you are going to have a lot of liquid on your cutting board and not much left in your meat.

I slice my tenderloin in one inch slices, but you can slice it however you like. I think Jeff would be perfectly happy if I just hacked off a slab for him. You can serve this with whatever you like for sides. It goes well with a lot of different things.

If your tired of the same old chicken, I’d invite you to give this a try. It’s great for a change and so easy to make.