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Balsamic Pork Tenderloin

Balsamic pork tenderloin with mashed parsnips, mushroom risotto and strawberry salad

Balsamic pork tenderloin has become such a favorite of mine that I make it at least a couple of times a months. It’s funny to think how much I like it when growing up the only way I had pork other than ham or bacon was the dry overcooked and bread pork chops we had once a week. Imagine the driest, whitest pork chop cover in a thick layer of bread crumbs with no seasoning and way overcooked. I have no doubt that was my mother certain that if that meat was cooked even the littlest bit pink we would all have Trichinosis just she was certain if we didn’t drink three glasses of milk a day our bones would all spontaneously break.

I didn’t eat pork that was pink until I went to college in The Netherlands and I was too polite to tell my host that my meat was undercooked. But sure enough as soon as I tried it I realized that not only was it not undercooked but for once it actually tasted good.

I didn’t start cooking pork tenderloin until one day when shopping at Trader Joe’s I noticed the packages of the tenderloin and thought it was first beef tenderloin. It made me curious to try it and even more so when i realized to cook one tenderloin only takes around half an hour.

While I love the taste of meat on it’s own I do like this version of Balsamic Pork Tenderloin. It’s based on a version I found on the internet several years ago and I eliminated the olive oil from the marinate as well as some herbs and I cook it at a higher temperature. I use white balsamic vinegar because the dark balsamic vinegar gives a darker look to the meat that I don’t like and the white balsamic vinegar makes for a nice golden sauce . The taste is exactly the same with either white or dark balsamic vinegar.

Balsamic Pork Tenderloin
1 tenderloin about 1 1/2 pounds

Marinade
1/2 cup white balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons country dijon mustard
2 teaspoons clover honey
3 teaspoons fresh crush garlic

Mix all the marinade ingredients together. Put the tenderloin in a gallon zip lock bag and pour the marinade over it and refrigerate it at least a couple of hours, overnight is best.

Preheat your oven to 425. Some people brown the tenderloin before hand but I haven’t found it to improve or give a crust to the skin so I just put it straight into the oven. I use an oven proof skillet rather than glass or metal roasting pan. I find that it seems to cook better in a round dish that fits it best and that afterward if I want to make a more complex sauce out of the drippings and marinade left at the bottom of the pan I can do it right on the stove top in the same pan.

Roast it at 425 for approximately 30-35 minutes and pour in all of the marinade. The marinade will reduce naturally and you can serve it on top straight from the which is what I did in the picture above. If it is a larger piece it will take longer. The internal temperature should be around 150. The FDA recommends cooking to 160 but I find that it is overcooked at that temperature and European and Canadian government standard are set at the equivalent of 150. When you take it out let it sit for at least 5 minutes before slicing but keep the drippings in the stove to keep warm.

I served this with a parsnip puree and a risotto both which can be made in approximately the same time as the tenderloin is roasting and then sitting.

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About deathandfood

just an average guy whose sister was murdered two months ago and has decided to make food to deal with it.

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