Last Updated on June 23, 2021 by Fiona Maclean
Perfect Spring Pork Tenderloin from Parson’s Nose Butcher.
Tenderloin is one of my favourite cuts of pork. It’s the ‘fillet’ from a pig – the equivalent to porcine fillet mignon. Tender, lean, and sweet, it’s a cut with very little fat and as such it’s easy to overcook it and make it dry. The idea of pork tenderloin with sauce verte is that the uncooked, herb sauce can be made with herbs that complement the sweet and tender pork tenderloin while the olive oil base of the sauce helps counteract the lack of fat on the meat.
You can buy tenderloin from the supermarket, but I prefer to buy my meat from a good butcher when I can (online or in-person). That way, I can be sure that the heritage of the meat is good – that it’s been ethically farmed with the best farming husbandry practised. The Parson’s Nose is close to where I used to live in West Brompton and, because of that, it’s also close to my hairdresser. So, I was delighted to be invited to pop along there and pick up some samples to cook with. Pork Tenderloin was just one of the items on the list, along with bacon, merguez sausages and chicken carcasses.
I used the chicken carcasses to make stock and then to make a chicken and asparagus soup. The recipe for that is over on our sister site, The Frugal Flexitarian. I’ll be adding more recipes over the next few weeks too. But this one, for pork tenderloin with sauce verte is, I believe, an excellent showcase for quality fresh meat. I have a very basic sous-vide and I like to cook pork tenderloin in the sous-vide because it minimises the risk of letting the meat dry out. I actually split the 600g tenderloin in half – because the meat is so lean you really only need 100-150g per person. By using the sous-vide, I could keep half the meat for a further week in the fridge so I didn’t need to freeze it. I sous-vide pork tenderloin at 58C which is hot enough to pasteurize the meat but cool enough to allow the meat to stay just a little pink. If you don’t like pink pork, then sous-vide at 62C. The best thing about cooking meat in a sous-vide is that once it has cooked for the minimum period, you can just leave it for anything for a further 3 or 4 hours. After that, the meat will start to break down and tenderise, which for some cut can be a good thing. But, of course, it’s not what you need with pork tenderloin.
But, if you don’t own a sous-vide, I’d suggest cooking your tenderloin by seasoning it well and browning it in a little olive oil on all sides. Then pop it in the oven at 225c for 15 to 20 minutes and use a meat thermometer to check that the internal temperature of the meat has reached 62C
To sous vide, season the pork tenderloin and put it in a sous-vide bag with a few herbs and a teaspoon or two of olive oil. Vacuum seal the bag and sous-vide for at least an hour (if you are going to eat the meat immediately) and for a minimum of a further 30 minutes if you are planning to store it to eat later. Once the meat is cooked, plunge it into an ice water bath to cool if you are planning to eat later, then store in the fridge for up to a week. To reheat, just put it in the water bath at the same temperature for a further 40 minutes.
When you are ready to finish the meat, take it out of the sous-vide bag and pat dry with kitchen paper. Then, heat a tablespoon of butter or oil in a skillet until it’s sizzling, then put the meat in and brown it on all side (this should take no more than a minute). Put it to one side to rest for five minutes or so before carving in thick medallions.
I have made plenty of recipes with Pork Tenderloin before, but they tend to use autumnal or winter ingredients. This time, I wanted a lighter early summer dish and a herby sauce verte seemed just the ticket. One of the nicest things about sauce verte is that you can adapt the herbs you use to match the dish. I did think about using sage, but in the end, decided that it would be too overpowering. Instead, I picked a mix of soft herbs. Parsley, chives and tarragon. I grow all of them in the garden and I added roughly equal amounts into the blender along with a tablespoon of capers and a teaspoon of olive oil. Then, when the mixture is blended, add a little more oil until you have a sauce that can be drizzled. Check the seasoning and add salt and pepper as necessary.
Plate the meat up and drizzle a little sauce over each medallion. Perfect with buttered spinach and a few new potatoes, this is a deliciously light, summer dish
Here’s a printable recipe if you’d like to try for yourself at home.
A sous-vide or roast pork tenderloin recipe for spring and summer
- 300g piece pork tenderloin
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2-3 sprigs thyme
- salt and pepper
- 15 g fresh parsley
- 15 g fresh tarragon
- 15 g fresh chives
- 15 g capers
- 1 tbsp olive oil
Pick any large stems out and roughly chop the remaining herbs
Put them in a small blender with the capers and 1 tsp of olive oil
Blend until you have a rough puree, then season with salt and pepper and add more oil to create a thick sauce that can be drizzled
Store in the fridge until needed
Season the pork tenderloin with salt and pepper and with a few sprigs of fresh thyme (or herbs of your choice) pressed into the meat
Vacuum pack the tenderloin in a sous-vide bag
Sous vide at 59c (for medium-rare pork) for at least an hour and up to four hours. If you prefer your pork better done, adjust the sous-vide up to a maximum of 66c for well-done meat and down to a minimum of 57c for rare pork
Once you are nearly ready to eat, take the meat from the sous-vide and heat the remaining oil in a pan
Pat the meat dry with kitchen paper before browning on all sides - this should take no more than 2 minutes
Put the meat to rest for 5 minutes before carving it into thick medallions
Drizzle over the sauce verte and serve the pork with a green vegetable and new potatoes
- Pre-heat the oven to 225
- Seal the seasoned pork tenderloin in a skillet with a little olive oil
- Put the skillet in the oven and roast for 15-20 minutes until the internal temperature is around 62c.
- Allow to rest for 5 minutes before carving into medallions
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