Frugal vs expensive… Where do u fall in the debate? As an individual, do u like spending a lot? I for sure do at things that matter to me. Food is the most important thing in my life, and I can’t imagine my life without this one thing. I don’t care about the clothes I wear, or the non-existent art in me for make-up. Though I enjoy breaking into an occasional hymn, but don’t particularly care if it is woofer sound or not. For me, indulgence in the luxury of food is all that matters. I care very deeply about my lunches, breakfasts, dinners and snacks, eating out or in and have many different options in a meal. I meticulously plan what I will eat each day. Many times I have the tug of war where ‘want’ triumphs over ‘should’; which unmistakably results in the gain of these stubborn pounds.
So I spend pretty much all my hard earned money on good luxurious eats and drinks. Sri Lanka visit meant for me Lankan sweet cinnamon and delicate nori take pots and cups. The expensive Switzerland was made special by the cheaper than water, wine and freshly cured and flavorful cold cuts. And don’t assume that I am just a high flying traveler spending money only in other’s economy. A trip to the mountains up over Delhi meant I travelled back with Burance ka ras and Dehraduni saunf wale rusk. A trip of my friend’s to far north east meant jars of lip smackingly hot bhut jhalokia pickle. And the list just goes on…
But till date one of my most awesome buys has been this little bottle of Japanese pure malt. The smoothness of its taste with that background of fruity flowery note is just awesome. I bought a couple more different types of nikka whiskies but undoubtedly this one takes my heart. Such a pure perfect drink, needed something ground breakingly awesome to eat along. But cooking while drinking this beauty meant I needed something simpler to make and my dry rubbed pork tenderloin was the perfect choice. Minimum cooking but timed to perfection is the secret behind cooking pork perfectly. Tenderloin is a healthy cut of pork, belonging to the thigh section of the animal. It has minimum fats and yet the meat doesn’t get dry too easily. Overcooking it is difficult, but not entirely impossible so I prefer using meat thermometers to gauge the temperature of the meat correctly.
This is less of a recipe, but more of a technique that I have mastered in. It’s easy, and really simple to follow. It includes very few ingredients and is still one of the best dinners you can ever make. For the tenderloin, you would need to follow these steps-
Step 1- Defrosting the meat correctly.
Allow the pork tenderloin to come up to the room temperature slowly and steadily. Don’t involve the easy methods of defrosting through the microwave oven. If you forgot to put the meat out for the adequate time, then keep on the microwave defrosting option to the lowest settings, and keep turning the meat at an interval of 30 seconds. Separate the pieces out in each interval to make sure 1 or more spots are not getting heated up.
Step 2- Cooking
Preheat your oven to 190 degrees c. Season the pork on all sides with salt and pepper, and bring a large frying up to high temperature on the stove top.
Coat the pan with olive oil, and lay the tenderloin down in the pan. Allow it to sear on that side for 2 - 3 minutes or until browned, without moving or touching the meat. Turn it 180 degrees to sear on the other side, again until browned and again not touching the meat much. Rotate the pork again, to sear the other two sides, following the same technique.
Move the whole pork tenderloin into the oven, and allow it to roast until you read an internal temperature of 60 to 70 degree c. That should take between 5 - 10 minutes.
Step 3 – Cutting and Serving it!
Remove the pork from the oven, and place it on a cutting board to rest for 5 - 6 minutes, untouched. Now you can slice into it, and you’ll find the center, perfectly cooked, just slightly pink, and full of the natural juices. Resting the meat ensures these natural juices are in abundance, which helps keep the meat moist and flavourful.
A simple gravy can be made to accompany the meat, during the resting time.
Step 4 – Gravy
Put a sliced onion in the pan that had the tenderloin, and while stirring constantly; wait till the onion slices turn translucent.
Now deglaze the pan with a bit of red wine. If you fancy chilly, add it now! If you fancy roasted garlic, add it now.
Once the alcohol from the wine evaporates, add in a splash of water and bring it to an enthusiastic simmer.
Switch off the gas and put in a couple of nobs of butter to get a glazy flavourful sauce. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
Super fast, super festive and super delicious. Cheers!!