Sunday, April 24, 2011

Pan-roasted pork tenderloin (p. 503) and Herb pan sauce (p. 547)

Josh and I couldn't find a ham on sale for Easter (our preferred holiday dish) so we bought what I thought at the time was a pork tenderloin. And (this is extremely embarrassing as someone in the meat industry like myself) it was not a pork tenderloin, it was just cut to resemble one. I should have payed more attention (although, in my defense, Josh actually is the one who picked up and put it in the cart).

I decided to make Pan-roasted pork tenderloin (p. 503) and I made sure to make it in a non-nonstick pan so I would have pan drippings. I seasoned my pork "tenderloin", adding it to a skillet with butter and olive oil. I seared it on all sides and then lowered the heat to cook it.

I realized at this point (while the outside was overcooking and the inside was still raw) that because my pork "tenderloin" was not actually a tenderloin, it wasn't the correct size so I split it for more even cooking:

An easy method for tenderloin preparation, it would undoubtedly have been better with a real tenderloin.

The best part was that the tenderloin gave me terrific drippings for Herb pan sauce (p. 547). I added shallots to the pot and cooked them until softened. At that point I added chicken stock and stirred and scraped to get the browned bits up:

I added Dijon mustard, Cognac, and bay leaves and kept stirring until the gravy was slightly thickened. I added heavy cream and cooked until the gravy was reduced by half:

Stirred in parsley:

And was done!

I love gravy. I love all sauces. I always forget about delicious gravy. This gravy was shallot-y, and pork-y, and all things great. It was incredibly easy, too, and you could leave out the heavy cream if you didn't want those extra, super tasty calories. Until recently I've been afraid to make my own gravy because it seemed difficult (you always hear stories about lumpy gravy) but it really isn't. Try it if you haven't!

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