Trouble With Toast

Recipe: Herb-marinated loin of pork | February 4, 2009

Last weekend, fiance and puppy and I made the 1.5 hour trip north to my parents’ house in Big Canoe.  This mountain community in Pickens/Dawson county is a great place to relax and unwind, and it’s also a useful location to bring our hyperactive pitbull (as there are many, many outdoorsy ways to tire him out).  And, I’m not gonna lie, the 52-inch TV was a pretty big draw for Superbowl weekend.

Often, weekends at Big Canoe involve LOTS of drinking (no exception there), big breakfasts, and “grazing” on snacks.  But on Saturday night, we wanted to prepare a more traditional dinner.  We wanted something tasty but simple, and something that wouldn’t require too many pieces of kitchen equipment (since this is my parents’ second home, they’re not fully stocked yet).  Enter Ina Garten, the queen of easy yet elegant entertaining!

These pork tenderloins came out AMAZING.  The marinade made them citrusy without being mouth-puckering, and the olive oil allowed them to stay moist.  The herbs were noticeable but not overwhelming, and the mustard…well, we all know how much I love mustard (in fact, in the future, I will probably increase the amount of mustard in this dish, as I went a little light on it because my mom is usually not a fan).  Do NOT be afraid if the thickest part of the meat is still pink.  It will be tender and delicious, and you will not get sick.  Repeat it with me: medium rare pork is my friend!

Big Canoe may not be the Hamptons, but eating this meal in such a lovely setting sure made me feel like a Contessa.  Enjoy!

Note: Mom prepared an Ina Garten side dish, “Confetti Corn,” to go with the pork.  I’ll post the recipe and some other thoughts about it later this week.

  • Grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (4-6 lemons)
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 2 tbs minced garlic (6 cloves)
  • 1 1/2 tbs minced fresh rosemary leaves
  • 1 tbs chopped fresh thyme
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • Kosher salt
  • 2-3 pork tenderloins, 1 lb each
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Combine the lemon zest, lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, rosemary, thyme, mustard, and 2 teaspoons salt in a 1 gallon resealable plastic bag. Add the pork tenderloins and turn to coat with the marinade. Squeeze the air out of the bag. Marinate in the refrigerator for at least three hours, but preferably overnight.

When you’re ready to cook, preheat the grill and brush with oil to prevent the pork from sticking. Remove the tenderloins from the marinade and discard the marinade.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper, then grill, turning a few times to brown on all sides, for 15-20 minutes, or until the meat registers about 137 degrees at the thickest part.  Transfer the tenderloins to a platter and cover tightly with aluminum foil. Let rest for at least ten minutes.  Slice and serve.


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  1. This looks awesome. I am going to give it a try this weekend!

    Comment by Demetrius — February 4, 2009 @ 3:16 pm

  2. I am not against medium rare pork, but I prefer medium. That being said, there is nothing like a pork tenderloin, and this looks delicious.

    Comment by restaurantrefugee — February 4, 2009 @ 3:55 pm

  3. Looks delicious. I think the overnight marinade is key. Marinades are something that should really be planned ahead. Mmmmmmm

    Comment by briankainec — February 4, 2009 @ 5:01 pm

  4. Demetrius: You’ll have to come back and let me know how you liked it!

    RR: I can deal with medium pork, but I just hate it when people are so germaphobic that they kill a pig that’s already dead and make the meat dry and tough. And thanks for the compliment!

    Comment by bettyjoan — February 4, 2009 @ 5:01 pm

  5. Brian: You’re absolutely right. But, we actually only marinated this for about 3-4 hours (we were too busy drinking to plan ahead, haha), and it still came out nicely. The flavors would have had more punch if we had marinated overnight, though, so I plan to do that next time! Good intentions…

    Comment by bettyjoan — February 4, 2009 @ 5:06 pm

  6. Babe, this looks amazing. I may need to make this…son.

    Comment by Lemmonex — February 4, 2009 @ 6:49 pm

  7. I’m not a huge fan of Ina Garten (don’t hit me) but the meal looks delish. I agree with slightly pink pork, yum yum.

    Comment by Oxen Cox — February 4, 2009 @ 6:55 pm

  8. SOON…god dammit, lexa, proofread.

    Comment by Lemmonex — February 4, 2009 @ 6:55 pm

  9. Lem: I hope you do make it soon! And I totally knew what you meant. I speak typo, remember?

    OC: Oh, I love Ina! Everything I’ve ever made from her recipes has turned out great. I do wonder if she has any straight male friends.

    Comment by bettyjoan — February 4, 2009 @ 7:18 pm

  10. That looks really good!

    Comment by Jake Jackson — February 4, 2009 @ 8:16 pm

  11. Looks well-cooked.

    Comment by Barzelay — February 4, 2009 @ 11:44 pm

  12. It was well cooked Barzelay…you know Bill is king of the grill…and the prime rib!! Of course this is all due to his trusty thermometer.I think Ina is one of the best for delicious, easy to prepare, non-stuffy dishes.

    Comment by Mom — February 5, 2009 @ 12:23 am

  13. Jake: Thanks, and welcome!

    Barzelay: It was perfectly done in the middle, in my opinion. Of course the ends were not as pink, but I strategically avoided those pieces.

    Mom: It is due to his trusty thermometer, but it is also due to him FINALLY listening to me about letting the meat rest. So impatient sometimes! 😉

    Comment by bettyjoan — February 5, 2009 @ 12:51 pm

  14. Ina Garten is my hero. I have every one of her cookbooks and I have made many many of her recipes and they are all great. Her Zucchini Pancakes are to die for. I always take pork off the grill at 135 – key to success is always always use a thermometer. My husband and I like how juicy tenderloin is even leftover if you don’t overcook it. Rock on Ina!

    Comment by Amy Stillwell — February 6, 2009 @ 12:11 am

  15. Amy, I love Ina, too! I only have her most recent cookbook, but I’ve pulled her recipes off the web, and they always turn out great. And I agree that if you cook pork properly, you’ll actually WANT to eat the leftovers!

    Comment by bettyjoan — February 6, 2009 @ 2:32 pm

  16. Recipe sounds delicious but not a great fan of med rare pork. After browning,can you give me an estimated time,temp if cooked in oven. I adore Ina Garten as her recipes turn out wonderful Isabel

    Comment by ISABEL — February 16, 2010 @ 10:23 am

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