It isn’t very often that I get to prepare a braised meat dish where the first step isn’t to dredge the meat in seasoned flour and fry said meat until brown all over in hot vegetable or olive oil. Or pat the meat all over until it is very dry, season it with salt and pepper and fry it in a small amount of oil or butter over fairly high heat. So when I find a recipe for braised meat without this step, I am naturally suspicious! After all, how in the name of all things caramelized or browned is my meat going to have any taste? Then of course, what about the sauce? How is my sauce going to have any depth of flavor without all those wonderful little browned bits in the bottom of the pan? (And really, isn’t a braised meat recipe all about the sauce?) Well fret not. This recipe is living (well not really living anymore) proof that browning and caramelizing meat is not the only way to assure extraordinary flavor in braised dishes. I can’t truly begin to describe how tender and flavorful pork is when it has been prepared this way. And the sauce, oh, it is truly out of this world. So next time you want an easy recipe for pork tenderloin that does not require marinating the meat for hours or browning it before adding the other ingredients, give this dish a try. It is quick and easy enough to prepare even on a weeknight. I know that for a fact. (I wasn’t always a retired lady of leisure you know. I too know what it is like to come home from a long day of work to a cold empty kitchen and a hungry family.) I wish I had some words of wisdom to offer you at this point which would miraculously make your life easier when it came to fixing supper after a long day. But unfortunately I paid good money to have my memories of the first hour at home after work blocked, so you will just have to figure it out for yourself. However, I have retained a couple of little hints that I can share with you. Make your dinners fairly simple, packed full of good nutrition and made with love. Love is actually the best ingredient you can ever add to any dish.
- 1 T. Dijon mustard
- ¾ tsp. dried thyme
- 1 tsp. kosher salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- 2 pork tenderloin
- 6-8 slices prosciutto
- 1 T. vegetable oil
- ¾ c. dry Riesling
- ½ c. half & half
- 2 T. chopped fresh Italian parsley
Combine mustard, thyme, salt, and pepper in a small bowl. Remove all silver skin, connective tissue, and fat from tenderloins. Dry completely with paper towels. Lay 3-4 pieces of prosciutto next to each other (long sides together) on a flat surface. Slather about a fourth of the mustard mixture on one side of a pork tenderloin. Place it mustard side down on the prosciutto. Slather another fourth of the mustard on the top and wrap the prosciutto around the pork. Repeat the process with the second tenderloin. Pour the vegetable oil in an oven proof baking pan (about the right size for the two tenderloins) and lay the tenderloins, seam side down in the pan. Pour the wine over the meat and bake uncovered in a pre-heated 350 degree oven until meat reaches an internal temperature of 145 degrees (35-45 minutes). Remove meat from pan and cover with aluminum foil for at least 15 minutes before slicing. Meanwhile add half & half to remaining meat juices and simmer while meat is resting. The sauce should thicken a bit as it is simmering, so watch carefully. After the meat has rested, slice to desired thickness and place on serving platter. Spoon sauce on meat and sprinkle with parsley. Hint: An electric knife works best when slicing the tenderloins.
Side Dish Suggestions: baked sweet potatoes and a green veggie or green salad
Wine Pairing: chilled Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc