Sunday, July 11, 2010
1 to 1 1/2 lb pork tenderloin
salt and pepper
3 tablespoon butter, divided
1 tablespoon olive oil
juice of 1 large lemon
2 teaspoons each chopped parsley, oregano (fresh)
1 teaspoon lemon peel
1 tablespoon sliced green onion
salt to taste
Slice pork into medaillons about 1 inch thick and pat dry with a paper towel. Season with a bit of salt and freshly ground pepper. Heat a 14 inch skillet over medium high heat. When hot, melt 1 tablespoon butter in pan with the olive oil. When the fats are hot, sear medaillons on one side and cook for about 4 minutes. Turn meat over and sear on the other side. Cook an additional 4 minutes or until just barely pink in the center. Remove from pan and place on a warm serving platter. Allow to rest for a few minutes while preparing the pan sauce. Deglaze the pan by stirring in the lemon juice and scrapping the brown bits off the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon. Add the fresh herbs, lemon peel and green onion. Cook and stir for about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and whisk in remaining 2 tablespoons butter. If needed, add salt to taste. Pour sauce over medaillons and serve immediately. About 4 servings.
Hints: This method and sauce works well with veal or chicken as well. The meat needs to be a tender cut or the results will be tough and chewy. Use a regular pan, not a non-stick one in order to have the fond you need for the sauce. Make sure the oil in the pan is hot or the meat will not get that great brown sear it needs. The cooking time of 4 minutes per side is approximate. Don't over cook but make sure the pork is cooked through. It will depend on how hot your pan is and how thick the medaillons are. The meat will continue to cook during the resting time and the juices will set. The sauce only takes a few minutes. It can be seasoned with any herbs you like--fresh is always best but dried is OK if that is all you have. Try different combos and find your favorites. Be sure that the pan is off the heat when you whisk in the butter. You want it to melt but not separate or there will be an oily layer on top of the sauce. Doubling this recipe is tricky in that adding cool meat to a hot pan in too large an amount may cool the pan down and prevent a good sear. So do it in two batches or use two pans at a time.
I love the simplicity and fresh taste of this dish. It is fabulous for a dinner party with some friends but it is just as wonderful for a family dinner.