Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Herb and Citrus Marinated Pork Loin

Fresh herbs are one of my favorite things on earth. That's why each year I grow a garden and while most of my vegetables never manage to take off, I make sure I have an excellent herb garden growing.

I used fresh lemons to get the lemon juice in this recipe, as the bottled stuff I have turned out to be expired, plus I just like the fresh stuff more. The lemon juice really permeates the meat so it has a wonderfully bright flavor after it's cooked.  I was so disappointed when I went to use my fresh rosemary and looked into my garden and saw that it was covered in snow.  I was lucky that I had a refrigerated bunch of thyme at least.  I take for granted the fact that I now live in "the south" and think that my herbs are always around.  Oh well.  I, of course, substituted dried for the fresh.  The end flavor was superb, and I can't wait to try it with fresh rosemary once the snow melts.

This recipe says to use a grill, but I wrote in a different way to cook it, so don't disregard this recipe if you don't have an outside grill to use.

Serves 2 with enough leftover for a lunch the next day.

Grated zest of 1/2 lemon
1/4 c. lemon juice (this was only one lemon for me, but mine was REALLY juicy)
just shy of 1/4 c. olive oil
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 1/2 t. fresh rosemary leaves, minced
1 t. fresh thyme leaves, minced
1 t. Dijon mustard
1 pork tenderloin (about 1 lb.)
freshly ground black pepper

Combine the lemon zest, juice, olive oil, garlic, herbs, mustard and 2 t. salt in a 1-gallon size resealable plastic bag.  Add the pork and turn to coat.  Squeeze the air out and seal the bag.  Marinate at least three hours (I marinated for 6).

If your weather is accommodating, heat your grill and brush the cooking grate with oil to prevent sticking.  Remove the pork from the marinade and discard the remaining liquid.  Season the meat with salt and pepper.  Grill, turning a few times to brown on all sides, 15 to 25 minutes, or until cooked through.  Transfer the meat to a plate and cover tightly with foil and allow to rest for 10 minutes.  Carve.

~If your weather is not grill-friendly, as mine wasn't, heat a grill pan over medium heat and brush with oil.  Follow the directions above, but you'll probably have to cook it longer than 25 minutes.  At 25 minutes, my meat measured 137 degrees, as specified in the original recipe, and I don't care if God himself told me that it was ok to eat it when it was as pink as it was, I wouldn't have done it.  I sliced the meat into medallions and threw them on a jelly-roll pan in a 350 degree oven for 5 more minutes.  So, a slight deviation from how it was supposed to be cooked, but B and I both loved the end result.

~adapted from The Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics by Ina Garten

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  1. one of my fav protein.. yummy :)

  2. Mmmmm I really like that marinade! And I love me some pork. :)

  3. I'm pretty old school when it comes to pink pork so I'd be with you on cooking it a little longer. Lovely flavours in your marinade. You just cannot beat herbs for packing a flavour punch.



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