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Sous Vide Pork Tenderloin


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After my failed SV baby back ribs, I decided to try pork Tenderloin.

This time I brined it with TK's brining recipe for 24hr. I washed, dried with paper towel and vacuum pack it. It is SV at 60.5 deg C for 3 hours (from Douglas Baldwin,s article). I made a sauce with browned pork neck bone, onion and carrot. It turned out pecfectly cooked but a little salty for my taste - I probably brined it for too long. I was going to post some pictures but I failed in the down loading process.

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I found TKs (I'm presuming from Under Pressure) brine to be a bit salty for my taste. I did a pork belly last week, it wasn't horrible, but definitely on the salty side.

I usually do 62 for tenderloin.

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I think that sous vide is probably the best way to squeeze the minimal pork flavor out of this cut. As weinoo suggests, it's not a very flavorful cut, but a quick brine and then cooking it to a relatively low temperature sous vide is my preferred way of handling it as well (of course with a quick sear after cooking). I sometimes skip the brine and just salt it before bagging it up, which is a pretty good substitute for so thin a piece of meat; it doesn't take long for the salt to penetrate (though it also doesn't take long to come up to temp).

Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

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I cooked 10 pound untrimmed, skin on tenderloin and did nothing to it besides basting the skin with a simple syrup that was salted and seasoned with thyme.. It might have been the best pork dish I have ever eaten..

If your pork tenderloin is flavorless you need to get a better butcher.. There are some really wonderful pigs out there these days.. Black Pig, Peanut Fed, Mangalitsa to name a few.

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Right, right. I was talking about the loin.. But the tenderloin was hiding in there somewhere.. I have been getting some really wonderful tenderloins as well.. I feel star anise really goes well in pork brines.

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I've had a lot of delcious tenderloin. It's mild, but the flavor can be excellent. The best tenderloins have real marbling and aren't ghost-white.

Brining strikes me as the wrong approach. I don't want the mild flavor overwhelmed by salt. I want the juiciness to come from corect cooking. And this cut does not need to be tenderized.

Sous vide likely works well. I've also had good luck with the opposite approach, blasting them in a 550 degree oven. I preheat a skillet in the oven, put in the stove on maximum heat, throw in some refined oil, and lightly brown the tenderloin on three sides. Flip the the fourth side down and slip it into the oven for about 10 minutes. Pull out, let it rest, for another ten or so minutes tented. Make a pan sauce in this interrim.

The pan and oven sear the outside; the inside cooks almost entirely during the rest period. It's a small enough piece of meat that I've been able to get it medium rare almost all the way through. I find it a bit tricky ... the meat cooks fast, it's a small enough cut to make thermometers unreliable, and it's pretty easy to over or undershoot. I also find it much harder to do in an oven that won't hit 550. But if you can nail it, it's simple, quick, and tasty. Absolutely requires a good sauce.

Notes from the underbelly

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I've had a lot of delcious tenderloin. It's mild, but the flavor can be excellent. The best tenderloins have real marbling and aren't ghost-white.

Brining strikes me as the wrong approach. I don't want the mild flavor overwhelmed by salt. I want the juiciness to come from corect cooking. And this cut does not need to be tenderized.

Sous vide likely works well. I've also had good luck with the opposite approach, blasting them in a 550 degree oven. I preheat a skillet in the oven, put in the stove on maximum heat, throw in some refined oil, and lightly brown the tenderloin on three sides. Flip the the fourth side down and slip it into the oven for about 10 minutes. Pull out, let it rest, for another ten or so minutes tented. Make a pan sauce in this interrim.

The pan and oven sear the outside; the inside cooks almost entirely during the rest period. It's a small enough piece of meat that I've been able to get it medium rare almost all the way through. I find it a bit tricky ... the meat cooks fast, it's a small enough cut to make thermometers unreliable, and it's pretty easy to over or undershoot. I also find it much harder to do in an oven that won't hit 550. But if you can nail it, it's simple, quick, and tasty. Absolutely requires a good sauce.

I completely agree... also, brining only adds water and salt so that, when overcooked, it still retains some moisture - but, if cooked properly so that you don't have lots of moisture loss, you don't need the extra water - in fact the extra water is bad since it will dilute the flavor of the meat. McGee wrote about this in his Thanksgiving Turkey article a few months ago

I used to do a pork tenderloin, marinated overnight in a whole can of chipotle puree, on a very hot grill - I usually cooked it to about 135F in the middle of the thickest part... which required turning every 4-5 minutes and got my tiny NYC apartmnet kitchen really smoky... the thick middle came out tasty, but not spectacular - a nice crust with a center of medium-rare - but a good 1/4" of interior underneath the crust was overcooked... and the tail was completely overcooked throughout...

Now, I do it slightly differently - I add 2-3 T of chipotle puree to a vacuum bag, add the pork and seal.. leave in the fridge overnight... It then gets CSV at 135F (57.2C) for however long it needs depending on thickness - usually I leave it in for about an hour or so... after the hot bath, I baste it with the puree leftover in the bag and torch it until I get my crust - and it winds up being medium-rare throughout - even down to the skinny tail... there's only about 1/32" of over-cookedness underneath the crust....

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