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ISO a way to do a pork tenderloin so it ends up crispy


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We are entertaining Superbowl Sunday.  It's not nachos and wings.  Our guest is an influential colleague of my wife (who presumably does not care about football).


For the main, I am making the pork and tomatillo chili from the LA times.  However, I would like to provide a little more meat and a textural contrast.  I bought a pork tenderloin.  I'm thinking about SV followed by a hard sear to provide textural contrast.  Thoughts?


Full menu:


Komi dates (with mascarpone, EVOO, and black salt), quick broil

Artichoke nibbles


Light minestrone soup


Apple/Manchego salad


Fresh linguine with Hazan's tomato sauce


Main (LA Times pork and tomatillo chili/ rice ? pork tenderloin)


Grapefruit/Campari sorbet


Crepes Avgolemono

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Honestly soup then chili sounds redundant, as does the pork duo. Can you coat the meat with something after the SV and before the sear? Crumbs, nuts, thin slices of potato...

Edited by pastrygirl
Damn you, autocorrect! (log)
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You could cube up some prosciutto or bacon and crisp that up separately and throw it over the top of the chili (or the linguine dish that precedes it - since you have two 'soft textured' dishes in a row, that would at least add some crunch to one of them).

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I definitely see the redundancy and softness issue but I do not have complete control over the menu and I do not want to do a lot of a la minute cooking.


Thank you for the suggestions.

Edited by robie (log)
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as heidih pointed out, there's "protein crusty crunchy" and there's "sugar crisped"


I actually did something similar - it worked out well.  it is a bit of 'last minute' so it may not work in this situation.


(I'm assuming the typical tenderloin size I get in the supermarket - two strips (about 8-10 ounces each) Cryovac'd . . .

trim, etc and bring the tenderloin to room temp.

salt all sides; allow to stand at least an hour for the salt to do its thing.

lightly oil the pieces and thence directly into

a relatively dry pan ( for me = cast iron with it's usual unwashed coating of fat....) and hot pan, sear the outside to a crispy finish.

do not 'cook through' at this point.

hot = as if left more than 3-4 minutes you're moving to char....

remove from pan, attack with sharp knife, slicing it in half longways.

lightly oil the fresh cut and plunk freshly cut side down in the hot pan and put a crispy crust on it.

pay close attention to the 'tail' i.e. the thin end - you may have to hold it up off the pan to avoid overcooking it.

take the patient's temperature.  if it has not come up to +/- 145'F internal, put it on a rack in a 250'F-ish oven for a couple minutes until the internal comes up to temp. 

slice on the bias.

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You could easily brush the tenderloin with fat before you torch it - use what you have. Pork fat would perhaps be the best (bacon fat, sausage fat, even some grease from microwaving some summer sausage), but if you don't have any of those handy, Canola oil will work just fine.  I would suggest not using EVOO as it will smell like burned olive oil and not like pork.


The menu looks fine. It is varied and provides choices that appeal to folks with different tastes.

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As a follow up, I took the pork tenderloin and seasoned with salt, garlic powder, cumin, corriander, chili powder (Penzey's).  I quickly seared it on a 700 degree Weber grill just to mark and give a little flavor (meanwhile I charred tomato, onion, and japapeno).  It looked like tataki when cut into medallions.


I made a cooked salsa with the veg.  I did this well before service and refrigerated the meat.  


At the time of service, I sliced into medallions and quickly hit in very hot pan with butter, just to get to medium, similar to what AlaMoi suggested.  I served over the salsa.


It was really good.

Edited by robie
AlaMoi post credited, typos (log)
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  • 1 month later...

A bit late for this time but here is how I get a crispy "skin" on skinless chicken breast which have been SV'd. 


Mix together

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons cornstarch
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
¼ cup (½ stick) unsalted butter, melted
Thoroughly dry the cooked tenderloin. Preheat a pan, preferably cast iron, or at least one able to withstand high heat. Brush a generous coating of the mixture on the pork and quickly sear.  I have used this on boneless skinless chicken breasts for years and it works a treat.  I do not see why it would not work on pork tenderloin.  
  • Like 2

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

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