The key to succulent, juicy pork like you get at restaurants is not to overcook it. Most people do. They recently lowered the FDA accepted temperature for pork to 145 degrees, which means it stays juicy and slightly pink. This makes the meat so unctuous and tender, you won’t miss red meat. Invest in a meat thermometer if you don’t have one; they’re cheap and take the guesswork out of cooking meat.
Add a wonderful spice rub and some sort of fruit, and I’ll be really happy. A delicious, cheesy smear of polenta under the medallions completes it and makes it the best pork you’ve ever had. My dad always made pork tenderloin stuffed with dried apricots and prunes. Definitely one of my favorites, and a great way to do it in the fall.
Seared Pork Tenderloin with Grapes
1 pork tenderloin
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon cloves
1 teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon salt
1 cup grapes, red or green
1 cup white, red or white
Combine the cocoa and spices together and rub all over the pork. You can let it rest for 20 minutes or go ahead and start searing. Sear all sides in an oven-safe pan in a couple tablespoons of olive oil, making sure to brown all sides. Add the grapes and deglaze the pan with the wine.
Move to a 375 degree oven for about 10-15 minutes, or until it’s about 145-155 degrees in the fattest part. It will continue to cook as it rests. Slice medallions against the grain and serve with the sauce.