Need a new idea for pork tenderloin? That pork tenderloin that is such a lean piece of meat which doesn’t have all that much flavor to start or to end with, but is redeemed if it’s baked to a deep pink and served with a nice sauce?
What you’ll need to make this pork dish is a whole lotta mushrooms. About a pound, give or take. One of the really interesting things Phillis Carey did during the class where this was prepared, was show us 2 piles of mushrooms – one was shiitake and one button. They were approximately equal size – the piles – but one weighed half as much as the other. If you’ve ever picked up shiitakes and considered their weight, well, they’re quite light. Since they’re so darned expensive it’s really helpful that you use half as much weight of them as the button mushrooms. The shiitakes not only add flavor, but a very different texture to this sauce, so do seek them out.
The pork tenderloin must be trimmed well – of any visible fat. Well, not every speck, but at least remove as much as possible. And most often the tenderloins have a layer of silverskin on one side and end which should be removed. Not only is it tough and not really edible, but it’s presence means the pork won’t pick up any particular flavoring. Even though you may brown it, that caramelization (Maillard effect) won’t be effective if silverskin is in the way. So do take the time with a small and very sharp paring knife and cut away that silverskin.
If you slide the knife point underneath an edge of the silverskin (near a rounded or pointed end), you can begin to grab the silverskin with your other hand and continue sliding the knife under, pulling and slicing, trying to stay as close to the surface as possible. You will remove some of the meat, but not much.
Once it’s trimmed and ready, put it on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Or use a Silpat if you have one. Once you put the tenderloin in the oven you’re about 25 minutes from being ready to slice and serve the meat, so have the sauce ingredients all prepped before you start. Don’t start cleaning mushrooms after you’ve put the meat in the oven, okay? And do have the rest of your dinner all ready to go – the pork will need to rest for a few minutes, but it will hold the heat and re-absorb all those good juices.
Meanwhile, whip up the sauce. Clean the mushrooms – I keep hearing some experts say that mushrooms don’t absorb much, if any, water if you wash them. Phillis absolutely says wipe them with a paper towel – her perspective is that all mushrooms we buy at grocery stores are raised in indoor beds anyway, so all we’re wiping off is the specialized (almost fake) soil. It’s not like dirt from your backyard. And she definitely feels that mushrooms absorb liquid because she watches how much longer it takes to cook out any fluid in them. So anyway, whichever way you clean them, slice them up. Melt butter, cook the mushrooms until all that liquid has evaporated, then add wine. Chicken broth is next, the little bit of cream (well, 1/2 cup!) and bourbon.
Bourbon – well – it has a kind of earthiness to the flavor – if you’re not a fan, use brandy instead. But this sauce was really nice with bourbon, I must say. Most of the liquor is added in during the cooking, but one more T. is added at the end to give a little jolt of extra flavor.
Once the pork is ready, slice on the diagonal – take a look at the grain of the pork – it sort of curves like wrapping around on the diagonal . . . you want to slice it across that grain if possible. Serve with the sauce.
What’s GOOD: how easy this meal is to put together – and it’s very worthy of a company dinner, but easy enough for a weeknight dinner too. Loved the sauce and the heft of it. Full of flavor.
What’s NOT: really nothing at all.
printer-friendly PDF (created with Cute PDF Writer, not Adobe)
MasterCook 5+ import file – right click to save file (remember where you put it), run MC, then File|Import
* Exported from MasterCook *
Pork Tenderloin with Mushroom Bourbon Cream Sauce
Recipe By: Phillis Carey, cooking class 2013
Serving Size: 6
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 whole pork tenderloins Salt and pepper to taste
MUSHROOM BOURBON CREAM SAUCE:
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 pound shiitake mushrooms — sliced
1/4 pound button mushrooms — sliced
1/4 cup shallots — chopped
2 large garlic cloves — minced
1/2 cup dry white wine — or vermouth
1 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup bourbon — added in sauce at beginning
1 tablespoon bourbon — added in just before serving
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons flat leaf parsley — minced
1. Preheat oven to 425°. Trim pork tenderloins of all silverskin and fat and season with salt and pepper. Heat olive oil in a large skillet (do not use nonstick as you want to develop browned bits in the bottom of the pan which will help flavor the sauce) over medium high heat. Add pork and brown well on all sides, 6-8 minutes. Remove pork to a parchment-lined (or Silpat) caking sheet and roast in oven for 15-20 minutes, or until the internal temperature has reached between 140-150°. At 150° the meat will be slightly pink in the middle. At 140° it will be much pinker.
2. While pork is roasting, add butter to the pork-browning skillet and melt over medium heat. Add all mushrooms, shallots and garlic and saute until mushrooms are brown and liquid has cooked away, about 12 minutes. Add wine and boil until liquid is reduced almost to a glaze, about 4 minutes. Add chicken broth, cream and the larger quantity of bourbon and simmer sauce about 12 minutes or until it has thickened some.
3. Remove pork from oven, cover loosely with foil, and allow to stand for 5-10 minutes before slicing diagonally (across the grain) into 1/2 inch thick slices. Return mushroom sauce to a simmer, mix in parsley and small amount of bourbon. Season sauce with salt and pepper to taste. Spoon sauce over pork slices and serve immediately.
Per Serving: 349 Calories; 19g Fat (53.1% calories from fat); 20g Protein; 18g Carbohydrate; 2g Dietary Fiber; 87mg Cholesterol; 179mg Sodium.