Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Tenderloin "in Crosta"

The inspiration for this dish came to me by way of David Lebovitz, who writes about a dish made for him in Italy called Filetto in Crosta(scroll down). I will tell you up front that you have to start this process a day or two ahead of time, BUT, once you have made the herb rub it is pretty much idiot proof.

Tenderloin "in Crosta"
serves 3-4

for the herb garlic rub:

small handfull fresh rosemary leaves
slightly larger hadfull fresh sage leaves
zest of one lemon (this is my addition, I recommend it)
4-5 cloves garlic
small handfull sea salt

Chop all ingredients together until very, very fine--I actually grated the zest and garlic on a microplane and combined it with everything else. Spread out on a large dinner plate and leave out until dry--1 or 2 days. Once dry, you can store this for a week or two in a tightly sealed jar. Lebovitz recommends this for any number of purposes, including mixing it with olive oil and using it as a dipping sauce for bread. Oh, yum.

for the tenderloin:

one smallish pork tenderloin
1 french batard (like a fatter baguette)
herb garlic rub
olive oil

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Heat some olive oil in a skillet over high heat and sear the pork quickly on all sides. Transfer to a plate. Slice the batard lengthwise and drizzle each half generously with some olive oil. Sprinkle with the herb garlic rub--be careful to not use too much or the bread will be too salty. Sandwich the browned tenderloin between the two slices and wrap tightly with aluminum foil. Cook directly on the oven rack for about an hour and fifteen minutes (the meat should reach 160 degrees and still be pink in the center. Yes, it is done enough). Remove from oven and let sit, wrapped in foil, for 5 minutes. Slice and serve.

We had this with some seared asparagus and the mushroom soup I wrote about below. I highly recommend eating it like this: a small bit of the crunchy, herb-infused bread, stabbed with a bit of pork, and dunked in the mushroom soup. Please, try this, I beg you. The meat turns out so tender and flavorful, and the bread maintains its crunch, with so little effort on your part. Enjoy!

Edited to add: I've submitted this to Weekend Herb Blogging over at Kalyn's Kitchen. You should check out her site for tons of great herb recipe ideas!


Stephanie said...

Hi there!

I found your blog via the Web Sorceress...I'm in Knoxville, too!

Skeezix said...

I'm not a huge fan of pork but this looks absolutely divine.

Kalyn said...

I agree, this looks just wonderful. Love you addition of the lemon.

Marianne said...

Thanks, all! This one is worth trying, for sure. The pork turns out to be so tender, it's almost like eating a filet mignon. Very good.