Thankfully, the government is no longer telling us to overcook most pork. Under a revised Department of Agriculture guideline, it's now okay to cook whole cuts of pork to medium, or 145 degrees on an instant-read thermometer. The previous guideline was 160 degrees, which is still the recommendation for ground pork. Cooking to the new, lower temperature will help keep the meat moist.
I like to make a thin sauce, or jus, to serve with the sliced meat. Here I use a combination of lemon juice, chicken broth and fresh oregano to complement the oregano-and-lemon rub I use on the meat. The jus provides moisture and tang that enhance the lemon-herb flavor.
I've given directions for cooking the pork in the oven, but it's also delicious on the grill.
Make Ahead: The pork can be seasoned, wrapped and refrigerated for up to 12 hours before cooking.
Servings: 6 - 8
- For the pork
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- Zest of 1 large lemon (a loosely packed 1 tablespoon)
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 pork tenderloins, trimmed of fat and silver skin, each about 1 pound
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- For the jus
- 1 cup no-salt-added or homemade chicken broth
- Juice from 1 large lemon (2 tablespoons)
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano leaves
- 1/4 teaspoon sugar, or more to taste
- Freshly ground black pepper
For the pork: Rub together the oregano, lemon zest, pepper and salt in a small bowl. Lay the tenderloins out on a platter or large sheet of aluminum foil. Sprinkle the rub and 1 tablespoon of the oil over the tenderloins; rub the seasonings and oil over the pork to coat it evenly. Wrap or cover the tenderloins. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to 12 hours.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Heat the remaining tablespoon of oil in a roasting pan set over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, add the pork tenderloins; cook for 5 to 6 minutes, turning them every 1 to 2 minutes to evenly brown the tenderloins on all sides. Transfer the pan to the oven.
Roast for 14 to 18 minutes, until the internal temperature of the pork registers 145 degrees on an instant-read thermometer. Remove the pan from the oven; transfer the pork to a platter to rest, and cover loosely with aluminum foil.
For the jus: While the pork rests, combine the chicken broth, lemon juice, oregano, sugar, and salt and pepper to taste in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring the liquid to a boil; boil for about 8 minutes, until the liquid is reduced by half. Taste, and adjust the seasoning as needed.
Slice the pork on the diagonal; serve with the jus poured over it or passed at the table.
From Nourish columnist Stephanie Witt Sedgwick.
Tested by Stephanie Witt Sedgwick.
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