Saturday, April 29, 2017

Pork Tenderloin with Coffee Spiced Rub and Red Cabbage Slaw

Pork tenderloin is sometimes challenging to purchase and harder to prepare. For such a tender piece of meat you would think it would be easier.

Julian's Pork Tenderloin with Coffee Spiced Rub
on a bed of Red Cabbage Wild Rice Slaw
First, you often find packages of what in the store appears to be a single, pre-marinated, vacuum packed very large pork tenderloin. When you open the package you find you have two pork tenderloins that were packed together. I'm not sure why they package them this way, other than they appear more like a pork loin roast. The meat is often not as tender and it is sometimes rubbery from the marination inside the package. For this recipe, I recommend you get a single, fresh pork tenderloin from the butcher's meat case, not vacuum packed. This will be more fresh and tender.

Pork tenderloin with the coffee rub.
Second, when preparing pork tenderloin it can be challenging to get it cooked to the right temperature throughout. A tenderloin is by nature thicker at one then than the other. It is also quite small and overcooks easily. It is for this reason I prefer the sous vide technique which I'm using here today. This isn't required, as you can roast it in the oven, but you must use a good thermometer to make sure it is done correctly.

I found this recipe in the Sous Vide at Home cookbook by Lisa Fetterman. Highly recommended if you are doing sous vide style cooking.

Pork Tenderloin with Coffee Spiced Rub
Sous Vide Technique

(serves 2-3 adults)
1 teaspoon course salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon light brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground coffee, preferably fresh
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 (1-pound) pork tenderloin
  not more than 2 inches in diameter
1 tablespoon canola or vegetable oil

Preheat the sous vide water to 60C or 140F degrees for a medium pink doneness.

In a small bowl stir together the first set of ingredients (from salt to cayenne pepper) to make a rub. Rub the dry mixure onto the pork coating it evenly. Drizzle with the oil spreading it all over the tenderloin. Place the pork in a gallon sized zip locked bag and remove the air. When the water reaches the set temperature, lower the bag into the bottom of the water and cook for 1 hour. While the pork is cooking make the slaw below.

When the pork is ready remove the bag from the water bath and transfer it to a tray. Discard any cooking liquid and the bag. Gently pat the tenderloin dry with a paper towel. Heat a heavy skillet (cast iron preferred) over medium-high heat. When it is hot, add the pork and sear on all sides about minute per side until well browned, about 4-5 minutes in all.

Transfer to a cutting board and let rest for 3-4 minutes before carving. Place the warm pieces of cut pork tenderloin on top of a bed of the slaw below.

Red Cabbage Slaw

1/2 small head red cabbage, shredded
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon ground caraway or dill
1 shallot, thinly sliced
1/4 cup chopped dried cranberries
salt and fresh pepper, to taste
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 package Seeds of Change Brown & Red Rice
    or 1 cup cooked wild rice

Heat the rice according to package directions or until it is warmed through. In a large bowl, add the shredded cabbage and toss with the lemon juice, caraway/dill, shallot, cranberries and salt/pepper. Let sit for 5-10 minutes tossing occasionally. Add the oil and the rice and toss to combine.  Plate with pork tenderloin on top.

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