pork tenderloin, I hadn't marinated anything since college when the farthest I went was to soak some boneless, skinless chicken breasts in off-brand Italian dressing--it needed the help. Now it's a whole new world of wine and vinegar with whole garlic cloves and rosemary with added honey to make a warm salad dressing. I made the whole tenderloin for myself in my quiet kitchen on a Wednesday evening last week. The days are longer making dinner come a little later. I used up the last of some autumnal butternut squash for the salad. Things will soon be fresh peas and salad greens.
On this last winter meal, I marinated that pork overnight. The red wine dyed the flesh dark purple, permeating deep into the meat. I love this trick of using the marinade or the leftover bits of meat stuck to the bottom of the pan (called sucs, if you want to know) to make a savory sauce. There's so much bang, and it's certain to pair well with the rest of the meal. It's so nice to have this: a quiet space to have dinner in the middle of another busy quarter of life.
Warm Tenderloin Salad with Squash: serves 2 from Epicurious
1 pork tenderloin
1 cup red wine
1 teaspoon rosemary
1 garlic clove, smashed
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/4 cup red-wine vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
1/2 butternut squash, cubed
1/2 onion, julienned
Pour the wine, garlic clove and rosemary into a bag with the tenderloin. Seal and let rest for an hour or overnight. Heat a saute pan on medium with a tablespoon or so of canola oil. Reserve the marinating liquid. Season the tenderloin with salt and pepper and add it to the pan. Sear the outside of the meat and then turn the heat down to medium-low and cover. Cook until the tenderloin reaches an internal temperature of 155 degrees or is just faintly pink on the inside. Remove from heat and let rest covered with tin foil for 10 minutes before slicing. Then add the squash and onions to the saute pan and cook until softened.
In another saute pan, bring the red-wine marinade to a boil with the vinegar, honey and red pepper flakes. Reduce in volume by half. Blend with a bit of olive oil and reserve as a warm dressing.
Serve the sliced tenderloin and warm vegetables over a bed of arugula and topped with the warm dressing.