Posted by JohnGL
I was all comfy in my bed, the idiot box tuned to H2, a channel specifically designed to prep one’s brain for sleepy-time. Hearing Peter Weller’s voice, I thought I was dreaming. The lid of one of my freshly-diagnosed astigmatic and presbyopic eyes opened a bit; this wasn’t showing 5342 of RoboCop or Buckaroo Bonsai, Weller was standing on the side of what he said was a dam in Egypt built thousands of years ago. At least that is what I thought he said. No water — liquid, frozen, or vapor — was within miles of this Martian landscape.
I would have killed to have Weller as a history instructor in college.
Interrupting my thoughts of higher education, my Samsung Galaxy S3 issued a soft ting ting, the “Temple Bell” ringtone that indicates I have a text message. I look at my phone in utter disbelief:
Cooked a pork tenderloin tonight, marinated for an hour and a half, very well cooked (white but juicy), but it seemed like the flavor didn’t take, and it was kinda bland. Used an Ina Garten recipe, but just didn’t get the deep flavor like you got. Thoughts on where I might have gone wrong?
“Where did you go wrong? Where do I start? And why do you feel you need this information at 11:10pm on a Sunday night?” I ask myself rhetorically. “What am I, the food emergency hotline?”
Even at this hour, or perhaps because of the hour, In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida runs through my sleepy head. It happens every time I hear the words Ina Garten. Weller, unabated, continued his monologue about Menes and the 49 foot tall dam he built around Memphis.
Ina Garten’s gotta dam in Memphis, bay-bee. Why not 50 feet? Helluva dam, regardless.
Enough of the bedtime stories.
This, dear reader (I assume there is only one of you at this point), is a properly cooked pork tenderloin. It isn’t white. It’s pink-ish.
How does it get this way?
Well, a Big Green Egg (BGE) helps. A lot.
I start the BGE with a 50/50 mix of competition briquettes and natural lump charcoal, dumping and spreading the coals after about 15 minutes. Closing the lid, I tune the vents so the Egg is at 215°F.
After scraping the grill surface, I apply the pork tenderloins and forget about them for about a half hour.
Let’s back up a few steps.
Preparing the pork tenderloins properly leads to that “deep flavor” to which that late-night texter alluded.
The flavoring started about 24 hours earlier when, after removing the silver skin and some errant sinew, the tenderloins got a good dose of kosher salt. That’s it. No kidding.
Getting that out of the way makes me feel much better.
I put those pork tenderloins back in the fridge until about an hour before they were to hit the Big Green Egg. At that time, I added a touch more salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Wandering back to the Egg, all that we do is flip those tenderloins and walk away for another half hour.
If you are going to do a side dish, now’s the time.
This one is Pork Tenderloin with Quinoa, Sauce Marsala, and finished with Hawaiian salt.
This is Big Green Egg Pork Tenderloin with cheesy pasta. Below is the same dish with a cream sauce over the pork.
And below, one of my most favorite dishes…
Sliced pork tenderloin, corkscrew pasta, smothered with a cream and butter sauce infused with Parmesan cheese, garlic, basil, and oregano.
And, if you’re truly inspired, a stove-top pork tenderloin paella:
The socarrat was perfect.
11:15pm: Trying my ribs again tomorrow, do they need a day, too? Some people boil them for ten minutes before they marinade them. Do you do that?
Read the f’ing blog [St. Louis Style Ribs] and your [rib] cooking problems shall go away.
Ina Garten indeed, ah baby!