Grilled Pork Tenderloin with Marsala Cream Sauce

Posted by johngl

Those who’ve read the previous breaded tenderloin post know that I had some leftover tenderloin parts that needed to get used up right quick.  I did that.

I thought about calling this post Fun with your Tender Loins. I didn’t follow through with that.

Grilled Pork Tenderloin with CousCous topped with a Marsala Cream Sauce
Grilled Pork Tenderloin Medallions with Marsala Cream Sauce and Cous Cous

This is one of my old stand-by recipes that is really easy to prepare.

First, select your pig.  I prefer Berkshire pork.  They’re pretty easy to spot and look a bit like this:

Don’t take them from the Fairgrounds. People don’t like it if you try that.

Not feeling the love for going out and hunting down the pig farmer?  Well, okay, but that is pretty damn lazy of you. These animals give their piggish lives so you can eat well. Everyone should know at least one pig personally (office mates don’t count) at least once in each sorry excuse for a lifetime. Pork flesh doesn’t just magically appear in the grocery meat markets.

Taking a few shortcuts, we wind up here:

pretty porky

These are tenderloins. There are two per pig, one on each side of the backbone. It is very tender; hence, their name.

Seasonings?  Well, I use salt and pepper pretty liberally before grilling. Like an hour before grilling. You may wish to apply some salt to the loins the night before. This is sort of like brining only it’s done without water.

Grilling involves the usual charcoal fired, uhh, fire. It also involves getting some nice grill marks on your tenderloin.

nice grill marks

I normally sear these for 2 minutes per side (assume four sides), then move them to a cooler part of the grill to finish out to a medium rare.

Don’t even talk to me about tricky noses (trichinosis). There are about 12 people per year that get this parasitic infestation in the United States (1997-2001). Your odds of getting it are about the same as winning a lottery. You can’t win if you don’t play.

Tent the tenderloins with some foil to 1) allow it to rest and 2) give you some time to make a kick ass sauce and hydrate the couscous.

Start with about a quarter cup of heavy cream (if you are serving only two people). To this add some chopped fresh oregano and basil. I threw in a little marjoram and a tiny bit of thyme, just cuz I have it growing outside on the back porch.

fresh chopped herbs and cream♦

Now just heat this up to a simmer and let the herbs steep for a while. Turn the heat down if the cream foams up too much.  Add a pinch of salt and white pepper, too. Oh, and add about an ounce of Marsala (a fortified wine).

For the couscous, we simply hydrated it with beef stock, then mixed some Parmesan cheese (not the kind in the green can).

Back to the simmering sauce.

I grabbed about a half stick of cold butter and cut it into smaller pats. Taking the hot cream off the stove, I slowly dropped in a pat or two of butter and allowed it to melt and mix in with the cream. This process is called mounting the sauce. If it gets too hot, the sauce will separate into component fats and liquid. This is bad. Don’t do it.

Put the sauce back on really low heat and warm it up a bit. Do not allow it to come to even a simmer.

Cut the meat on bias (or not). I will leave that up to you. Spoon up some couscous on a plate and arrange your protein around it, beside it, or on top of it. Ladle on some sauce.

arrange as you like

I’m not sure which I liked more, this stuff or the breaded tenderloin. Either way, your taste buds will be happy.


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About johngl

A bit of a wildman, John hails from the Midwest: A land of corn, cows, pigs, and a host of other healthfully meaty pursuits. Born on a dark and stormy night in late Fall, John grew up as the son of a meat cutter. There was always plenty of meat at hand. While not wealthy by any stretch of the imagination, his family certainly ate well. According to his father, that was the whole point.