Saturday, October 15, 2005

Pork Tenderloin Wrapped in Sage and Proscuitto

Holy smoke, what a great dish. I found it on Epicurious and it sounded like a great thing to do with a pork tenderloin, one of my favorite cuts of meat but admittedly flavorless without a fair amount of help. Lay out some very thin proscuitto slices, five or six for a good-sized tenderloin. Then add fresh sage, maybe eight or nine leaves, depending on your taste for sage. You could use whole leaves, which tends to concentrate the lovely sage taste into specific areas, but next time, I'll I roughly chop up the sage and sprinkle it evenly over the proscuitto. I've never used dried, but I'm sure it would be fine in a pinch. Pat the tenderloin dry, then rub some pepper (no salt) over the the meat. Place the meat on top of the sage/proscuitto, tucking in the skinny end, then wrap the proscuitto around the tenderloin.

Move it, seam side down, to a small roasting pan. I haven't used a rack yet, but I'll try it next time. The fat in the proscuitto renders during roasting, and I think the tenderloin stews a bit too much sitting right on the floor of the roasting pan. Anyway, roast the tenderloin in a 425-degree oven until the meat is about 140-145 degrees internally, depending on your taste for pork doneness. Let the meat sit for ten minutes, and the internal temperature will rise a few degrees. Overcooking a tenderloin is such a waste, so I am always cautious with temperature.

While the roast is resting, add some vermouth or dry white wine to the roasting pan and deglaze it, letting all the brown bits and the fat and the wine combine for a nice sauce. Add any liquids that have accumulated under the meat to the roasting pan. Slice the roast, being very careful not to disturb the wrapping, then tranfer it to a serving platter and pour the pan juices over the tenderloin and serve, to rave reviews.

A few notes - I won't salt the tenderloin because I've found the proscuitto adds more than enough salt. And that's another thing - don't get carried away with the proscuitto. Too much will make it too salty.

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