I have a personal chef client with four young children – coming up with creative dishes that will also please their “discerning” palates week after week can be challenging. Kids tend to favor pork for its mild flavor and although pork tenderloin isn’t my favorite cut (too lean! not enough fat!), it’s healthy and when made correctly, juicy and tender. Here’s my foolproof method for preparing a fast, easy & healthy weeknight dinner for my clients’ families as well as my own. Buon appetito!
Maiale al Pomodoro e Alloro (Pork with a tomato and bay leaf sauce)
Recipe by Majella Home Cooking ©
- 2 – 1.5 lb pork tenderloins, seasoned with salt and pepper on all sides
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (secret: I used a combination of oil and reserved guanciale fat that I had in the fridge from last week’s Amatriciana)
- 3 cloves of garlic, peeled and lightly crushed
- 2 bay leaves
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 1 1/2 cups tomato sauce
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 1 tablespoon butter
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. To a heavy-bottomed oven-safe stainless steel saute pan or enameled Dutch oven, add the olive oil and garlic and set over medium-high heat until shimmering. Swirl the garlic around for a minute or so until it starts to color and then add the pork tenderloins. Sear the meat for 8 minutes (2 minutes per “side” — I know they don’t really have sides, but I make 4 turns), until well browned. Add the wine and bay leaves and reduce until the wine has nearly evaporated, scraping up the brown bits at the bottom of the pan. Add the tomato sauce and chicken stock, bring to a boil and then place the pan in the oven, uncovered.
Roast in the oven for 12 minutes, turning once, halfway through the cooking time. Remove the pan from the oven and transfer the tenderloins to a carving board to rest for 10 minutes (don’t skip this step – it’s the key to juicy meat). While the meat rests, simmer the remaining sauce over medium heat and reduce until it is slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Turn off the heat and whisk in a tablespoon of butter and adjust the seasonings. After the meat has rested, carve into 1/2 inch thick slices. Transfer to a serving platter and pour the sauce over it. Buon appetito!