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Pork tenderloin is an easy cut to handle and often reasonably priced. This recipe is a good example of Boston cooking teacher Christopher Kimball’s culinary style: “bold, easy cooking from around the world,” as he puts it.
Milk Street’s Kimball brought the recipe back from Spain and gave it his usual well-tested treatment for one of his TV shows. His latest book, a big, copiously illustrated tome containing more than 500 recipes from the past six years of his shows, is called The Milk Street Cookbook (Little, Brown/Hachette, $57). The new book shows off what Kimball calls “the new home cooking” — simpler and healthier than in times gone by, a cooking tip and story with each dish, generous sections on sweet foods, pickles and drinks tucked in at the end. This book is a winner, well worth its price.
Seared pork tenderloin with smoked paprika and oregano
3 tablespoons (45 mL) olive oil
1 tablespoon (15 mL) smoked paprika
1 teaspoon (5 mL) dried oregano
½ teaspoon (2 mL) granulated sugar
2 pork tenderloins, 1¼ pounds (570 g) each, trimmed of silver skin
Kosher or coarse salt
2 tablespoons (30 mL) grapeseed or vegetable oil
1 tablespoon (15 mL) fresh, chopped oregano
In a small bowl or cup, stir together the oil, paprika, dried oregano and sugar, and set aside.
Cut the tenderloins in half along their length, stopping your knife about ¼-inch from cutting the meat all the way through. Open the tenderloins like a book and use a meat pounder or mallet to pound the meat all over to an even ¼-inch thickness. Then season the meat all over with ¼ teaspoon (1 mL) salt.
In a 12-inch cast-iron frying pan over medium-high heat, heat 1 tablespoon (15 mL) of the oil until shimmering. Place the two pieces of pork in the pan and cook without turning until golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Turn meat and cook the other side until browned, 1 to 2 minutes.
Brush some of oil-paprika mixture onto each piece, then turn the pork and brush the second sides. Transfer meat to a heated platter.
Brush with the grapeseed or vegetable oil, then brush with the remaining oil-paprika mixture. Let rest for 5 minutes.
Sprinkle with fresh, chopped oregano and serve.
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