Friday, August 20, 2010

Hickory Pork Tenderloin

My favorite cut of pork (or meat, for that matter) is pork tenderloin. Boneless, lean, and adaptable to any of the dozens of great recipes I can think of, this meat has a light, subtle flavor that plays well with many of the spices, sauces, marinades, and condiments I can think of. It doesn't hurt that this meat is often found for under $1.50 lb. and looks absolutely elegant when you're entertaining guests for dinner. This can meat can be as simple as a thin sliced sandwich meat, hearty slices can be topped with sauces or gravies, and looks bold enough to be served in a holiday meal.

Here, I'm taking some of my favorite smoky flavors, tossing them together in a dry rub, and I'm faking out the BBQ experience by roasting it to develop the flavors. When you don't have time, conducive weather, or the energy to grill - this entree will fool everyone. If you want to complete the grilled look, pop this meat on your grill pan on high for a 5-6 minutes per side before transferring it to an over-safe dish to bake.

3.5 lb. - 4 lb. pork tenderloin half ($4.39)
3 1/2 tsp. cumin ($.10)
1 tsp. garlic powder ($.05)
1 tsp. onion powder ($.05)
1/2 tsp. season salt ($.05)
1 1/2 tsp. hickory smoked salt ($.15)
1 tsp. smoked paprika ($.05)
1/2 T. oregano ($.05)
1 T. brown sugar ($.05)
1/2 tsp. ancho chile powder ($.05)
cooking spray

Combine all ingredients except tenderloin and cooking spray, mix well.

Rub mixture directly onto tenderloin.
Spray a baking dish with cooking spray, bake uncovered at 350 for 1 hour 45 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 165.

Let meat rest 15 minutes before slicing.

Slice thin using a meat slicer for amazing deli meat. Freeze in 1/2 to 1 lb. packages and pull them out when you want to.

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