Pork is often thought of as fatty and rich. However just like with most other meats, there are also some lean cuts. The tenderloin is just that…it’s sort of the boneless chicken breast of the pig. As the most tender and lean cut of portk, it can be prepared a number of ways. My favorite is bacon wrapped and glazed in apricot jam but let’s face it…it’s summer and I still have to fit into my shorts for another month or two. So I offer this equally delish version with a Meditterasian twist. The combination of sweet cinnamon, clove and star anise pair beautifully with the earthy sage and lavender. Add some hot paprika for heat and you’ve got one delish dish.
- 1 pork tenderloin (approx 1 ½ lbs)
- 2 cups dried cous cous (I prefer whole wheat if you can find it)
- 2 cups chicken stock
- ½ small sweet onion
- 7 cloves of garlic
- 1 tbsp flat leaf parsley
- ¼ cup sundried tomatoes
- 1 tbsp Chinese five spice
- ½ tbsp dried rubbed sage
- ½ tbsp herbs de Provence
- ½ tbsp smoked or hot paprika
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- 2 tbsp EVOO
- Heat a large ovenproof skillet over medium heat. Preheat the oven to 375F
- Mince the parsley finely.
- Chop the sun-dried tomatoes coarsely. I used dried sun dried tomatoes for this recipe; they have a much sweeter and true tomato flavor but sun dried tomatoes packed in oil will work.
- Dice the onion; fairly small dice.
- Crush and mince 2 cloves of garlic. Cut the remaining cloves in half but don’t crush them; leave them whole.
- In a baking dish, add the spices, salt and pepper. Mix the spices to combine.
- Remove the silver skin and any excess fat from the tenderloin. The silver skin is that grayish skin like lining on the tenderloin. Most of the time there isn’t much because a butcher would remove most of it but it is indigestible and tough so just cut that thang off! Next poke holes in the tenderloin using your knife. Slice a piece of garlic into each of the holes making sure it’s inserted completely. This will give the meat loads of flavor and will look gorgeous when sliced.
- Roll the garlic stuffed tenderloin in the spice mixture making sure every bit of meat is covered.
- Heat the EVOO in the skillet. Sear the pork on all sides to create a crust. This should take approximately 4 – 5 minutes. Place the pan in the oven and continue cooking for another 30 minutes or until the tenderloin is cooked through. For pork, the internal temperature for pork whole cuts should be 145F. When done, remove the tenderloin from the pan and allow it to rest for 5 minutes.
- While the tenderloin is roasting, prepare the cous cous. In a large saucepan sauté the onions over medium heat until they begin to turn translucent. Add the garlic and sauté for another 2 minutes. Add the chicken stock and sundried tomatoes, cover and bring to a boil. Once the stock comes to a rolling boil, turn off the heat, add the cous cous, give it a quick stir and cover. In 5 minutes, the cous cous will absorb the liquid and become perfectly tender. It may not look like enough liquid at first but trust me…this will work. Note: If you used sundried tomatoes packed in oil, add them in with the cous cous rather than adding them to the stock.
- Add the parsley to the cous cous and using a fork or wooden spoon, fluff the mixture. Place this in a large serving platter. Slice the tenderloin into ½ inch slices and arrange them on top of the cous cous and voila! Dinner is served!
- If you’re not a fan of sun dried tomatoes, dried cranberries would be an awesome substitute in this recipe. So would dried apricots for that matter.
- For a salty creamy kick, try adding some feta or ricotta salata to the cous cous.