(The darker color at the bottom is probably the reason why you should bake this on a wire rack on a baking sheet, doing it in a Pyrex dish did result in the meat baking in juices/leftover crumb mixture but it still tastes really good!)So a couple weeks ago we went to a wedding and they had a Herb Crusted Pork Loin at the reception and it was wonderful so of coarse that made me go on a search for the perfect recipe to make it at home. I probably looked at 15 recipes until I found one that looked good, and boy was it good. It originally came from Cook's Illustrated so you know it has to be good coming from them! Also after tasting it, it made me think of Thanksgiving. When I told Lee that he looked at me and asked if I thought it tasted like Turkey and of coarse it doesn't but there's just something about it that reminded me of Thanksgiving. With that being said I think this would be a great alternative to a Turkey at the holidays, or if your family makes more than a Turkey then I would suggest adding this to your menu! But of coarse this would be a great meal just for the family, though this is being put on my list of meals to make when we're having company.
Herb Crusted Pork Tenderloin
3lb. Pork Tenderloin
1/4 cup Sugar
1/2 cup fresh bread crumbs
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 medium shallot, minced
4 tbsp. olive oil
2 tsp. olive oil
Ground black pepper
1/3 cup packed fresh parsley or basil leaves, minced (I didn't use fresh)
2 tbsp. minced fresh thyme leaves (I used 1tsp Ground Thyme)
1 tsp. minced fresh rosemary (I didn't use fresh)
1 large clove garlic, minced
The recipe says to score the meat but I did not do this and feel like it tasted fine w/o so do it either way you please. Dissolve 1/4 cup kosher salt and 1/4 cup sugar in 2qt of water (I used a 2qt pitcher and the meat/water fit perfectly but I did have to put the meat in over the sink because water overflowed!) and put plastic wrap over the top. Refrigerate for 1 hour.
About 15-20 minutes before your 1hr is up start mixing the herb paste and bread crumb mixture together.
Place breadcrumbs, 2T. Parmesan, shallot (I gave my shallot a quick turn in my food processor), 1T oil, 1/8t of salt and 1/8t of pepper. Using a fork, toss mixture until everything is coated with oil.
Put parsley, garlic, thyme, rosemary, 1/8t of salt, 1/8t of pepper, 6T of Parmesan, and 3T of oil in food processor and process until smooth.
Move your rack to middle/lower position and preheat oven to 325 degrees. Now take your meat out of the refrigerator and rinse meat with cold water and pat dry. Heat 2t. oil in skillet and brown all sides of meat, takes about 10 minutes. Then the recipe says to transfer meat to wire rack set in rimmed baking sheet lined with aluminum foil but I just used a Pyrex glass dish and it worked just fine! (But look at what I wrote under the pic at the top)
Cut a pocket in the tenderloin and spread 1/4 of the herb paste in it. Now close it and spread the remaining paste on the outside of it and top with bread crumb mixture. Cover with foil and bake for 60-90 minutes. (I baked mine for 90)
Remove from oven and cut in 1/2in. slices and serve.
Adapted recipe from Sugar & Spice by Celeste.