Wednesday, March 21, 2012
So here is an answer to the question, "Don't you guys actually cook anything anymore?" Well, yes, but not everything is worth telling the world about. I'm not even certain that this is, but it was pretty tasty and easy-to-make, so why not? Plus, if I'm recalling correctly, I stole the idea from Shola so here's an opportunity to link to his intriguing blog.
What we have here is a pork tenderloin wrapped in speck with a few sage leaves tucked between the pork and the speck. Speck, if you are not familiar, is sort of like a smoked version of prosciutto. I asked the friendly guy at DiBruno's to slice it as thin as possible, which turned out to be almost too thin, so you may want to ask for it to be sliced "almost" as this as possible, or bring your own sliced-meat calipers to check the thickness.
The technique here should have been to lay the speck out so it overlaps in a solid sheet, top with sage leaves, roll the (salt and pepper) seasoned tenderloin in it, then wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for an hour or two so everything sort of sets together. I did not have the requisite hour or two, so things fell apart a little bit, but the end result was still tasty.
Basically, get an oven-safe pan rocket-hot, add a little olive oil and sear the tenderloin until your house fills with smoke. Then pop it in a 425° oven for about 10-15 minutes, depending on thickness, let rest and enjoy. If you've done it right, the pork will still be a little pink in the center, and the speck will have become delightfully crisp, adding an earthier, fattier note to what can be a boring cut of pork.
Not pictured: the fig and balsamic reduction I made as a pan sauce. When your pork is resting elsewhere, add a handful of chopped dried figs and a few tablespoons of balsamic vinegar to the hot pan. Let reduce and serve over the sliced pork.