I have successfully ventured outside the realm of chicken and beef and prepared my first pork dish! I think it was quite successful. My new fancy meat thermometer helped a lot (scroll down for to read more about that). I also had the help of a friend, which was really fun. It was rather helpful to have an extra set of hands to help since the dish requires a fair amount of chopping and mincing.
Overall, I’d say this dish was “medium” as far as difficulty. It’s not hard, but it’s a little more complicated than just sprinkling spices on a piece of meat and putting it straight into the oven. Essentially, you roll the meat in a pile of fresh herbs; put the meat in the refrigerator for 20+ minutes; sauté all sides of the tenderloin for a few minutes; and then finish cooking it in the oven.
According to the recipe, you’re supposed to sauté the tenderloins in an oven-safe skillet and then put the skillet in the oven, but that’s a bit impractical since skillets generally aren’t made large enough to fit 2 tenderloins… as it was, we had to cut the tenderloin in half to make it fit. But it seems to work just fine to sauté all the different pieces in stages and then transfer it to a larger pan before cooking it in the oven. This also allows people who don’t have oven-safe skillets to prepare this dish.
And here’s my new meat thermometer in action! It’s so awesome! Basically, you stick the sensor into the meat before you put it into the oven and then you set either the meat type or desired temperature on the display. It will then chime when the desired temperature is reached, the same way a traditional timer would chime (as a side note, the device can also be used as a timer by moving a switch on the back side of the display… quite the useful device!).
It was SO awesome to have this device. It’s such a pain to take out the dish multiple times to check the temperature… especially since the oven and the meat both lose a little bit of heat every time you take it out to measure it. But now that’s no longer necessary! Goodbye guesswork. Not bad for a device costing less than $20.
The recipe calls for 145 degrees, which is the required internal temperature for medium rare pork. We bumped it up to 160 for medium pork, and that worked just great! The meat was still pretty tender and pink in the middle.
Great recipe! It was fun cooking pork for a change. The salsa also adds a nice addition, though I wish the mango we used was a little more ripe. But oh well.