Monday, March 2, 2009

Stay away from the pork tenderloin!

FAIL.

That's about all I can say right now.

I guess I was a little overconfident with the recipes I have tried from the new Jacques Pepin cookbook. There is a pork loin recipe in there. And it looks pretty tasty.

And I saw him do it on PBS over the weekend.

I could do this, right??

WRONG!

I don't have a good history with pork loin. For some reason, pork loin recipes NEVER seem to work for me. Apparently my kitchen turns into something odd within time and space and the laws of heat + food never, never work out right.

It started out easily an innocently enough.

Shallots into a pan to start the filling...



Add in some spinach....



I thought butchering the pork loin was going to be the hardest thing. At least I got to see it on TV... he does this odd, tri-cut thing to flatten out the pork loin.

You start with one cut, about 1/3 of the tenderloin down....




Deep breath. Ok, well, I didn't totally hack that up...

Second cut, other side, about 1/3 of the way down....



That one was a little more hacked. Ooops.

Flattened it out with the meat mallet a little...



I thought I did a not-too-horrible of a job. I was almost ready to pat myself on the back with a raw, porky hand when. (Don't worry, I didn't.... I washed my hands. Many times. Cooking blogging involves a LOT of handwashing when you don't have someone else to take the pictures)

Half the spinach mixture, down the middle.



The recipe says to use cheddar, but for some reason while I was thinking out the recipe during the day, I figured it had to use anything BUT cheddar, since I figured the flavor was going to be too strong. I ended up using some swiss and some munster, since I had to use it up.

Some slices of cheese....



Rest of the spinach....



One thing that I found really interesting about this recipe was that it actually used strips of foil to hold the rolled pork into place. I never seem to have kitchen twine. I even tried to find some this weekend, but couldn't find any (I know... I probably should have just asked for some at the meat counter. I didn't. I'm an idiot).

My foil strips...



Pay no attention to the grimy sheet pan under the foil!! There is a reason I always use foil when I use a sheet pan....

My bound up little pork loin....



Time to brown it up....



Oh, and while I was trying to salt & pepper the outside, I ran out of peppercorns in my grinder. I knew I had that jar of already ground pepper, but it meant navigating the dreaded spice cabinet....



No room at that inn. I did manage to find it, and thank heavens it was not on the top, since I am not a tall person and I can only reach the front of that shelf on my tippy-toes.

I threw the pork loin in the oven to finish. The recipe says 10 minutes. I did 20, to be extra, super-dooper, extra extra sure.

Took it out, let it rest, and took my baked potatoes out of the oven.



In the pan you cooked the pork loin in, you're supposed to cook some tomatoes. I actually do this all the time, so I figured there wasn't going to be ANY way I could mess this up.

Ha.

Tomatoes in the pan, with the pan sizzling away but the tomatoes not bursting....


I went to cut into the pork loin and was expecting it to be a little pink... I know pork can be served slightly pink (as much as the hubby doesn't believe me) and I like it that way. I was not prepared for what I saw when I sliced.




Uhhh... that's more than a little pink. That's RAW.

The hubby had his leftover Chinese food from yesterday, I threw some turkey into a pita and called it a day.

So what have we learned today, kids?

If I ever say "C'mon over for dinner, I'm making a pork loin" to you, you're likely going to want to bring something of your own along if you expect on actually eating.

Maybe something like a properly cooked pork loin, since lord knows I ain't gonna be able to do it correctly.

Thankfully, the plan for tomorrow night's dinner is an easy one that is hard to mess up... pot roast in the slow cooker. As long as I remember to turn the thing on in the morning, we should have a tasty dinner.

6 comments:

Hairball said...

I'm sorry.

I have thrown my share of fits in the kitchen when things like that happen.

Tomorrow will be better!

Rosie Hawthorne said...

When did you sneak INto MY kitchen and shoot a picture of my cabinet???

Rosie Hawthorne said...

You should invest in a programmable digital thermometer probe with remote. It's worth it.

Anonymous said...

You could've nuked it for a couple minutes, it would have been fine.

Anonymous said...

Why didn't you just throw it back in the oven for heaven's sake?!

MrsVJW said...

I've had two programmable digital thermometers. For some odd reason, both died the same death by falling into hot duck fat. I figured I was cursed.

Dinner was already 20 minutes late and I figured it'd be another 20 minutes before the pork would be done, and the cheese and spinach would all have oozed out... just not worth the effort. I did nuke the pork after I scarped out the filling and threw those scarps out to the waiting animals.