The Perfect PorkI
t’s no secret that Ina Garten, or otherwise known as “The Barefoot Contessa” is an inspiration to me. Her cookbooks are full of reliable recipes that “wow.” I found the recipe for Herbed Pork Tenderloins with Apple Chutney in her “Make it Ahead” cookbook, and what was unusual was that it wasn’t featured on Food Network, as almost all her recipes are. So I had no reviews to read, which is usually the first thing I do before committing to making a new recipe. Feeling up for the risk, I decided to go for it right out of the cookbook without a single review in mind.
The end result was that this dish turned out to be, hands down, one of, if not the best, meals I’ve ever made.
I had a small struggle deciding how perfect to try to get the prosciutto around the tenderloins, but eventually I decided that a rustic approach would do just fine. That was the most difficult part of the recipe and that just comes down to technique.
After I had the tenderloins prepared, I wrapped them in plastic and tucked them in the fridge. Then I got to work on the Apple Chutney.
The chutney came recommended by Ina to serve with this pork, and unlike the pork, there were reviews for the chutney recipe, and the reviews had me skeptical. But, when Ina says make the chutney with the pork, you make the chutney with the pork. So chutney I made. I did something I rarely do and that is deviate from the recipe. Inspired by the wise words of Alton Brown, “Raisins are always optional.” In this house, we tend to agree. So I omitted the raisins. No regrets.
Folks, let me tell you about this chutney. It-is-very-special. The ginger adds a zing to this salty, sour, sweet, spicy, savory jam. It is, without a doubt, the last chutney recipe I will ever turn to. I will be making this chutney for the rest of my culinary life. That pretty much sums up how I feel about the chutney. The recipe produced 2.5 pint size mason jars from Ina’s recipe. It stores well in the refrigerator for a couple of weeks and also freezes well.
This is a Five Star Recipe that will blow your taste buds away!
The following day I invited a friend over for Sunday dinner to test out the meal as a whole. I took the pork out of the fridge and brought it closer to room temperature and then followed the cooking instructions. I warmed the chutney slightly in a non stick sauce pan, just to take the chill off.
After the pork was cooked and rested, I used a sharp carving knife to slice on a diagonal in 1 inch – 1.5 inch slices. the The pork plates beautifully. My recommended side dish is Roasted Potatoes and/or Roasted Brussel Sprouts.
It was time to dine. We were a table of three and for the next 30 minutes all we could do was eat this dish, and talk about eating this dish. Our friend commented that we couldn’t have had a better dish out at the best restaurants in town. And my husband said it was his new favorite meal, topping his love for Slow Roasted Beef Tenderloin. And I agreed with them both.
Since that first time I have made this meal over half a dozen times and each and every time, it is simply outstanding.
This recipe for Prosciutto Wrapped Pork Tenderloins from Ina Garden is a five star recipe that is guaranteed to blow your taste buds away! The salty prosciutto pairs so well with the complex zing of the apply chutney.
- 2 pork tenderloins 2½ to 3 pounds total
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary leaves
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Good olive oil
- 10 to 12 slices prosciutto
- Apple Chutney see recipe
- 1 cup chopped yellow onion
- 2 tablespoons minced or grated fresh ginger
- 1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice 4 oranges
- ¾ cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 cup light brown sugar lightly packed
- 1 teaspoon whole mustard seeds
- ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1½ teaspoons kosher salt
- 6 Granny Smith apples peeled, cored, and ½-inch-diced
- ¾ cup raisins
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
Place the tenderloins on a sheet pan and pat them dry with paper towels. Combine the rosemary, thyme, 1 tablespoon salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper in a small bowl. Rub the tenderloins all over with 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Sprinkle all sides with the herb mixture. If there is a thinner “tail,” fold it underneath so the tenderloin is an even thickness throughout. Wrap the tenderloins completely with a single layer of prosciutto. (I place the prosciutto sideways with the ends wrapping under the tenderloins.) Tie in several places with kitchen string to hold the prosciutto and the “tail” in place.
Roast for 20 to 25 minutes, until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the middle of the end of the tenderloin reads 140 degrees for medium rare and 145 degrees for medium. Cover the tenderloins tightly with aluminum foil and allow to rest at room temperature for 15 minutes. Slice diagonally in thick slices and serve warm with the Apple Chutney.
Combine the onion, ginger, orange juice, vinegar, brown sugar, mustard seeds, red pepper flakes, and salt in a medium-size saucepan. Add the apples, adding them as you chop to keep them from turning brown. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally. Reduce the heat and simmer for 50 minutes to 1 hour, stirring occasionally, until most of the liquid has evaporated. Stir in the raisins and serve warm, at room temperature, or cold.