The pork tenderloin is cut from the loin part of the pig, specifically the full bone-in loin. As can be gleaned from its name, this is the most tender part of the pig. According to the International Meat Manual, “tenderloins may be purchased with the presence or absence of the membrane, head and side muscle.” A young hog at 6 to 7 months old usually produces the pork meat sold in markets, as defined by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Look for pork meat that has a firm, grayish pink color and a relatively small amount of fat.
The USDA recommends cooking pork at an internal temperature of 145°F with a rest time of three minutes. The rest time indicates “the amount of time the product remains at the final temperature, after it has been removed from a grill, oven, or other heat source.” When roasting pork tenderloin, roast it with an oven temperature of 425-450 °F for 20 to 30 minutes. This is for ½ to 1 ½ pounds of fresh pork tenderloin.
When broiling pork tenderloin, make sure it’s four inches from the heat. For the ½ to 1 ½ pounds of fresh pork tenderloin, broil it for 15 to 25 minutes. Always make sure that the internal temperature reads145°F with a rest time of three minutes.
When adding flavor to the pork tenderloin, consider putting it in a liquid marinade in a sealable bag overnight. Some use only garlic and olive oil as the “marinade” while others would create more elaborate concoctions ranging from barbecue flavored to Asian-style teriyaki marinades. A dry rub can also be applied, using ground herbs and spices such as dried oregano and seeds from cumin, fennel, coriander and mustard.
Like turkey, pork tenderloin can also benefit from brining, a method of soaking the meat in saltwater solution. Otherwise, you can choose to just season the pork tenderloin with salt and freshly milled peppercorns. Once you’ve seared the meat on the grill or oven, you can also apply glazes on the tenderloin made from honey, barbecue sauce, or fruit jams. Recipes in this collection include blackberry pork tenderloin and lime jalapeno and cumin pork tenderloin.
In the U.S. Midwest, crispy breaded pork tenderloin sandwiches are popular, as cited by Wikipedia. The sandwich has a thinly cut tenderloin that’s breaded and deep fried to serve as the filling. It’s said to be served with onions, pickles and mustard and nothing else. The bun used is usually hamburger bun and the cut of the meat is usually larger than the bread.