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Salt-Roasted Pork Tenderloin

By Chef John Ash

Roasting in salt creates an even temperature and results in juicy meat, fish or fowl. It’s simple to do, but Chef Ash recommends having an instant-read thermometer to monitor the internal temperature of the meat. Serve with the Sonoma-Cutrer Vine Hill Pinot Noir for something special.

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    Serves 6

    Total Time 1 hour

    Prep Time 20 minutes

    Difficulty Level Medium


    2 tbsp snipped rosemary leaves (Pork Tenderloin)

    6 c coarse salt (Pork Tenderloin)

    3 tbsp vegetable oil (Pork Tenderloin)

    2 pork tenderloins, 1-1/4 pound each (trimmed) (Pork Tenderloin)

    1 lb fingerling potatoes (unpeeled) (Pork Tenderloin)

    1 tbsp butter (room temperature) (Pork Tenderloin)

    1 tsp minced shallots (Pork Tenderloin)

    2 c coarsely chopped parsley (Salsa Verde)

    1/2 c chopped fresh basil or mint (Salsa Verde)

    4 anchovy filets in oil (Salsa Verde)

    2 tbsp drained capers (Salsa Verde)

    2 tbsp blanched garlic (Salsa Verde)

    1 tbsp finely grated lemon zest (Salsa Verde)

    2/3 c extra virgin olive oil (Salsa Verde)

    Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste (Salsa Verde)


    1. For the pork: Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Combine the rosemary and the salt in a large mixing bowl and stir in 1-1/4 cups of water until the texture is that of gritty snow. In a large skillet, heat the oil until the surface ripples. Pat the pork tenderloin dry with paper towels, season with pepper and sear it in the hot oil until it is browned on all sides, about 8 minutes.

    2. For the pork: While the pork is browning, spoon a layer of salt about one-fourth-inch thick in the bottom of a gratin or baking dish just big enough to hold the tenderloins and the potatoes in a single layer. When the pork is browned, pat it dry with a paper towel to remove any excess oil and place it in the gratin dish, laying it down the center. Arrange the potatoes around the outside and cover

    3. For the pork: Roast until the pork reaches an internal temperature of 145 degrees, about 25 to 30 minutes. At this point, the pork will be quite moist but still a little pink. If you prefer the pork to be more cooked, push the temperature to 150, about 5 more minutes. Remove the baking dish from the oven and set aside 5 minutes to finish cooking.

    4. For the pork: With a sturdy metal spoon or chef's knife, chip a crack around the base of the salt crust and carefully lift off the top. Use a dry pastry brush to brush away any salt on the surface of the potatoes and the pork, turning the pork over to brush all sides. Transfer the pork to a carving board.

    5. For the pork: Slice the pork into medallions one-quarter inch thick and arrange on a serving platter. Place the potatoes in a medium bowl and toss with the shallots and butter just until coated, discarding any excess butter. Arrange the potatoes around the outside of the pork and serve immediately with the salsa verde to spoon over.

    6. For the salsa: Add the parsley, anchovies, capers, garlic, basil and zest to a food processor or blender. With machine running, slowly add the oil until just blended. Sauce should still have a little texture. Season with salt and pepper. Can be stored covered and refrigerated for up to 2 days.

    7. For the salsa: To poach garlic, separate cloves but don’t peel. Place in a small saucepan and cover with at least 1/2 inch of cold water. Place on stove over high heat and bring to a boil. As soon as the water boils, drain and repeat the process one more time. Rinse to cool off cloves. Remove husk from poached garlic and store covered in refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

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