This dish is surprisingly elegant for a midweek meal. You might want to stash it in your cook-for-unexpected-company file. Pork tenderloin cooks fairly fast, and even faster when you whack it into thin cutlets. Serve with steamed broccolini and/or roasted potatoes.
Pan-Seared Pork Tenderloin With Tarragon
Note: Adapted from "The New Cast Iron Skillet Cookbook: 150 Fresh Ideas for America's Favorite Pan," by Ellen Brown.
• 1 lb. pork tenderloin
• Kosher salt
• Freshly ground black pepper
• 1 large shallot
• 3 garlic cloves
• 3 tbsp. unsalted butter, divided
• 4 stems tarragon
• 3/4 c. no-salt-added chicken broth
• 1/4 c. dry white wine (may substitute 2 tbsp. white wine vinegar)
• 1 tsp. sugar
• 1/2 lemon
Use a small, sharp knife to cut the silver skin and any visible fat from the tenderloin. Cut the meat into 4 equal portions. Place each one between 2 pieces of plastic wrap; pound to a thickness of 1/4-inch. Pat each piece with paper towels, then season lightly on both sides with salt and pepper.
Mince the shallot and garlic; they can be combined.
Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon butter; tilt the pan to coat it evenly. Add 2 of the pork cutlets and cook for 1 to 2 minutes on each side or until browned and cooked through. Transfer to a plate; cover loosely with aluminum foil to keep warm. Repeat with 1 tablespoon butter and the remaining 2 cutlets.
Finely chop the tarragon leaves.
Add the shallot and garlic to the skillet, stirring to coat. Cook for 1 minute, until the garlic is fragrant, then add the broth, wine and sugar. Squeeze in 1 tablespoon lemon juice, being careful not to let any seeds fall in. Increase the heat to high; stir to dislodge any browned bits and cook for 3 or 4 minutes or until the liquid has reduced by one-third.
Add any meat juices that have accumulated on the plate of cutlets. Whisk in the remaining tablespoon of butter and the tarragon; cook for 1 minute, then pour the sauce over the cutlets. Serve right away.
Nutrition information per serving:
Calories 240 Fat 13 g Sodium 130 mg
Carbohydrates 3 g Saturated fat 7 g
Protein 24 g Cholesterol 95 mg Dietary fiber 0 g