Like chicken breasts, pork tenderloins are a proverbial blank canvas. They’re easy to prepare, meld with any number of flavors; but the cut is lean and dries out if over cooked, so how do you keep them interesting?
First: generously season the tenderloins with fresh herbs and Holy Garlic, our unabashedly robust seasoning. Second, wrap the tenderloins in paper thin slices of prosciutto (or serrano ham). The cured pork insulates the meat from the heat, and bastes it with a deeper smoky nuance. Note that you’ll want to refrigerate the wrapped loins for at least 30 minutes before cooking (this helps the prosciutto meld to the pork). After that, the cook process shouldn’t take more than 25-30 minutes.
Once you pull the cooked tenderloins, the grill roaster or skillet will be handily coated in rendered pork fat, so have your favorite vegetables (say, green beans and cherry tomatoes) prepped and ready to pour into the sweltering surface to round out the meal. The sliced pork is delicious served over bitter greens like arugula or watercress that have been tossed in a lemony vinaigrette.
Prosciutto-Wrapped Pork Tenderloin
Makes 6 to 8 servings
- 2 pork tenderloins (about 2½ 3 pounds total)
- Olive oil, for drizzling
- 2 tablespoons Holy Garlic seasoning
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped rosemary
- 1½ tablespoons finely chopped thyme
- 12-14 slices prosciutto
- Arugula for serving, if desired
Rinse the pork tenderloins and pat dry with paper towels. Place the loins on a rimmed baking sheet or in a baking dish and drizzle with enough olive oil to lightly coat. Combine the Holy Garlic, rosemary, and thyme in a bowl. Sprinkle the seasoning and herbs over the pork, and use your fingers to evenly coat all sides of the loins.
Place two sheets of plastic on a cutting board. Carefully place 7 sheets of prosciutto on the plastic wrap, overlapping the sheets by ½ inch. Place a loin horizontally in the middle of the slices; if there’s a thinner “tail” tuck it under to create an even thickness. Use the plastic to help you fold and wrap the prosciutto over the pork. No worries if the slices don’t totally encase the pork, though you can use an additional slice to cover a partially open seam. Repeat with the second loin, and then chill the tenderloins for at least 30 minutes (or up to 8 hours in advance); this will allow the seasoning to develop and help the prosciutto meld to the pork.
When you’re ready to cook, remove the tenderloins from the fridge. Prepare your grill for two-zone cooking and build a medium-high fire. Clean and oil the grill grates. When the coals are glowing red and covered with a fine gray ash, place your grill roaster or cast iron skillet over direct heat and allow it to heat for 10 minutes.
When the grill has an internal temperature of 375-400 and you’re ready to cook, oil the grill roaster. Use two tongs to carefully transfer the pork to the grill, doing your best to keep the prosciutto intact. Close the grill, vent the grill for smoking, and cook the pork for 5 minutes (the temp will drop down to 350, which is perfect). Using a towel or oven mitt, rotate the grill roaster or skillet 180 degrees and use two tongs to flip the tenderloins. Close the grill, cook for another 5 minutes and repeat the process, flipping and rotating the tenderloins every 5 minutes, until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the middle of the tenderloin reads 140 degrees F for medium-rare and 145 degrees F for medium.
Remove the pork from heat, cover the tenderloins with aluminum foil, and allow them to rest at room temperature for 15 minutes. Slice the loins in thick slices and serve warm, atop an arugula salad tossed in a lemony vinaigrette (and drizzled with any juices), and/or with roasted potatoes or your favorite vegetables.
Grill-side banter provided by food writer, cookbook author and grilling enthusiast, Paula Disbrowe.
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