25 February 2009

Green Herb-encrusted Pork with Green Beans

This isn't really quite so true to the colour coded food idea, but I didn't really like any of the options from the book and so I decided to do my own thing following the general idea. So roasted herb-encrusted pork tenderloin with crunchy, spicy green beans and rice.

I've made this pork recipe several times, though I tend to use pork loin chops rather than tenderloin, but I'm glad I tried it this way instead of my usual. I found a method online for cooking tenderloin that I'm a little scared is unsafe but produced the best pork I think I've ever made.

The method, basically, is this: preheat the oven to 500F. Place a 1lb tenderloin (previously marinated or covered with a dry rub) in a roasting pan, then bake at 500F for five and a half minutes. Turn off the oven heat and let the pork sit for 1 hour in the hot oven without opening the door during that time. The meat, at the end of the cooking time looks pretty much like it does in my picture - a touch pink, very juicy, but with an internal temperature of ~160.

So I stuck a thermometer in it before I put it in the oven and it passed 180F within the first 15 minutes (after the initial 5.5 minutes) after which point I turned off the thermometer until just before I took it out of the oven, when it was 165F. When I cut into it, it was juicier than any cooked meat has a right to be and more tender. Honestly, the most flavourful pork I've ever made.

Clearly it hasn't made me sick, but I do still feel nervous about how cooked it was. The temperature was right, but it just seems... odd, I guess, to cook it that way. And I do have a terror of under-cooking meat. I don't want to make myself or anyone else sick. I don't know. Thoughts on the safety of this?

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