Although they always look elaborate and showy, one of the easiest entrees to prepare is some type of roast – be it beef, lamb or pork. Right now, Safeway has pork tenderloin on special for $3.99/pound (which will save you about $2.50/pound )! If you visit the Safeway on 14th Street, you might check out the flower section while you’re there. A few days ago, they had a big box filled with bundles of daffodils still tightly closed. There were about a half dozen daffodils per $1.99 bundle. I bought a few bundles , brought them home and put them in water. By the next afternoon, they had all bloomed and 4 days later they’re still going strong!
Back to the pork. The recipe is for a 2 pound tenderloin, which would serve about 8 people all at once. If you have fewer than 8, use the leftovers to make sandwiches, a stir fry or shred to make pork enchiladas. This is a super garlicky rosemary infused interpretation. I like to pass lemon wedges at the table to squeeze on top (if you forget the lemon, a couple dashes of balsamic vinegar also works). The little addition of acid at the end really helps to brighten up the dish. A green salad on the side is nice and, in keeping with the simple theme, I would recommend serving it with a plain root vegetable mash (I’m seeing some great looking parsnips and turnips at the markets) or some type of grain.
Looking for a wine pairing? There are about a million ways you could go with this; pork is one of the most versatile foods there is in terms of wine pairing options. Personally, I rarely want to drink a white wine with dinner (just a little idiosyncrasy of mine). So I would serve this with a soft subtle red; for example an Oregon Pinot Noir or a light bodied Cotes du Rhone. Save the big leathery “power reds” for something else! If you prefer a white, go for something with a little body but not too oaky. An unoaked (aged in steel or something other than oak) Chardonnay would be nice here.
Roast Pork Tenderloin (serves 8)
6 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tablespoon fresh rosemary, minced
salt and pepper to taste
2 pounds boneless pork loin roast
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup white wine
Fresh lemon wedges
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Crush garlic with rosemary, salt and pepper, making a paste. Pierce meat with a sharp knife in several places and press the garlic paste into the openings. Rub the meat with the remaining garlic mixture and olive oil.
Place pork loin into oven, occasionally turning and basting with pan liquids. Cook until the pork is no longer pink in the center, about 2 hours. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the center should read 160 degrees . Remove roast to a platter. Heat the wine in the pan and stir to loosen browned bits of food on the bottom. Serve with pan juices and pass fresh lemon wedges at the table.