In Rick Bayless's Salsas That Cook, there is a Sunday dinner worthy recipe for roast pork loin simmered in a tomatillo salsa and white bean sauce. The flavors are a revelation; the meaty pork loin, spicy tomatillo salsa, and creamy white beans are a brilliant combination.
I love that recipe, but I never make it anymore. My adapted version is this quick weeknight recipe. Instead of long-cooking pork loin, I use pork tenderloin. The tomatillo salsa and white beans make a quick pan sauce, and the whole thing finishes in the oven.
When I'm prepared, and my freezer is stocked, this is a homemade recipe. I'll have homemade tomatillo salsa and beans in the freezer. When my stock of homemade ingredients is dwindling, canned beans and store bought tomatillo salsa* come to the rescue. Either way, this is a remarkably easy recipe - brown the pork, dump the can of salsa and the drained beans, heat through, and it is ready to eat.
*My preference is for Rick's Frontera Tomatillo Salsa, out of loyalty to the original recipe.
Looking for a weeknight Mexican recipe, one with a different flavor profile than the usual taco night? Give this recipe a try.
Recipe: Pork Tenderloin with Tomatillo Salsa and White Beans
Inspired By: Rick Bayless, Salsas That Cook
- 12 inch fry pan with oven-safe handle (or a wide dutch oven)
- 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
- 2 pork tenderloins, roughly 1 pound each
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt (½ teaspoon table salt)
- 2 cups tomatillo salsa (homemade or 16oz of good store bought salsa)
- 2 cups white beans, drained and rinsed (homemade or 15 oz canned)
1. Sear the tenderloins: Set the oven to 400F. Heat the teaspoon of oil in the fry pan over medium-high heat. While the pan is heating, pat the tenderloins dry with paper towels, trim the silver skin out (optional) and sprinkle with the salt. When the oil in the pan is shimmering, add the tenderloins to the pan. Sear for 3 minutes, until the first side is well browned. Rotate the tenderloin by a third, sear for another 3 minutes, rotate it by another third, and sear for a final 3 minutes. Remove the tenderloins to a plate.
I treat tenderloins like they have three "sides"; their shape is more triangular than round.
2. Deglaze the pan: Add the tomatillo salsa and beans to the pan and stir, scraping the browned bits of pork from the bottom of the pan. Once the salsa and beans are simmering add the pork back into the pan, submerging it in the sauce as much as possible.
3. Roast the pork: Move the pan to the oven. (Be careful, it will be heavy.) Roast in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes, until it has an internal temperature of 140F in its thickest part.
Optional: Cook the pork on the stove top. Instead of moving the pork into the oven, reduce the heat to a simmer and put a lid on the pan. Cook on the stove top, turning the pork occasionally, until 140*F in its thickest part.
4. Slice and serve: Remove the pan from the oven. (Again, be careful; now the pan is both heavy and very hot.) Remove the pork to a cutting board, and let rest for 5 minutes. Pour the tomatillo and bean sauce onto a serving platter. Slice the pork crosswise into ½" thick slices, and serve on top of the tomatillos and beans.
*Spice rubbed pork: When salting the pork, add ½ teaspoon of chili powder and ½ teaspoon of ground cumin.
*Different salsa and beans: Use your favorites: Chipotle salsa and black beans are particularly good.
*Serve with white rice, tortillas (or tortilla chips), and a green salad.
*Rick's Salsas that Cook taught me that Mexican salsa is not just for dipping tortilla chips - the different varieties of sauce can completely change the flavor profile of a recipe.
What do you think? Questions? Other ideas? Leave them in the comments section below.
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