Pork Tenderloin and Broccoli Rabe

Recently I made a pork tenderloin and broccoli rabe for dinner.  Super easy and takes just 45-60 mins to cook the tenderloin.  Minimal preparation required.  First, select a pork tenderloin from your local grocers. They come packaged as a single or a pair.  I avoid the preseasoned ones, as they don’t taste as good, and it’s simple to throw together a few spices, some lemon juice and olive oil.  Remember to line your baking sheet with foil for quick cleanup!  Now if you are making gravy after roasting the tenderloin, you don’t want to line the pan because you would need the browned bits stuck to the pan.  Start by drizzling a little olive oil over the meat.  DO NOT puncture meat with a fork, despite what you read about meat preparation, as all the juices and moisture drains out over the course of the cooking.

Next we are going to make a spice mixture and rub all over the oiled tenderloin.  I mix ½ tsp. Salt, ¼ tsp. Pepper, ½ tsp cumin, ½ tsp garlic powder, ½ tsp paprika, ½ tsp chili powder together.   Mix these together well and you will need more if a larger pork tenderloin than this.  I believe this one was right around a lb. 

Mix together the spices well and rub over the top and sides of the loin.

Finally, squeeze a little fresh lemon juice over the top.  Bake in the oven (non convection) at 400 for the first 20-30 minutes, then lower temp to 350 degrees for the remainder of the time.  This took about 45 minutes.  A meat thermometer really helps here, and you want the internal temp of the tenderloin to be at 155-160 degrees.   Allow this to rest for a few minutes before serving; it should be tender and easily sliced.

Next, our vegetable.  I chose broccoli rabe which pairs nicely with pork.  This particular bunch in the grocery was fresh and bright green.You’ll see I minced a few cloves of garlic.  In one of my previous posts, I made steamed broccoli.  But I think with broccoli rabe that sauteeing with a little garlic and olive oil brings out such a nice flavor.  This broccoli rabe arrived already perfectly cut so there was nothing I had to do to prepare it.  First, sautee garlic in a little olive oil at a heat level of 3-4 , and do NOT burn it!   

Next, add the broccoli rabe and turn and try to evenly coat in the olive oil-garlic mixture.  You can experiment with adding a lid to partly steam and soften it,  as it does take awhile, up to 20-30 minutes. I like it to be browned and a touch crisp so generally do not add a lid.  You can keep it on low to medium heat, level 4/10 should suffice.

So this is the final product!  Tender, seasoned pork and crisp but tender broccoli rabe sauteed with some browned garlic.  You’ll see I added a few sauteed mushrooms on the side.  Apple compote would also pair well with this.  Salt and pepper to taste and enjoy!!

Laura L. Fitzpatrick, M.D.

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