Admittedly, some dinners are more difficult to get together during the week than others. For me, it’s really tough to find the time for meals with tons of ingredients and prep work. But sometimes, with a little forethought and advance work, you can whip up a quick but delicious entree that just makes it seem like you took a long time getting it ready.
I think this pork tenderloin marinade soy sauce combo fits exactly that mold, the super easy but pretty quick entree that tastes like it took twice as long to cook than it actually did!
Food For Thought
As I have discussed before, in another pork related post, there are some people who believe it is important to either cure pork, or marinade it, before consuming. The theory goes that eating straight up pork, that has not been traditionally prepared, induces an inflammatory reaction in your body. This theory has been tested by looking at blood samples after eating both traditionally and conventionally prepared pork dishes, so I kinda believe there’s something to it.
Since I’m really not into curing meats in my house, that really just leaves me with one alternative… I guess I’ll be marinating from now on, at least when I remember to! So what to marinade with? In my house, there is really only one alternative, at least as far as my son is concerned, soy sauce!
I know, I’ve spent all sorts of time reading, and talking, about how awful soy is and how it robs our bodies of so many different nutrients. But again, as is the case with so many different nutrients, modern soy is a very different product than traditionally prepared soy, and some items are simply better than others. The best way to consume any soy, is in a traditionally prepared format, such as tamari, shoyu and fermented tofu, not the modern stuff sold in most stores today! That means that unfermented soy sauce, unfermented tofu, soy milk, soy beans, or any other packaged “food items” containing isolated soy protein should probably be avoided, like fake meat made out of soybeans. And that goes double for any cooking oils made out of soybeans.
So now I’ve made myself feel ok with using soy sauce, how about a fat to use in my marinade? As much as I like coconut oil, it really doesn’t make any sense in this application, the coconut oil would simply freeze up in the fridge while the pork was marinading. I really need a liquid fat, and the only one I use in any quantity any more is olive oil, which I love, and have no problem with.
Everything else comes together pretty easily. A few tablespoons of Dijon mustard work well for a little extra depth of flavor, plus mustard has a reputation as an emulsifier, so it should help hold your marinade together and not let your oil and soy break up into separate components after mixing. Next, I added a bit of honey, locally sourced of course, for just a little sweetness, and just because I love honey. Finally, a few pressed cloves of garlic, no special reason, just because. You can’t go wrong with garlic.
1 1/2 to 2 lbs pork tenderloin
1/2 cup fermented soy sauce, shoyu or tamari
1/2 cup olive oil
2-3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2-3 tablespoons honey
2-3 cloves of minced or pressed garlic
cooking oil or lard
- Clean the excess fat and silver skin off of the pork tenderloins.
- Add the remaining ingredients to a large bowl, and whisk to thoroughly combine.
- Pour the marinade over the pork tenderloins in a covered dish or a large sealable plastic bag, like a Ziploc.
- Place in your refrigerator for at least 4 hours if possible, and all day if possible.
- About 90 minutes before you want to eat, remove the pork from your fridge and preheat your oven to 400.
- About one hour before you want to eat, heat oven-proof pan over medium heat on your stove for 3-5 minutes.
- When pan is hot, coat bottom of pan with cooking oil or lard.
- Add pork to hot pan and sear what will eventually be the top of the tenderloin when you present it.
- After a few minutes, when you get a good sear, turn pork tenderloin over, insert oven proof thermometer if desired, and place entire pan into preheated oven.
- You’ll need to decide what temperature you want to cook your pork up to, but for me, I remove the tenderloins when I hit 130-135 on my thermometer.
- Place pork on cutting board to rest before slicing.
- If making a pan sauce, now would be the time to add your chicken stock and other flavorings to the pan, reduce by half, turn the heat off and then finish with a bit of butter and serve over sliced pork.