I’ve made pork tenderloin before many times, but it was always hard to tell when it got done, and whether it would be juicy or a log of shoe leather by the end. I also could never seem to get a nice crust on the outside. So finally I decided to get down to learning how to do it right. The recipe I used tonight came from Julia and Jacques Cooking at Home, which is a sizable compendium of classic French recipes generously annotated by both Julia Child and Jacques Pepin. The recipe is simply called Sautéed Pork Filet or Tenderloin. It was pretty standard, following your classic “sear, bake, and make sauce” procedure. However this time around I made sure to follow the recipe to the letter. And when I deviated, I noted what went differently, why, and how I fixed it. As a result I think tonight’s pork tenderloin was the best I’ve ever made.
I learned a bunch of things in the process, so I shall write them down here in case you too might find them useful. What follows is my version of the recipe, adopted from and even more thoroughly annotated than J&J’s version (if such a thing were possible).