At the risk of having some readers running away, I inform that this was made sous-vide. But, you can adapt to your favorite method of cooking without problems. I made the glaze and the pesto the day before, and started the tenderloin in the sous-vide at lunch time, for a fantastically easy dinner on a Thursday evening. As I pat myself on the back, allow me to share the recipe with you.

(adapted from Modernist Cooking Made Easy)

1 pork tenderloin (450g to 900g)
small pat of butter
2 tsp lemon juice
salt and pepper

for the Bourbon glaze:
1 cup bourbon
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup ketchup
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup apple cider
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon cayenne chile powder
1/4 teaspoon mustard powder
Salt and pepper

for the pesto:
2 cups frozen peas
1 cup packed fresh spinach
1/2 cup pecans
1/4 cup water
1/2 tsp dried mint
1/3 cup olive oil
3 tablespoons grated Parmigiano cheese
Salt and pepper

At least 3 to 6 hours before serving heat a water bath to 150°F (or your favorite temperature for this type of meat).  Salt and pepper the pork then rub the lemon juice all over it. Place the pork in a sous vide bag with the butter then use the water displacement method to close the bag. Cook the pork for 3 to 6 hours.

Make the glaze by mixing together all ingredients in a pan, and simmering for about 30 minutes, until thickened. Reserve in the fridge if made in advance.

Make the pesto by adding all ingredients up to olive oil to the bowl of a food processor. When it’s all very smooth, add the olive oil, stir the Parmigiano cheese, and season with salt and pepper.  It is better if made in advance so that the flavors have a chance to develop together.  

At dinner time, heat  your grill or the broiler in the oven.  Remove the pork from the sous vide bag and pat dry. Brush the tenderloin with the glaze and sear it on the first side for a couple of minutes. Brush the glaze on the side facing up and turn the tenderloin. Repeat several times until it is coated with the glaze, cooking about 30 to 60 seconds per turn. Remove from the heat, brush once more with the glaze, slice and serve with the pesto at room temperature.


to print the recipe, click here

Comments: The composite photo above shows how I almost pulled my left hamstring. I started “simmering” the components of the glaze, but evidently things got out of control, and I happened to catch the scene from the other side of the kitchen. Let’s say I arrived in time to prevent a huge mess, but not without some discomfort on a big muscle that was not happy with the unexpected sprint. Oh, well. It was all worth it. The glaze is pretty spectacular. And yes, I increased the heat again to catch it on camera because it was quite beautiful in its own adrenaline-inducing way. Reminded me of the lab in Brazil, when we used to throw dry ice in hot coffee. Fun times. Have you ever done that? Pretty cool, check it out here.

But, where was I? Oh, yes, our dinner. The pesto was wonderful too, but hubby preferred it warmed up, more like a pea puree of sorts. I like the contrast of cold with hot food, but I can actually enjoy it both ways. I leave the idea here, so you can decide how to serve it.  On a chilly evening, the puree idea is quite attractive.

Those familiar with sous-vide cooking might be wondering why I chose water displacement instead of vacuum sealing the bag. I’ve cooked pork tenderloin both ways, and in my opinion the vacuum sealing is too strong for this delicate type of meat. I find that it compresses the meat too much. By using the water replacement, it cooks with a perfect texture. Give it a try…

Great weeknight dinner! Pork, pea pesto, and roasted butternut squash.

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Vegetarian readers:  stick around, because the GREEN PEA PESTO IS AMAZING!

One of Phil’s favorite sandwiches is a roast beef au jus, also called a French Dip.  I had never heard of it until we started dating, and was a bit confused by the association with France, as I had never seen it while living in Paris either.  😉  It turns out that this is an American classic, created in the beginning of last century in Los Angeles, of all places!  Two restaurants claim to have “invented” the deliciously moist sandwich, and quite likely the issue will never get settled.  You can read all about it  here. I never thought of making it at home, but watching FoodTV the other day I caught a show by Rachael Ray in which she made her own version. It perked my attention, not only for the sandwich itself, but also for her choice of green pea pesto to gild the lily.  Something told me that would be a winning combo.  Plus, the fact you can prepare the meat in advance and just re-heat the slices in simmering beef broth makes it a perfect option for a quick and easy dinner after work.  If you have home-made beef broth (also known in our home as “liquid gold”), by all means use it, as it will make your sandwich very special.


(adapted from Rachael Ray’s Week in a Day TV show)

for the green pea pesto:
1 cup fresh basil leaves (about 20)
1 cup defrosted frozen green peas
1 tsp dried mint leaves
1 clove garlic, pasted (optional)
Juice of 1/2 lemon
salt and pepper to taste
olive oil for desired consistency

for the roast beef:
2 pounds beef eye of round roast
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups beef stock, home-made is best
bread of your choice for the sandwich

For the pesto: In a food processor, combine the basil, peas, mint,  lemon juice, and garlic (if using) and process until a paste forms.  Add just enough olive oil to get a spreadable consistency.  Season with salt and pepper and process to almost smooth.   Refrigerate and bring to room temperature when ready to serve.

For the beef: Bring the roast to room temperature. Sprinkle the meat with the salt, pepper and rosemary.

Heat  the oven to 475 degrees F.

Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil  in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Brown the meat evenly, 5 minutes. Transfer to the oven and roast 30-40 minutes, or until the internal temperature registers 120 degrees F on a meat thermometer.

Transfer the roast to a cutting board and cover with foil, 30 minutes. Wrap and store if not serving right away.

To serve, very thinly slice the meat. Heat the stock to warm but not boiling. Quickly dip the meat slices in the stock and place on the French bread. Top with the green pea pesto and set the bun top in place.


to print the recipe, click here

  You might be wondering how on Earth would I be turning the oven at 475 F in the height of the Kansas summer to roast the meat?  Well, let’s say I did not need to heat up the house for that. Stay tuned for my next installment of “In My Kitchen”, when the mystery will be  solved.  I loved making this meal!  Some people like to have the bread very moist with the beef broth, so you might offer a small, individual bowl with hot beef broth at the table. I prefer to just add a tablespoon or two of beef broth to the bread before assembling the sandwich.  The combination of the meat with the green pea pesto is simply fabulous!  We added a slice of cheese, did not seem to hurt at all…


I cannot give enough praise to the green pea pesto. Next day my lunch was just a few slices of the roast beef simmered in beef broth, and all the leftover pesto. All of it. I did not share.  I announced that the pesto would be consumed, so that Phil would not count with it for his dinner preparation that evening. You know, we do the “alternate cooking days thing”.  It was a perfect lunch, and in fact I would have been equally happy with just the pesto on some bread.   Wouldn’t you?


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