Pork Tenderloin Is a Lean Mean Protein Machine
Pork tenderloin has the basically the fat content of boneless, skinless chicken breast. This is an excellent characteristic, as pork tenderloin, when perfectly cooked, has more flavor than a boneless skinless chicken breast. It has little saturated fat when compared to other cuts and to red meat, and is loaded with thiamine, which helps the body make energy. Its high protein content helps to build muscle, and to fight off hunger pangs.
It is a versatile cut, and can be pounded flat for cutlets, can be roasted for a sophisticated dinner, or grilled at a BBQ.
The learning curve for pork, or any meat that is very lean, revolves around reaching the right internal temperature, and not overcooking it. Brining or marinating pork tenderloin can help retain moisture and keep it from overcooking for a little while longer, but the easiest way to know when it is cooked is by using a meat thermometer. When it just barely reaches 160 degrees fahrenheit, it is done. It should be allowed to rest for a few minutes before slicing.
Brining involves making a salt water solution, with or without brown sugar and herbs, fruit, or spices, and marinating the meat for a few hours or overnight. This can be done on a Sunday night for Tuesday's dinner, and so this is a great technique to use for menu planning for a truly quick preparation. Similarly, marinating drives salt and fat into the meat, giving just a bit of leeway and usually a big punch of flavor to the meat in the process.
I call brining or marinating in advance a way to prep for a quick evening meal with pork tenderloin, or boneless skinless chicken breast, because these meats should be cooked quickly and do not benefit from low and slow applications. A whole pork tenderloin cooks in 15 -20 minutes on a hot grill.
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