How can I salvage a delicious but dried-out pork fillet?
October 26, 2011 3:32 AM   Subscribe

How can I salvage a delicious but dried-out pork fillet? It still tasted delicious but was too dry to eat it in the way I had intended (just cooking juices with vegetables). Does anyone know of any interesting ways of using the rest of the meat? I've got about 1.5lbs left.

Yesterday, I bought a pork tenderloin and, having never cooked with this cut before, decided to look up a recipe on the internet. I'm a fairly experienced cook but was very distracted while converting temperatures and measurements and completely forgot that I had a smaller cut than in the original recipe and it would therefore need less cooking time. I realised before it got burnt but not before it had totally dried out.
posted by joboe to Food & Drink (11 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I would chop it up into small cubes and make tacos- mix with adobo, cilantro and onion. Get some good salsa, serve with heated corn tortillas ( I just hold them over the gas burner toasting both sides).
posted by catrae at 3:37 AM on October 26, 2011

I'd shred it, mix it through a creamy mustard sauce, let it soak for a while, gently reheat it and make a killer sandwich on some really nice bread (Turkish, sourdough, something like that).

For future reference: pork tenderloin lightly coated with olive oil and wrapped in foil, then baked at a moderate temperature until just cooked is melt-in-your-mouth juicy perfection.
posted by malibustacey9999 at 3:50 AM on October 26, 2011 [1 favorite]

catrae - would love to do that but should have mentioned that I'm in the UK (was using recipe from the US, hence need for conversions) and it's not easy to make decent tacos at home.

malibustacey9999 - had already dismissed the sandwiches idea as too boring but didn't think about the difference that changing up the bread would make. Good call for a quick lunch!
posted by joboe at 4:08 AM on October 26, 2011

Cool! I hope you enjoy it. (And while you're nom-nom-nomming, think of us gluten-intolerant people who can't eat decent bread. Sob.)

Oh, one more thing: if ever you bake it like I suggested, slice it on an angle across the grain for extreme tender melt-in-your-mouth deliciousness. I do that, maybe 1.5 cm thick slices, and then simmer them gently for a short time in the creamy mustard sauce. Serve, scoff, and lick the plate clean.

posted by malibustacey9999 at 4:33 AM on October 26, 2011

Slice it very thinly across the grain, marinate it in soy sauce for a few hours in the fridge, then use it in a stir-fry; just take care not to cook it too much.
posted by le morte de bea arthur at 4:47 AM on October 26, 2011

Shred it (like on a grater) and scramble it with some eggs, onions, and hot peppers. If it were beef, this would be machacado.
posted by skbw at 6:06 AM on October 26, 2011

We use leftover pork tenderloin for fried rice. Just chop, fry with onions, garlic, cooked rice and whatever veggies are sitting around. Add soy sauce liberally. At the last minute, add a beaten egg. So yummy.
posted by Malla at 6:12 AM on October 26, 2011

Make empanadas! For the dough, melt three tbsp butter into 1/2 cup cold water in a saucepan, then mix in flour until you get slightly flaky but not sticky dough. Shred the pork and mix it with an onion, a couple of cloves of garlic, a few olives and raisins, a little cumin, oregano and chili powder, and a boiled egg, all chopped fine. Separate the dough into several balls, roll them out to make casings, and fill. Brush with beaten egg, and bake at 400ÂșC for about 20 mins.

Or pot pies:
posted by jlibera at 8:10 AM on October 26, 2011

What Malla said, and I also recommend letting it marinate in equal parts soy sauce an OJ for ten minutes before you cook it.
posted by Straw Cab at 9:35 AM on October 26, 2011

You'll never be able to 're-hydrate' it. Generally anything that involves shredding or cutting into small bits and mixing will turn out great. Tacos, fried rice and the other suggestions on this page were probably invented as creative ways to use up otherwise unpalatable meat.

For reference; meat that cooks in liquid and ends up tough is not actually 'dried out', there is a water soluble gelatin within meat that makes it so wonderfully moist and tender. As meat cooks in a liquid, this gelatin gets soaked up by the surrounding water.

It's non intuitive that cooking meat in a large amount of liquid will result in drier meat.
posted by kzin602 at 1:36 PM on October 26, 2011 [1 favorite]

Thanks everyone. After checking out the cupboards, I decided to go for the fried rice option with veggies, soy sauce and chilli. Delicious!
posted by joboe at 2:17 PM on October 27, 2011

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