The Facts About Pork, The Other White Meat
Did you know that the advances in the breeding and rising of pigs have resulted in a major decrease in the fat content of the meat? That's right, the overall fat and saturated fat have both been cut by about 30 percent and cholesterol by about 10 percent!
The pork loin or tenderloin is where we get the leanest and most tender pork cuts. Since they're lean, these cuts tend to dry out quickly if overcooked. There are three main parts of the loin, the blade end, which is closest to the shoulder and tends to be fatty. The sirloin end, which is closest to the rump and tends to be bony and the center portion in the middle, which is lean, tender and of course, the most expensive but well worth it! Experts have now declared that pork, 'the other white meat', has come along way and is now widely accepted as a healthy choice among the fit!
The tenderloin is a long slender piece of meat about two inches in diameter. The tenderloin is much darker in color than the other cuts of pork. The meat should be a clear light red. Pork tenderloin is considered to be something of a specialty item so, if you can't find it in your supermarket then try a butcher shop or a gourmet shop.
Years ago, cookbooks instructed readers to cook pork until it reached a scorching internal temperature of 180 degrees. Many people overcook pork because health authorities firmly recommend that it be cooked to 170 degrees to avoid any danger of trichinosis. Back then, the pork chops that landed on our plates were usually dry and leathery and we often used accompaniments such as applesauce, sauerkraut, or stuffing just to help wash them down.
Today, after more careful research food scientists now tell us that pork is safe to eat after it reaches an internal temperature of 160 degrees. At that temperature, pork can be juicy, tender, and bursting with flavor!
Pork Medallions with Balsamic-Raisin Glaze
- 1 lb. pork tenderloin, trimmed and cut crosswise into 16 medallion-size pieces
- 1 T. organic unbleached all-purpose flour
- 2 T. brown-sugar, divided
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
- Low-sodium salt to taste
- 1/4 cup raisins
- 1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
- 1 teaspoon grated orange rind
- 2 T. balsamic vinegar
- 2 T. capers
- 1 T. olive oil
- 2 T. freshly chopped parsley
- In a small bowl, combine flour, one tablespoon of brown sugar, cumin, pepper.
- Combine the remaining tablespoon of brown sugar, raisins, orange juice, orange rind, vinegar and capers in a small bowl.
- Stir until sugar is completely dissolved.
- In a large nonstick skillet heat oil over a medium-high heat.
- Cook pork for 2 minutes, turn pork over and continue cooking for another minute.
- Add vinegar mixture and cook until sauce begins to thicken and pork is thoroughly cooked, approximately 2-3 minutes.
- Spoon sauce over pork and sprinkle with fresh parsley, serves four.
Be sure to avoid overcooking the pork or it will become tough. It is safe to cook pork to 160 degrees, and it is best served when it is still deliciously juicy and slightly pink.
Pork Medallions With Balsamic-Raisin Glaze PDF (100 KB)