This article will show you how to cook pork loin fillets. It will discuss the pros (healthy and lean) and the cons (can easily be dry) of this piece of meat and hopefully demystify the perfect pork loin fillet.
Buy the right cut of meat. When you buy pork fillets, or loin of pork, to prepare at home, the best idea is to buy a whole pork loin from the butcher and either have him cut it into medallions for you or cut it yourself. There will probably be pre-cut pieces of pork loin medallion prepacked and wrapped in a refrigerated section near the butcher, but you have no idea how long they have been there. Pork (and pork loin, especially) is very easy to dry out while cooking, and one way to prevent against this is by having the meat butchered JUST before you prepare it. That way it won't have a chance to dry out any more than it possibly needs to. When you have the butcher slice the medallions (or when you cut them yourself) slice them from the loin at about one inch thick apiece. This should give you around eight or nine medallions, enough for four servings.
Prep and cook the meat. In a sauté pan, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium high heat, until shimmering. Another reason that pork dries out is due to how it is cooked. What you want for a small, relatively thin piece of pork like a one inch medallion is a very hot sauté pan, and a very short cook time. Salt and pepper both sides of the medallions and set them in the sauté pan, gently. Sear them over the medium high heat for three or four minutes on each side MAXIMUM. Remove to a plate and cover with foil as you continue cooking the next batch of medallions (you won't be able to cook all nine at one time). Add more oil to the pan if necessary.
Make the sauce. While the pork is resting, you will now make the sauce. With the sauté pan you used for the pork, add the port wine over medium heat, scraping the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon to deglaze. As the port comes up to a simmer, add the dried cranberries and a pinch of salt. Let the sauce simmer and reduce to about half. Plate the pork loins, in the meantime, family style on a platter for your guests to serve themselves. Just before taking the pork loin fillets to the table, finish the sauce in the pan with the butter, and stir throughout the heat. Once combined, pour the sauce over the pork loin fillets and bring to the table. Serve alongside mashed sweet potatoes and sweet and sour collard greens.
Pork, Fillet, Medallions