Roasted Pork Tenderloin with Whole Garlic and Rosemary
Yield: 4 servings
- 2 lean boneless pork tenderloins (about 8 ounces each)
- ground coriander to taste
- freshly ground pepper to taste
- vegetable seasoning to taste (or season lightly with salt and freshly ground pepper)
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, or more as needed
- 2 whole elephant garlic bulbs (or use 3 bulbs regular garlic), cloves separated, thin skin left on
- 4 to 6 large fresh rosemary sprigs, or 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
- 4 fresh thyme sprigs, or 3/4 teaspoon dried
- 2 to 4 bay leaves
Preheat the oven to 350° F. Trim off any fat from the pork. In a small bowl combine the coriander, pepper, and vegetable seasoning (or salt and pepper) to taste; rub this mixture onto all sides of the pork.
Cut 2 large squares of aluminum foil for each tenderloin; make 2 stacks of 2 layers each. Rub the top layer of foil with a thin film of olive oil; then rub remaining oil over the pork and heads of garlic. Place the pork on the foil, scatter the garlic cloves around and next to it, and sprinkle the herbs on top. Fold both layers of foil over; crimp the edges to seal, leaving some room for the steam that will build up in the packets as they bake.
Place the packets on a baking sheet. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, remove the meat from the oven, and insert an instant-read thermometer through the foil and into the thickest part of the pork loin. The internal temperature should read 150° F. (If it does not, return the packets to the oven to bake slightly longer.) Let the packets stand for 10 minutes; the internal temperature should rise to 160° F.
Open the foil packets and cut off the root ends of the garlic cloves. Cut the pork into 1/4-inch slices and arrange on warm plates, scattering the garlic cloves over and around the pork. As you eat the pork, the garlic can be squeezed from its skin with a knife, forming a mild, creamy puree to be eaten as an accompaniment. Serve the pork with braised mashed celeriac and beet greens if desired.