Monday, December 27, 2010

Pork Tenderloin "Diablo" – The Devil is in the Details

This roasted pork recipe is the first meat dish I remember learning in culinary school. It was demonstrated by a German chef at the Hotel Saranac, and when I asked why it was called "Diablo," he said because that means "devil." Um, thanks. 

Eventually I learned that "Diablo," referred to the old-school culinary terminology for something spicy being, "deviled." Back then entrée's had names. Dishes like Beef Wellington, Clams Casino, Steak Diane, Lobster Thermidor, and this Pork Diablo, would be proudly displayed across menus in bold font, followed by the chef's brief description.

Nowadays, naming a dish just isn't as fashionable, so all we get is the description, and a lot of it. Maybe we're compensating for no longer giving the recipe an official title, but these descriptions tend to go on forever, and give way more detail than necessary, including what farm the Brussels sprouts came from, and at what angle the pork will be sliced.

One of these days I fully expect to see, "rosemary sprig was picked left-handed, by a guy named Pete." I hope I don't sound too curmudgeonly, but I kind of prefer the way we used to do it. There was a bit more formality to it, and just the right amount of mystery. Today's menu descriptions don't leave anything to the imagination. [Insert burlesque analogy here].

Regardless of how you choose to communicate it on your menu, this is a great pork recipe. Mustard is a classic with pork, but when you add the extra zing of horseradish and cayenne, and then smooth it out with a little cream and butter, well, it's devilishly delicious.

As I mentioned in the video, the great thing about pork tenderloin is it's one of those versatile cuts of meat that's fancy enough for a New Year's Eve dinner party, but also works equally well as a simple and quick weeknight meal. 

By the way, if you've watched our older pork tenderloin videos, you'll notice I used to cook the meat to a higher internal temperature. Since all the old cookbooks say to cook pork to 185 degrees F., I felt like a real renegade only cooking it to 165. Now, I'm a believer that somewhere closer to 145 is perfect.

And by "perfect," I mean juicy, flavorful, and able to be cut with a fork, and you'll see in the final climactic scene. I hope you give this Pork "Diablo" recipe a try soon. Enjoy!


Ingredients: (make 2-3 portions)
1 pork tenderloin, trimmed
salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 tablespoon extra hot horseradish
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons cream
1 teaspoon fresh chives
1 tablespoon cold butter

View the complete recipe

38 comments:

Rita said...

chef, you don't know how many meals you had served in our house. of course, hubby enjoys it a lot! this would be one of the added recipe in my collection. thanks so much!

scallywag said...

every meal has a story behind, if you think about it... it's pretty incredible

Yard Sales Kingdom said...

Chef John:
Do you let it rest first before taking the internal temperature? I worry if I stick a thermometer into the meat when it comes out from the oven, all the juice will run out and the meat becomes dry.

Sabrina Modelle said...

Wow, I thought I was pretty over pork after so many leftovers from my roast pork leg this Thanksgiving, but now I find myself tired of leftover roast beef from Christmas and dying to try your Pork Alla Diabla.
Love it!

Angie said...

Thanks for sharing another great recipe! You make it seem so easy and simple. You're just such a great teacher!

Could ask you a question about your pan? I always notice the shallow stainless steel pan you use very often, like in this recipe. Would you please tell me where I can buy the same one or something similar? Thanks!

Chef John said...

YSK, you have to take the temp before it rests, or you won't know to take it out. That's a big myth. Of course a few drops come out, but if cooked properly you'll never know.

Angie, not sure of the brand. it was a wedding gift, and is a super expensive french copper bottomed pan. You would have to search for copper/stainless steel pans.

Tim said...

Hey Chef John,
great recipie as always !

Some people say that we need to season the meat with black pepper after the cooking process so it wont burn, others say that some flavors only appear when cooked with fat because lipophilic .

What would you say ?

Cheers
Peter

Chef John said...

It's very fashionable to bash cooking with black pepper, but there are two different effects; when it's seared, like for a pepper steak, and when it's added raw, like on a Caesar salad. Why not use both ways depending on what you're eating? Why do people think they have to pick "the best way?" Why not do both? Or neither?

Angie said...

Thanks for your answer, Chef John. Wow, wedding gift! Next year's Christmas gift for myself is a pan like this. My goal is now to find a similar one and use it for the rest of my life :)

If I could ask you one more question... how do you clean it to maintain such a nice surface quality of the pan for years? Thanks for your time, as always.

Chef John said...

Just use soap and water. These SS pans are super easy to clean. Enjoy!!

Tobias said...

Is it just me or did someone else ponder uppon the fact that when Chef John poured in the cream, the cream almost looked like the devil as it formed the horns on either side of the mustard and raddish?
:D

Amanda said...

Hello Chef John!

I just got home from work, and I am super excited to try this recipe! It loks great - I love a good pork tenderloin recipe. I'm going to the butcher when it opens this morning to have for dinner. Thanks :)

Krister said...

Hey Chef John!

Just had to leave a comment on this video, -a question regarding your use of horseradish.

I've been working as a chef for three years now, and during the last few months we've been serving a horseradish-sauce at my restaurant. Our head-chef has always been very strickt on not bringing this sauce up to the point of boiling, as that would neutralise the flavour of the horseradish. In this video though, you definately bring the sauce to a boil with the horseradish in it.

Have you any argument for doing it this way? -In that case, I'd love to serve them up at the restaurant!:-p

We do use fresh horseradish, and grind it ourselves, but I don't know if it makes a difference.

Anyways, I thoroughly enjoy your blog, and have been reading it for several years already. Keep up the good work!

The Insightful Cook said...

I agree about the changing patterns in naming dishes. Someone ought to stop these dastardly trend setters!

- Thomas
http://memoirsofacook.blogspot.com/

Chef John said...

your chef is right! especially with fresh horseradish, and not so much the jarred. But the heat in this sauce comes mostly from the cayenne and so it's ok if the horseradish mellows a little. You can add at the end if you want, but it may then be too much of that flavor for some. Thanks!

Steelersgirl9999 said...

that sauce was amazing..i just found your site about 2 weeks ago and have already made 6 of your recipes :-)

Tristan said...

Thanks Chef John!
I made this recipe with a group of friends. We had the tenderloin, homemade caesar salad, fried potatoes with cheddar cheese, and baked garlic bread.

Here is a photo of the pork
http://image.bayimg.com/madpnaadj.jpg

Chef John said...

Looks great! I hope you got rave reviews! Thanks!

HomeChef said...

I want to make this dish for 4 of us on Saturday. Do you think I need to double the recipe for the sauce to ensure there is enough or is there enough in your measurements? Thanks!

Chef John said...

I would, you can never have too much sauce :)

HomeChef said...

That's what I think too! Thank you!!! :)

Angela said...

Hey Chef John!

I'm so excited to try this recipe on the weekend. I was just wondering what you served with it. Are those just a mish-mash of delightfully roasted veggies? Thanks!!

Chef John said...

Those were roasted brussels sprouts, but it goes with anything!

Chris said...

Wow thanks Chef John, this was amazing. I ended up pulling an idiot move and absent mindedly picked up the 375 degree pan while I was making the sauce, but overnight the burn seems to be going away. The name Diablo fits in more ways than expected! The end result acted as a WONDERFUL pain reliever, no joke.

Aquaria said...

It's just my husband and me now, so I made this with plain old boneless pork chops. Incredible! Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Chef John,

I don't have a pan I can just put in the oven. Would it still be good if I just took it out of the pan n put it in a casserole dish to cook?

Anonymous said...

Chef John,
Made this last night...awesome! I do need to learn that when a pan comes out of the oven the handle stays HOT - ouch! Thanks so much for the example, hubby loves this one!
Jan

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much Chef ! This was the most juicy, awesome, tasty, fantastic pork recipe I've had yet!

Cooking is one indispensable skill!

Anonymous said...

I love your all recipe!!! My husband love s it!!! Now he calls me litlle chef....(^_^)
By the way, we live hier in Germany and there's no horseradisch here..is there any replacement for this??? Thanx a lot!!! Geil!!!!

Chef John said...

None in Germany!? Are you sure? I've seen it in German recipes before, so must go by another name. Ask some german chefs! :)

MinnieManiac said...

I would like to serve this for Christmas dinner next week. There are 15 of us. Can I transfer the meat to a pre-heated roasting pan or would it be better to brown on both sides first? Can I deglaze a roasting pan and pour into a saucepan to finish the sauce? I don't cook for a crowd very often so any advice is appreciated.

Chef John said...

Yes! I'd brown on both sides first and deglaze as you said. it will be fine!

Wofl said...

Horseradish is called Meerrettich in Germany, and I am very sure that you can get it at most stores. You could also use "Löwensenf", which is a brand of mustard already mixed with horseradish for this recipe.

Francine Lizotte said...

OMG! It was so delicious! What a lovely dish; easy, fast and very yummy in the tummy! BTW, if you need any help with "French translation" or any "French BS", let me know I sure can help you... I'm French (wink). Thank you for those absolutely amazing recipes. My husband and I just love your site, videos and above all your personality & sense of humor. All the best to you both John & Michelle

Eirik Dahl said...

Man i really love your site! i use it all the time!
But you should clean up your "sauces" page. it should be sauces alone on there, not recipes that are part sauce.
Best x-mas greetings form your no. 1 norwegian fan!

Eirik Dahl said...

Man i really love your site! i use it all the time!
But you should clean up your "sauces" page. it should be sauces alone on there, not recipes that are part sauce.
Best x-mas greetings form your no. 1 norwegian fan!

GypsyLayla said...

We usually BBQ our pork tenderloins. But since the meat is so dry, even taking it off the grill when it hits 145 isn't enough to make up for the dryness. So I went hunting for a recipe with a nice sauce. Then I narrowed the type of sauce to a mustard sauce after reading about how well mustard and pork pair. Then I came to this recipe. My husband loves horseradish, mustard and spicy. And he's really good at searing meat and making pan sauces. So this recipe had the ADDED bonus of being one my husband would excel at making.

He made it tonight and oh my goodness this was DELICIOUS. We doubled the sauce as we both love pan sauces and I bought some fabulous fresh baked crusty bread for dipping in the sauce.

I think next time we'll do saute some spinach with garlic for a side dish to pair with it. But this is not going in the monthly recipe rotation!

THANK YOU CHEF.

GypsyLayla said...

We usually BBQ our pork tenderloins. But since the meat is so dry, even taking it off the grill when it hits 145 isn't enough to make up for the dryness. So I went hunting for a recipe with a nice sauce. Then I narrowed the type of sauce to a mustard sauce after reading about how well mustard and pork pair. Then I came to this recipe. My husband loves horseradish, mustard and spicy. And he's really good at searing meat and making pan sauces. So this recipe had the ADDED bonus of being one my husband would excel at making.

He made it tonight and oh my goodness this was DELICIOUS. We doubled the sauce as we both love pan sauces and I bought some fabulous fresh baked crusty bread for dipping in the sauce.

I think next time we'll do saute some spinach with garlic for a side dish to pair with it. But this is not going in the monthly recipe rotation!

THANK YOU CHEF.