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Milk Street's Chris Kimball shares a fast, easy and delicious pork tenderloin recipe flavored with smoked paprika and oregano from his latest cookbook Tuesday Nights Mediterranean.
"In the Extremadura region of Spain that is home to pimenton de la Vera—or Spanish smoked paprika—we were taught that exposure to high heat blunts the spice's unique earthiness, smokiness and fruitiness. This recipe illustrates how to best preserve pimenton's unique flavors when searing is involved: the paprika is mixed with olive oil, then brushed onto butterflied and pounded pork tenderloin only after the meat has been browned in a hot skillet. Spanish smoked paprika is available in different degrees of spiciness. For this dish, if you have the choice, opt for sweet (dulce) or bittersweet (agridulce). Don't use a heavy hand when pounding the pork, which can result in tears and uneven thickness. And when pounding, work from the center of the pieces outward to the edges." –Chris
Adapted from Milk Street: Tuesday Nights Mediterranean by Christopher Kimball. Copyright © 2021 by CPK Media, LLC. Photographs by Connie Miller. Used with permission of Voracious, an imprint of Little, Brown and Company.
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon white sugar
- Two 1¼-pound pork tenderloins, trimmed of silver skin
- Kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons grapeseed or other neutral oil, divided
- 1 tablespoon fresh oregano, chopped
In a small bowl, stir together the olive oil, smoked paprika, dried oregano, and sugar. Halve each tenderloin crosswise, then halve each piece lengthwise, stopping about ¼ inch short of cutting all the way through; open the meat like a book. Using a meat pounder or mallet, pound the pork to an even ¼-inch thickness, then season each piece all over with ½ teaspoon salt.
In a 12-inch skillet over medium-high, heat 1 tablespoon grapeseed oil until shimmering. Place 2 pieces of pork in the pan and cook undisturbed until golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Lightly brush some paprika oil onto each piece, then flip the pork and brush the second sides. Transfer to a platter.
Repeat with the remaining 1 tablespoon grapeseed oil and pork. Brush the remaining paprika oil onto the pork, then let rest for 5 minutes. Sprinkle with the fresh oregano.