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Expert Guide

Chefs' Clever Pork Tenderloin Tips

Chefs' Clever Pork Tenderloin Tips

Maple-Brined Pork Tenderloin © Michael Turek

Pork tenderloin is lean, boneless and almost tender enough to slice with a fork, but to make it great, it needs help. We asked the past winners of the F&W Classic's Grand Cochon, a pork-cooking competition, for some flavor-boosting tricks.

Enhance with Bold Ingredients Adam Sobel of San Francisco's RN74 fills soft tortillas with grilled tenderloin and tart, spicy toppings like grilled pineapple, charred jalapeño, pickled red onion and fresh cilantro. michaelmina.net

Prepare with Tangy Dairy By soaking the tenderloin in acidic dairy like buttermilk, yogurt or sour cream before cooking, Jason Vincent of Chicago's Nightwood adds rich flavor while tenderizing the meat. nightwoodrestaurant.com

Rub with Anchovy Paste Co-chef John Stewart of Zazu in Sonoma County, California, seasons tenderloin with briny flavors, like an anchovy paste mixed with garlic and olive oil. The end result isn't fishy, just complex. zazukitchen.com

Create the Illusion of Fat with Beans Duskie Estes, also co-chef of Zazu in Sonoma County, likes to mimic the silky texture of pork fat by serving tenderloin with creamy white gigante beans cooked with caramelized onions, lime juice and cilantro.

Top with Luscious Condiments Scott Romano of Frisco Gun Club in Dallas slices tenderloin thin, piles it in a sandwich and spreads on strong, rich condiments, like an herbed aioli. friscogunclubinc.com

Related: Pork Tenderloin Dishes
Warming Pork Soups and Stews
Pork Recipes and Cooking Tips

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