tenderloin

piggy-wiggy tenderloin

for some reason, cutesy or not, i refer to a pig’s tenderloin as a “piggy-wiggy”. the butcher knows it as that. two pounds piggy-wiggy will get me a juicy pork tenderloin often serving four, or, a smaller one, at times just for me alone, in all its lean and tender variations. four slices and dabs of blood orange jam (sarabeth’s, if you have), mashed creamy garlic potatoes, haricots vert as a side. on a sandwich, heavy with mustard. or as medallions alongside fat green asparagus, butter and chopped hard-boileds.
there’s ways and there are ways: fresh from the hog, buttered, sea-salted, gravelled in coarse pepper, sage and garlic spiked straight to the fire. or brined for two nights in a concoction of herbs, vinegar, soy and olive oil. then seared on the above fire. or sage baked in a three-fifty oven. anywhichway you oughter rest the meat a small while for its juices to jell. a lot will depend on the pig. how it was raised, how it was fed, foot-lose or pegged to a pen. from upstate or canada, or vagariously chinese from far away. these days one prefers a lose hog, chestnut fed on a nearby farm, done up by your local butcher. this tends to be faintheartedly pricey, somewhat over the top, but certainly of michael pollan’s way.
i like grilling my meat over very hot charcoal virtually burned on three sides. finishing it off in a slow oven for a half hour or so. i don’t advertise pink pork, though i serve it that way. if one of my guest wants it less rose, i’ll return hers for a few to the fire.