It is quite common to butterfly a leg of lamb and other cuts of meat for ease of cooking but I never thought to butterfly pork tenderloin until I saw it being done at my local butcher. Well, it’s a brilliant idea as the tail end of the loin tends to overcook while the fat end is just reaching a desired doneness.
Butterflying a tenderloin is easy, using a sharp knife and starting on the fat end, cut a slit about a half in deep about 2/3 down the length of the loin. Don’t slice all the way down to the tail. Open on the loin on a cutting board, cover with wax paper or plastic wrap and pound gently using a blunt object until uniformly an inch thick – a rolling pin or the bottom of a saucepan will work well.
Butterflied Harissa Marinated Pork Tenderloin and Grilled Peach Salad
- 2 pork tenderloins, roughly 2-2.5 lbs total, butterflied
- 1 Tbsp harissa paste
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 Tbsp mustard
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp each ground ginger, cumin, smoked paprika and ras el hanout
- 6 cups Butter lettuce (use Bibb or Cos if you cannot find Butter lettuce), torn
- 3 radishes, sliced thinly
- 2 green onions, diced or 2 Tbsp chopped chives
- ¾ cup chickpeas, drained and rinsed, optional
- Sprig of mint, torn
- 4 free stone peaches, cut in half and brushed with oil
- 3 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 Tbsp white balsamic vinegar
- 1 tsp pomegranate molasses or honey
- 1 tsp mustard
- ½ cup feta cheese, crumbled
- Salt and pepper to taste
Mix together the harissa paste, garlic, mustard, olive oil dried spices with 1 tsp kosher salt and some pepper for the marinade. Pour over the butterflied tenderloins and turn to coat. Marinate for 2 hours are room temperature or in the fridge overnight. Bring to room temperature before grilling.
Preheat the grill to 450F. Brush off some of the marinade to prevent burning and grill the pork for about 4-5 minutes per side or until cooked through. Remove and allow to rest before slicing thickly on an angle.
In the last 5 minutes of cooking, grill the peaches skin side up until charred and just cooked.
Make the salad dressing by mixing the rest of the olive oil, balsamic, molasses, rest of the mustard with some salt and pepper. Toss the dressing with lettuce, radishes, green onions, chickpeas and plate. Top with cheese, mint and peaches and serve alongside sliced tenderloin.