Pork Loin with Steamed Cabbage

Pork loin is my favorite of the cuts. It is lean, uniform, and cooks quickly. I will walk you through the proper way to cook it and keep it juicy, just pink, in which state it is perfectly satisfactory on its own. No need for much else, but on the other hand it pairs very well with a variety of sauces, from complex ones to simple good old mustards. Note this is the best way to cook any kind of loin, only the times will differ, the technique is the same.

The cabbage is a healthy, alternative complement. It is steamed and quickly burnt in a pan.

For the pork tenderloin

1. Pork loin, 1 pc or 2 if too small, whole

While the meat comes to room temperature, heat oven, convection mode to 200 degrees Celsius, and also heat a non-stick pan very well. Oil the loin very well rubbing all around, and salt it heavily, everywhere, using your hands to evenly distribute the salt on the oiled meat.

Add the loin in the pan, and brown it all over, by turning it a few times. If the pan is hot enough 2 minutes on each side should be enough. Immediately place loin in the oven, in the same pan if appropriate, or transfer to a tray, and cook for 8-10 minutes, depending on the oven and the size of the loin. Experience helps here. If this is your first time remember that you can always cook it more but never less. Also keep in mind the meat will keep on cooking slightly after you take it out of the oven. Furthermore, thinnest parts cook faster, so the "tail" will turn out a bit dry, unless you cut it off before cooking, so that you have to even pieces of thickness and reduce the times for the thinner cut. The last very important step is to rest it at room T for at least 15 minutes before you serve.

2. Cabbage, 1 pc, cut in half from top to bottom, not side to side. Use one of the halves.

Steam the cabbage, 5 minutes on each side. The round side, might not sit well but it doesn't matter as long as the lid of the steamer closes well. I usually steam using a pot in which I fit a metallic strainer (that does not touch the surface of the water), which I line with parchment paper, and cover well, so that no steam escapes, with a well fitting lid, and / or aluminum foil. Alternatively, I use a bamboo steamer over a pan with a little water.

Cut steamed half in two quarters (again from top to bottom, follow the bigger "vein") and dry very well all around using kitchen paper. Heat well a non-stick pan and add 1 tbsp oil and a good pinch of salt. Add the cabbage flat face down to brown the edges, about 2 minutes, then turn for the second flat edge.

To serve, sprinkle any or all of:

3. Sumac,

4. Zatar,

5. Olive oil,

6. Salt flakes,

7. Freshly ground black pepper,

and accompany with any sauce of your choice. I love this dish with a spicy mustard.