Cast-Iron Pork Tenderloin Fillet with Jasmine Rice

TAGS: pork, food, matt ladewski, recipe, diet, Nutrition

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There is nothing worse than coming home after a hard workout and having nothing to eat. If you are looking for an easy recipe that can replace the typical chicken breast, look no further. Not only can this be a great food prep meal, but it can also impress that special someone in your life. A few minutes of prep and a total of fewer than 45 minutes, you'll have a few meals ready to go.

Chicken is great, but after so long, it can get old. Pork tenderloin filet is very low in fat and comes in pre-marinated bags for even more convenience. These cuts are usually priced under $3 a pound and freeze well for future use. The flavors typically come in mesquite, teriyaki, or pepper. All are delicious and go well with rice.


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For those of you who are on a low carb diet or need a little more fat, the tenderloin can be replaced with pork loin. Those come in bigger packages, so you will need to adjust the cooking time. I will cut those in half length-wise and add carrots to the skillet for my vegetable. The carrots caramelize in the juices and are amazing.

I prefer to use a cast-iron skillet because it gives the meat a good sear and can be tossed into the oven to finish cooking. No cast-iron skillet? No problem. You won't get that nice sear on the meat, but you can toss it in the oven on a baking sheet and still have a delicious cut of meat. Cooking times will vary.

What you need:

  • Pork tenderloin or pork tenderloin fillet (pre-marinated), various weights — 1-2 fillets
  • Jasmine rice — 3 rice cooker cups or desired amount
  • Coconut oil — 1 tablespoon
  • Cast-iron skillet
  • Rice cooker
  • Meat thermometer

I will cheat and use a rice cooker. If you don’t have one, you can pick up one at Target for under $20. Fill it with rice and water to the designated mark. Push down the button, and when it pops up, it is done. Even a meathead can do it.

Jasmine will reheat well if used for meal prep. Normal long-grain white rice is cheaper but will not be as good when reheated.

Timing is everything

I would love to give you exact times on how long to cook, but meat sizes vary. The recommendations are general, but with a little checking, you will have a great meal.

You don’t want to toss cold meat into a screaming hot skillet. Take it out 10 minutes prior to cooking.

During this time, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Get that skillet smoking

To get a great sear, you want to get that skillet smoking hot. Turn the skillet to high heat. You want to get the skillet to the point where it is smoking. Once it is smoking, toss in a tablespoon of coconut oil.

Avocado oil is a great alternative as it has a higher smoking point.

Sear the meat

Once your oil is in the pan, spread it around, and then add your meat. Sear it on all sides. Give it enough time to sear and then release from the pan.

If you try to flip it too soon, it will stick and peel off the golden goodness from the outside of the meat. Be patient; it won’t burn.

Once all sides are seared, you will toss the pan in the oven. Set your timer for 15 to 20 minutes per pound of meat. A two-pound tenderloin will take 30 to 40 minutes depending on the desired doneness.

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Get the rice ready

Now that the meat is in the oven, it is time to get the rice ready. It will take my rice cooker about 25 minutes to cook three cups of rice. This will give you a few minutes to get the rice and water into the cooker and get it started. It will be done near the same time as the meat and will stay warm until it is time to be served.

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Check your meat

Since this is a smaller cut of meat and very lean, you don’t want to overcook it.

Internal temperature at the thickest part will be at 145 degrees for medium-rare and 165 degrees for medium.

Your meat will continue cooking after being removed from the heat, so cook it to at least 140 degrees before letting your meat rest. I like my meat cooked between 150 to 155 degrees and finishing around 160 degrees.

Rest and serve

Once your desired temperature is hit, remove your meat from the pan. Let it rest for five to ten minutes. This allows the juices to redistribute and the temperature to creep up a few more degrees. You are then ready to slice your meat and serve with the desired amount of rice.

Macros

Pork tenderloin fillet — 4 oz serving

  • 2g fat
  • 4g carbs
  • 18g protein

Jasmine rice — ¼ cup dry

  • 0g fat
  • 36g carbs
  • 3g protein

As you can see, it is not that hard to make a kick-ass meal. It can be perfect post-workout or to show your special someone that you care.

Not only is this easy to prepare; it is easy to prepare in bulk for multiple days. Give it a shot and let me know how it goes in the comments.

Header image courtesy of funandrejss © 123rf.com

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