Another family birthday, another excuse to cook an exquisite meal.
Have you ever tried gorgonzola cheese? It’s a type of blue cheese, but a much milder one. And as evidenced by this recipe, it makes an absolutely delicious sauce. There’s a big debate among the gluten-free community about whether or not blue cheeses are safe to eat. The truth is that it depends on how it’s made. A Google search brings up results on both sides of the argument, but there’s recent evidence that suggests blue cheese is safe for a gluten-free diet. Just be sure to check the label to make sure it doesn’t contain wheat.
For this crowd-pleasing dish (ask my family if you want proof of that claim), I began by coating the pork tenderloin with this garlic peppercorn spice rub, some salt, and a little bit of our favorite roasted garlic olive oil. I wrapped them tightly in plastic wrap and let them sit in the fridge overnight. You can use your favorite spice rub for this recipe (use about 1 tablespoon of spice rub per tenderloin), or you can use the spice rub recipe below that’s similar to the one I used.
The best preparation for tenderloins is the oven. (Save the slow cooker for a tougher cut of meat.) However, before placing them in the oven, they must be seared. Don’t skip this important step! Searing the meat creates a thin layer of crust that adds a ton of delicious flavor and creates a nice contrast against the juicy, tender meat inside. Secondly, don’t skip the resting period after you remove the meat from the oven. This allows the juices to be sucked back into the meat. If you skip the resting period and cut into the tenderloin too early, those lovely juices will be all over your cutting board instead of in your tenderloin. No bueno.
I made this for my dad’s birthday dinner and it was a huge hit. I served it alongside mashed potatoes and a broccoli/cauliflower mix, both of which tasted amazing with the cheese sauce. I hope you share this beautiful dish with your family like I shared it with mine!
Pork Tenderloin with Gorgonzola Cheese Sauce
adapted from Taste of Home
2 tablespoons granulated garlic
2 tablespoons crushed black peppercorns
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon dried marjoram
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 pork tenderloins (about 1 1/2 pounds total), trimmed of visible fat
Gorgonzola Cheese Sauce
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon sweet rice flour or white rice flour
1 cup half and half
1/4 cup dry white wine or white cooking wine
1/4 cup gluten-free, fat-free chicken broth
1 cup (4 oz) gluten-free Gorgonzola cheese crumbles
additional Gorgonzola cheese crumbles for garnish if desired
fresh or dried parsley for garnish if desired
In a small bowl, mix together the ingredients for the spice rub. Lightly drizzle the tops of each tenderloin with olive oil and, using clean hands, rub over the meat until evenly coated. Sprinkle about half of the spice rub onto the tops of the tenderloins and rub the mixture into the meat. Flip the tenderloins over and repeat the process, using the rest of the spice rub. Tightly wrap each tenderloin individually in plastic wrap. Place in the refrigerator to marinate for at least 2 hours or overnight.
Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Line a large roasting pan or baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray with cooking spray. Heat a large non-stick skillet over medium high heat. (If you don’t have a non-stick skillet, drizzle the pan with olive oil.) Place one tenderloin into the pan for about 30 seconds to one minute on each side to sear the meat. Continue to rotate the tenderloin to sear the sides as well. You might have to hold the meat in place with tongs to sear the sides. Place the tenderloin on the prepared roasting pan. Repeat with the second tenderloin. Bake in the preheated oven for about 10-20 minutes until a thermometer reads 145 degrees. Place the tenderloins on a cutting board to rest for about 5-10 minutes.
While the pork is cooking, prepare the cheese sauce. Over medium heat, melt the butter. Stir in the minced garlic and cook for about 30 seconds until fragrant. Sprinkle in the flour and stir until well-combined and a beige paste forms (this is called a roux). Very slowly whisk in the half and half, wine, and chicken broth. Continue whisking until the mixture comes to a boil. Continue whisking for about a minute or until thickened. Lower the heat to medium low and stir in the cheese, reserving some additional crumbles for garnish if desired. Continue to whisk until the cheese is completely melted and the sauce has thickened slightly, about 5 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat.
Diagonally slice the tenderloins against the grain of the meat to form about 1-inch thick medallions. Transfer the pork to a serving platter. Spoon the sauce over the pork and garnish with reserved cheese crumbles and parsley if desired.
Makes 6 servings (8 points+/serving).