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Clove and Pepper-Cured Roast Pork Tenderloins

Marinating the meat overnight yields the clove-and-pepper flavor of country ham with little of the fat, salt or bother.

1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon coarse (kosher) salt
1 teaspoon coarsely ground pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
2 pork tenderloins, 12 ounces each, trimmed of fat
1 teaspoon olive or vegetable oil
1 tablespoon maple syrup

In a small bowl, combine the sugar, salt, pepper, coriander and cloves. Place the tenderloins in a shallow nonreactive dish and rub the spice mixture into the meat. Cover and refrigerate for at least 6 hours or overnight. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Tuck the "tail" end of each tenderloin under to form a roast of even thickness. Tie with kitchen string at 2-inch intervals and place on a rack in a roasting pan.

Brush each loin with 1/2 teaspoon of the olive oil. Roast for 20 minutes. Brush the loins with the maple syrup. Roast for 25 to 30 minutes longer, basting twice more with the juices in the pan, until a meat thermometer inserted in the center reads 155 degrees. Remove from the oven and let rest for 5 to 10 minutes. Brush the meat with the pan juices. Slice the tenderloins across the grain into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Arrange slices in a fan on dinner plates. The tenderloins are delicious hot or cold. Serves 4 to 6.

Thursday, January 18, 2001

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