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In Extremadura, cooks know that with smoked paprika, timing is everything
Milk Street Bowtie Seared Pork Tenderloin with Smoked Paprika and Oregano

Seared Pork Tenderloin with Smoked Paprika and Oregano

Appears in March-April 2020

35 minutes

Seared Pork Tenderloin with Smoked Paprika and Oregano

Free

In the Extremadura region of Spain that is home to pimentón de la vera, or Spanish smoked paprika, we were taught that exposure to high heat blunts the spice’s unique earthiness, smokiness and notes of fruit and tobacco. This recipe illustrates how to best preserve pimentón’s unique flavors when searing is involved: the paprika is mixed with olive oil and then brushed onto butterflied and pounded pork tenderloin only after the meat has been browned in a hot skillet. Spanish smoked paprika is available in different degrees of spiciness. For this dish, if you have the choice, opt for sweet (dulce) or bittersweet (agridulce).

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon smoked paprika (see note)
1 teaspoon dried oregano
½ teaspoon white sugar
2 1¼-pound pork tenderloins, trimmed of silver skin
Kosher salt
2 tablespoons grapeseed or other neutral oil
1 tablespoon fresh oregano, chopped
Ingredients
  • 3
  • 1

    tablespoon smoked paprika (see note)

  • 1

    teaspoon dried oregano

  • ½

    teaspoon white sugar

  • 2

    1¼-pound pork tenderloins, trimmed of silver skin

  • Kosher salt

  • 2

    tablespoons grapeseed or other neutral oil

  • 1

    tablespoon fresh oregano, chopped

More

Mains

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Seared Pork Tenderloin with Smoked Paprika and Oregano

Get Ready to Cook

4

Servings

35 minutes

Tip

Don’t use a heavy hand when pounding the pork, which can result in tears and uneven thickness. And when pounding, work from the center of the piece outward to the edges.

Ingredients
  • 3
  • 1

    tablespoon smoked paprika (see note)

  • 1

    teaspoon dried oregano

  • ½

    teaspoon white sugar

  • 2

    1¼-pound pork tenderloins, trimmed of silver skin

  • Kosher salt

  • 2

    tablespoons grapeseed or other neutral oil

  • 1

    tablespoon fresh oregano, chopped

Step 1 of 3

Butterfly Pork

3
tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1
tablespoon smoked paprika
1
teaspoon dried oregano
½
teaspoon white sugar
2
1¼-pound pork tenderloins, trimmed of silver skin
Kosher salt

In a small bowl, stir together the olive oil, smoked paprika, dried oregano and sugar; set aside. Halve each tenderloin crosswise, then halve each piece lengthwise, stopping about ¼ inch short of cutting all the way through; open the meat like a book.


Using a meat pounder or mallet, pound the pork to an even ¼-inch thickness, then season each piece all over with ½ teaspoon salt.

Step 2 of 3

Cook Pork

2
tablespoons grapeseed or other neutral oil

In a 12-inch skillet over medium-high, heat 1 tablespoon of neutral oil until shimmering. Place 2 pieces of pork in the pan and cook undisturbed until golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes.


Flip and cook until the seconds sides are browned, 1 to 2 minutes. Lightly brush paprika oil onto each piece, then flip the pork and brush the second sides. Transfer to a platter.

Step 3 of 3

Finish and Serve

1
tablespoon fresh oregano, chopped

Repeat with the remaining 1 tablespoon grapeseed oil and pork. Brush the remaining paprika oil onto the pork, then let rest for 5 minutes. Sprinkle with the fresh oregano.

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Seared Pork Tenderloin with Smoked Paprika and Oregano

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