Monday, January 11, 2010

THROWDOWN: Giada vs Ina - Pork Tenderloin

It's time for another THROWDOWN here at Stirring the Pot!! This time around I tested two recipes for pork tenderloin.

The two recipes I chose were Giada's Roasted Pork Loin with Roasted Garlic Vinaigrette (pictured above) and Ina Garten's Herb-Marinated Loin of Pork (pictured below). Both recipes are simple preparations with few ingredients and use a pork tenderloin around one pound each. There are a few things that set these two recipes apart. Giada's pork tenderloin is roasted and topped with a vinaigrette. Ina's is set in a marinade overnight and grilled.

AND THE WINNER IS ..............................................................................................


Here is the winning recipe.

HERB-MARINATED LOIN OF PORK -adapted from Back to Basics by Ina Garten
Grated zest of 1 lemon
3/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (4 to 6 lemons)
1/2 cup good olive oil, plus extra for brushing the grill
2 tablespoons minced garlic (6 cloves)
1-1/2 tablespoons minced fresh rosemary leaves
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
Kosher salt
3 pork tenderloins (about 1 pound each)
Freshly ground black pepper

Combine the lemon zest, lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, rosemary, thyme, mustard, and 2 teaspoons salt in a sturdy 1-gallon resealable plastic bag. Add the pork tenderloins and turn to coat with the marinade. Squeeze out the air and seal the bag. Marinate the pork in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours but preferable overnight. (I marinated mine overnight)

When you're ready to cook, build a charcoal fire or heat a gas grill. (I cooked mine on a new grill pan over the stovetop). Brush the cooking grate with oil to prevent the pork from sticking. Remove the tenderloins from the marinade and discard the marinade but leave the herbs that cling to the meat. Sprinkle the tenderloins generously with salt and pepper. Grill the tenderloins, turning a few times to brown on all sides, for 15 - 25 minutes (depending on the heat of the coals) until the meat registers 137 degrees at the thickest part. Transfer the tenderloins to a platter and cover tightly with aluminum foil. Allow to rest for 10 minutes. Carve in 1/2 inch thick slices. The thickest part of the tenderloin will be quite pink (it's just fine!) and the thinnest part will be well done. Season with salt and pepper and serve warm, or at room temperature with the juices that collect in the platter.

NOTES/RESULTS: This was my very first Ina Garten recipe and it was to die for!! Jeffrey is a lucky man! My husband and I declared it our "go to" recipe for pork tenderloin. Yes, it is that good! The marinade is a simple herb marinade with ingredients that are easy to find/and or usually in your pantry. The pork develops a wonderful crust on the outside that is simply filled with flavor. It was almost tender enough to cut with a fork. I am already craving it again and will be making it very soon. Giada's roasted pork was tender and the sauce was zesty. You can find the recipe by clicking on the purple link above. It was a good solid recipe, but it just couldn't compete with Ina's grilled herb-marinated pork tenderloin.

I finally received my power cord in the mail today and I was so thankful!! I knew I was going to miss my computer, but I was almost about to have some serious withdrawal. I'm looking forward to catching up on all your sites today and reading some great posts!!


  1. Hmmm... not to bad for an Ina Garten recipe. I dont see 2 pounds of butter anywhere LOL :)

    1. I think you're mistaking Ina with Paula.

  2. I'm glad Ina's won...I like her better...ha! And it looks just wonderful, definitely one to bookmark.

  3. Both of those look wonderful! I've made Ina's recipe before, it's delicious. Thanks for sharing!

  4. i'm on team ina all the way, so i'm glad she won, although both of the porkloins look fantastic! fun throwdown!

  5. Gotta love Ina! I love the idea of you having your own throw down!

  6. I love these throw downs! That pork looks like it is cooked perfectly!

  7. I love pork!!! Those dishes look delicious! That is great and fun idea!

  8. Of course! Ina's recipes are always good! :) Yum!

  9. I am a HUGE Ina fan and make her dishes often. Her Back to Basics Cookbook is a keeper, so the result does not surprise me one bit! :) What a fantastic idea you have - cheers!

  10. I love this, I just bought 2 tenderloins today and was getting ready to search for recipes! I am going to be making this tomorrow, so glad you posted this. I'm glad you like my goofy music mix, I didn't know if it bothered some people that is came on when my blog opened so I moved it to the bottom. It was nice to hear that someone liked it though, I might need to move it back up :)

  11. I've made Ina's pork and concur--a winner! Now I know you'd like Distract-the-neighbor's-chicken (one of my top 10). I've made quite a few of Giada's and Ina's recipes. Giada's are always good, but Ina's are almost always superb! She has big flavors. Both look delicious, though.

  12. I have not tried many recipes from Ina but I loved the ones I made.

    The recipe sounds great! I love, love herbs :)

  13. Kim, I don't think I have ever had a less than delicious Ina Garten recipe. I love her recipes. Do you have her cookbooks? Everything is fabulous! I am glad she won your throw down.

    P.S. Jefferey is a lucky man.

  14. Well you KNOW what I would say about this throw down. Grilled wins every time! :)

  15. I love it! A throw down. What a great recipe - you must had fun with this Kim.

  16. How can you go wrong with Ina? I'd move into her kitchen in a heartbeat.

  17. Does Ina ever do anything wrong? Doubtful.

    I'm so glad you showdown-ed these since I have been meaning to make both of them. I will probably still make both of them at some point but at least now I know which one to make first haha. Delicious.

    Yay for being back on-line! I can't imagine not having my computer...

  18. Yay, I love a throwdown! I can't believe you have never made an Ina recipe - she is awesome.

  19. I havent tried that one of Ina's yet. It sounds delectable and so simple!! I love all her recipes, I think her shrimp scampi is my favorite, oh and the carrot cake cupcakes, good lord are they ever that good!

  20. Oh Ina is terrific that's for sure. I thought she was at least on par with Julia in the added fat category! I will be trying this though - sans grill!

  21. I love your showdowns! And I love both these ladies. Your tenderloin looks excellent!

  22. I love Ina's recipes and almost joined Barefoot Bloggers but once again there's just not enough time.

    Ina, Tyler and Ellie have to be my top 3 chefs. Always good recipes, not too difficult and I usually have all the ingredients on hand.

  23. I JUST made that pork last week - but didn't bother taking any pictures. We loved it - and I'm definitely making it again.

  24. Both look delicious. Much as I like Giada, I love Ina (though I usually have to healthify her recipes a bit). I have not tried her pork loin but I will for sure now. ;-)

  25. Wow! They both look delicious, but I think that I'd like the marinated/grilled version best too!

    Glad you've got all of your "technical difficulties" resolved. : )

  26. OH, wow, this looks amazing. We love pork tenderloin, and this looks like a wonderful way to cook it.

    Thanks for stopping by my blog--it gave me a chance to discover yours!

  27. I've never read your blog before but I was searching for this Ina recipe and stumbled on it! I saw her make this last night on food network and I thought it looked like something easy and delicious. I'm so happy you had such success with it! I can't wait to try it myself!

  28. Love pork tenderloin! I'll be check out both recipes.

  29. Your first Ina recipe? This recipe is so easy and so good! Your version looks so moist and delicious! I make this with other herbs too. The leftovers are delicious!

  30. I certainly wish people would stop complaining about how much butter Ina Garten uses in her recipes. I can't tell you how many comments I've seen like the one below. If you don't like it, don't cook it. Please stop ruining it for the rest of us.

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  41. I love them both, but Ina always has the BEST recipes! Thanks for sharing!


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