Friday, June 10, 2011

Pork Tenderloin with Plum Chutney - you're welcome.

Ok, so I'd mentioned earlier that this would be rhubarb chutney and then when I hit up the good produce local there was no rhubarb to be found, so plum it is. My apologies to those salivating over the red stalks. Anyway, onto the show....

I think that pork tenderloin intimidates a lot of people, since it is 1) pork and people tend to over cook the crap out of it 2) they don't know what to serve it with and 3) its a huge cut of meat since its packaged two at a time.

The answers are simple. 1) Cook it about 5 to 10 degrees LESS than what the recipe or thermometer tells you 2) fruit, fruit and more fruit - served in a chutney which you'll see is easy and 3) pre-cooked pork tenderloin, minus the chutney, will stay in your fridge for up to 5 days. Hint: Pork sandwiches are acceptable!

Ok, first, you need to season the pork. I opt for a light gloss of olive oil and then a dusting (just on the top, more rounded part, mind you) of Herbs de Provence. I then place the loins on the oven roasting pan (you need something with a bottom to catch the moisture, etc.!) and then place them in the oven to bake at 350-375. I wouldn't go higher than that, but you can play between those two temps depending on your timeline as the higher temp of 375 will cook a little faster. All told, at 375, the meat should take about an hour....but with pork (or any meat) you need to remember to check in on it a few times with your trusty thermometer. Your goal is about 165 degrees and once it starts to approach 150 it will move up quickly.

Step two is all about the chutney, which is the true star of your meal, and doesn't need to be dealt with until the pork is about 15 minutes away from being done. First, get a nice, deep saute pan and put a little olive oil (we're talking drizzling here) and turn the heat to a low-medium; then add about 2 cloves of garlic minced, some chopped onion (I went with less than a 1/4 cup), a sprinkle of hot pepper flakes (more if you're into the sweet/hot aspect), 1/4 cup of brown sugar or brown sugar splenda, 1 larger plum or 2 smaller ones all chopped up with the skin still on, a tsp of mustard seeds and some splashes of  apple cider vinegar. Now, if the trick here is to taste. For instance, as the chutney bubbles away you might taste it and its too tart - so add more brown sugar; if it is too sweet, add more cider vinegar. Let that cook until it starts to thicken up and then let it cool slightly before serving by spooning it over the meat slices.

- Melissa

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