Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Pork Tenderloin. With a Sauce.

I have an odd relationship with pork. Bacon is, of course, essential. Ham is a dream. But if I never ate another pork chop or pork roast for the rest of my days, I would be just fine. Oh, sure, I've had some delicious pork. Seattle Coffee Girl makes a posole that is to die for. Once I had a boneless pork chop at a place in Portland. (The name of the restaurant totally escapes me). It was lightly smoked and cooked with some sort of Thai inspired sauce. It was awesome. But those are the exception. The rule is that most pork chops and roasts, no matter what you do, seem to end up rather dry. The only other cut of pork I really enjoy is the tenderloin. Now that is some good eating.

I have a recipe for pork kebobs that are marinated in orange juice and thyme. Quite a yummy summertime treat. I was craving it the other day but as we were in the midst of impossible April hail storms, grilling was out of the question. Plus I was feeling lazy and didn't feel like cubing up the tenderloin anyway. So I thought some more about the original dish and came up with this. It was very tasty.

Roast Pork Tenderloin with Orange- Thyme Beurre Blanc

1 pork tenderloin
4 oranges
several sprigs of thyme
crushed garlic
mandarin orange olive oil (regular olive oil if you don't have it)
salt and pepper
2 T. brandy
3-4 T. unsalted butter

Into a bowl (large enough to hold the tenderloin) zest the oranges, reserving 2 T. of zest for later. Juice the oranges. Pull the leaves off the thyme sprigs, reserving some for garnish, and add the thyme leaves, along with a tablespoon or so of crushed garlic. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Whisk in 1/4 c. or so of the olive oil. Place tenderloin in the marinade, turning to coat. Cover the dish and place in fridge for a few hours (or overnight).

Preheat the oven to 425°.

Remove pork from marinade and place on a rack in a shallow baking dish. Roast in oven for about 30 minutes, until internal temperature reaches 160°. Remove tenderloin from oven, cover loosely with foil and allow to rest 10 minutes.

While pork is resting, place marinade in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Turn down heat to medium high, add the brandy, and continue cooking until it begins to reduce. (I know some people say you shouldn't use the marinade once raw meat has been in it but I usually do and I'm not dead yet. If the idea skeeves you out, just make a fresh batch of the marinade. I won't tell).

Stir in the butter, a tablespoon at a time, allowing it to melt completely before adding the next tablespoon.

Slice tenderloin and arrange on a serving plate. Spoon the beurre blanc over the pork. Garnish with remaining orange zest and thyme leaves.

No comments: