Mon 19 Sep 2011
The Autumn 2011 issue of the LCBO’s Food and Drink is now out, and, as usual, it contains several recipes I want to try. The first was this Pan-roasted Pork Tenderloin with Spiced Cranberries. It is great. In fact, this method of roasting yielded the most tender pork tenderloin we have ever had. It is important not to overcook the pork – after 12 minutes, check the internal temperature with an instant-read thermometer. When I roasted the pork, the smaller section was done in 12 minutes and the thicker half took another three minutes. The cranberries are flavoured with star anise and cinnamon – we found the sauce a bit tart, so you may want to add some honey.
To avoid additives and preservatives in this recipe, use all-natural stock and cranberry juice.
2 pork tenderloins, about 1 lb. each
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tbsp fresh thyme leaves or 1 tsp dried thyme
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 cinnamon stick, about 2 inches long
1 star anise
½ cup beef stock or broth (I used chicken stock)
1 cup cranberry juice
1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries
Sprigs of fresh thyme
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Trim tenderloin of any fat and silver skins that may be partially covering them. Use a small sharp knife to remove these thin white membranes. Slice tenderloins in half crosswise.
Sprinkle pork generously with salt and pepper. Rub into the meat. Sprinkle with thyme. Heat a wide ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil and coat the bottom. Place pork in pan and turn often until lightly browned on all sides and the ends, 3 to 4 minutes.
Place skillet in oven and roast, uncovered, until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the centre of the meat reads 150 degrees, about 12 to 15 minutes, depending on the thickness of the meat. Turn pork several times during this roasting. Remove to cutting board and tent loosely with foil.
Return skillet to burner. Break cinnamon stick in half and add with star anise. To toast spices, stir about 2 minutes over medium heat. Then add the broth and scrape up the lovely brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Pour in the cranberry juice and add berries. Boil gently until cranberries break down a little and sauce is slightly thickened, about 10 minutes. Stir occasionally.
Slice the pork and arrange on serving plates. Spoon berries and juice overtop. Scatter with a few fresh thyme sprigs. Serves 4 to 6.
From the Autumn 2011 issue of Food and Drink.