Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Recipe: Spiced Pork Tenderloin with Port Sauce

I have made this pork tenderloin so many times, I really couldn't believe I hadn't posted its recipe here yet. This is one of my signature dishes and goes well with risotto, polenta, mashed potatoes or my famous potato-apple gratin. (saved for a later post) I have varied the spice mixture on occassion only to find that the following is my favorite combination.

Spiced Pork Tenderloin with Port Sauce

1 garlic clove
1 teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon white pepper
¼ teaspoon dried thyme, crumbled
Pinch of ground allspice
1 12-ounce pork tenderloin

2 Tablespoons Olive oil
1 onion cut into 8 large pieces
8 garlic cloves peeled

¾ cup port
2 tablespoons unsalted butter

Mince garlic clove then mash to a paste with salt. Combine in small bowl with white pepper, thyme, and allspice. Place Pork Tenderloin on a large sheet of plastic wrap and rub mixture into all sides of the meat. Wrap the port tenderloin in the plastic wrap and refrigerate from 1 hour up to 4 hours.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. If making with the potato-apple gratin, 350 degrees is fine.

Heat olive oil in large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. (Do not use non-stick.) Brown pork in skillet on all sides. Half way through browning, place onion and garlic around pork tenderloin to carmelize the outer edges. Place the skillet in the oven and bake the tenderloin to desired doneness, 30-40 minutes. (About 30 minutes for medium, or take it out as soon as the internal temperature is 145 degrees) The onion and garlic will roast and become very tender. Transfer tenderloin to a platter placing onion and garlic around it and cover with foil to keep warm.
Pour out any excess oil in pan (do not wipe it out) leaving any brown bits. Add port to skillet and reduce over high heat scraping up brown bits. When port becomes thick and jammy, remove from heat and add unsalted butter in pieces stirring until melted and incorporated. If necessary, salt and pepper sauce to taste. Serve pork sliced with onions, garlic, and port sauce.

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