Monday, August 02, 2010

Pork Tenderloin with Salty-Sweet Glaze...

I had intended to tack this recipe on to another post in an effort to keep up with the seemingly over-growing pile of recently tried recipes I've managed to stack up on my desk. However, as usual, when I started writing about this Pork Tenderloin with Salty-Sweet Glaze dish we made a few weeks ago, I couldn't help but babel on about it and was left with a full post anyways!

Jeff's first comment right after dinner was he thought this would be a great way to dip your toes into a new world of preparing pork tenderloin if you're used to a simple roast or pan-fry. The sauce and resulting glaze for the tenderloin is an intriguing combination of mild agave nectar, green onions, tamari, fresh ginger for zing, a clove of garlic and a heavy splash of seasoned rice vinegar. If you've never used tamari, it is a variety of soy sauce that has a slightly thicker texture and a more robust, complex flavor, and is more often used as a seasoning in cooking, rather than a condiment on the table - you could use soy sauce if you don't want to purchase a bottle. If you're also not interested in using agave, pure maple syrup would work in its place.

Left to bubble in a small saucepan to reduce the sauce, half of it was set aside, while the other half is kept warm as you sear off the tenderloin. Once the meat had browned on all sides, it was slid into the oven for a gentle eight minute bake, then given a good brush down with the reserved agave sauce. Baked a few minutes more to leave the pork with plenty of juice and a lovely rosy hue to the center, we transferred the tenderloin to a cutting board to rest, giving time for said juices to redistribute throughout the meat.

As the meat rested, we re-warmed the remaining agave concoction with a few dribbles more of the sweet vinegar, water and a dash of cayenne pepper for a touch of heat. Sliced into medallions, the pork was served with the steaming sauce spooned right over the top. As the name implies, you get a delicate balance of sweet and saltiness here, but what I think I appreciated most was the fact that the sauce didn't try to take control of the wheel and dominate, leaving it to only accentuate the tender pork.

With a pile of steaming mashed Yukon Golds on the side, our stomachs were sighing with content by the time we finished our plates - if you wish to serve this over a bed of rice or pile of noodles, think about doubling the sauce to have plenty to go around.