Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Pork Tenderloin with Roasted Grape Sauce - WOW

With great anxiety, we debated what we should do first with our new pork. Which cut should we select? How should we prepare it? What recipe is worthy of it? What if it doesn't live up to the high expectations we have for our local, sustainable, fresh, grass-fed, blah, blah pork?

We were greatly relieved in our choice of Pork Tenderloin with Roasted Grape Sauce. I had grapes to use from Saturday's Cheddar Crisps with Roasted Grape Relish appetizer and recalled seeing this last year in Eating Well (recipe modified). The sweetness of the grapes are intensified by roasting, but the sauce offers a sharpness with the Port and a bite from the Dijon, all coming together for an elegant, company-worthy dinner. We served a barley risotto plated underneath the pork (which nicely soaked up the sauce) and green beans roasted with garlic and cherry tomatoes.

Pork Tenderloin with Roasted Grape Sauce

Serves 4

3 cups red grapes – or a mix of red and green would be fine
1 pounds pork tenderloin, trimmed
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup finely chopped shallots
1/2 cup Port or Madeira, or white wine
1/2 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme, or 1 teaspoon dried
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons water
1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch

Position racks in the middle and lower third of oven; preheat to 425°F.

Place grapes on a rimmed baking sheet. Roast on the lower rack, shaking the pan occasionally to turn the grapes, until they are shriveled, 25 to 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, rub the pork with salt and pepper. Heat oil in a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Add the pork and brown on one side, about 2 minutes. Turn the pork over and transfer the pan to the top oven rack. Roast the pork until just barely pink in the center and an instant-read thermometer registers 145°F, 12 to 14 minutes. Transfer the pork to a cutting board to rest before slicing, and cover with foil to keep warm.

Place the pan over medium heat (the handle will be hot – I put a potholder over it), add shallots and cook, stirring, until softened, 1 to 2 minutes. Add Port and cook until reduced by half, 2 to 4 minutes. Stir in broth, thyme, and mustard; bring to a simmer. Combine water and cornstarch in a small bowl and stir into the pan sauce. Cook until thickened, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Stir in the grapes. Serve the sliced pork with the grape sauce.

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