Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Sunday Dinner Celebration

My boy got a new job so to celebrate, I thought I'd make him a hearty, manly, stick-to-your ribs, meat and potatoes meal. I had bought a few pork tenderloins at Tops because they were on sale and I can't remember the last time I bought or cooked a pork tenderloin or chops or whatever. Which means I have some refining to do. I was reminded of this duck I had at Oliver's that had a mustard-pomegranate glaze. The duck actually wasn't very good but the glaze was sumptuos and melded the pureed parsnips and roasted brussel sprouts together so nicely.

I marinated the tenderloin overnight, then I seared it stovetop and finished it in the overn. It was good, but not QUITE as tender as I wanted it to be and not nearly as infused with flavor, considering all the time and lovely elements that were put into it. But then I made a pan gravy with the leftover marinade and that was really delicious. If you have tips on how to best diffuse flavor throughout a tenderloin, let me know because I need an excuse to use this glaze again!

1 2 1/2 lb. pork tenderloin
2 T. dijon mustard
2 T pomegranate jelly
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
salt and pepper

Combine all ingredients and rub into the pork tenderloin. Marinate as long as possible and make sure you turn the pork so that all bits get a soak in the marinade.
Heat the oven to 425. While waiting for the stove to heat up, heat a cast iron skillet on the stove, add olive oil. When smoking, add the pork tenderloin but reserve the marinade. Brown on all sides, about 4-6 minutes total. Then finish the tenderloin in the oven, until the internal temperature reaches 155 degrees. The oven may get smoky and watch that the bottom of the pan doesn't start to burn. To avoid that, add some more olive oil. Actaully, I used some oil, then I used some apple juice, too bad I didn't have pomegranate juice! Remove the pork and let sit for about 20 minutes and make the pan gravy while waiting. To make the gravy, add the reserved marinade to the skillet you cooked the pork in, stirring any bits off the bottom. I added more liquid, about 1/4 c. apple juice and 1/2 c. of water from boiling potatoes for the mashed potatoes, and a small spoon of cornstrach to thicken things up. Let the gravy reduce, season if necessary.

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