Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Thank God for Pork

I don't have the words to describe how good this Pork Tenderloin with Cider Jus and Rutabaga Puree is. The picture definitely doesn't do it justice. I admit that I picked the recipe because I like apple cider and rutabaga. To be honest I was intrigued on whether rutabaga would make the transition from humble root vegetable to something fancy. I in no way expected the delicious yumminess that was this dinner.

I wish I had more friends out here in nowhere land that I could invite over for a dinner party so that I could serve this again. The smooth earthiness of the rutabaga. The silky richness of the sauce. The smokiness of the pork. I'm so glad I went outside and barbecued the pork. Each element of the dish was just right and the dish on a whole was unbelievable. The Brain, who didn't want to wait for dinner and had a turkey sandwich instead, watched speechless as I licked my plate. I honest to God licked my plate. I may not have the best table manners, but that's not something I've ever done before.

I feel like making speeches and blowing kisses after eating this. I'd like to thank the pig that died and gave me it's tenderloin. I'd like to thank the farmers for growing the rutabaga and apples for cider. I'd like to thank my mother in law, who managed to find star anise in Amish country. I'd like to have another helping.

Pork Tenderloin With Cider Jus and Rutabaga Puree

2 cups apple cider
1 cup low-salt chicken broth
3/4 cup chopped onion
6 whole allspice
3 whole star anise
3 large fresh thyme sprigs
2 cinnamon sticks
2 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 bay leaf
5 Tbsp unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch cubes

Rutabaga Puree (recipe follows)

2 (12 oz) pork tenderloins, well trimmed
olive oil

Make Rutabaga Puree first.

Mix first 9 ingredients in heavy medium saucepan (apple cider through bay leaf). Boil until mixture is reduced to 1 1/2 cups, about 20 minutes. Strain, pressing on solids to extract liquid. Discard solids. Return liquid to saucepan and boil until reduced to 1/2 cup, about 3 minutes. Whisk in butter a few pieces at a time. Season with salt and pepper.

Meanwhile prepare barbecue (medium high heat)

Brush pork with olive oil. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Grill until instant-read thermometer inserted into center of pork registers 145°F, turning frequently, about 20 minutes. Let pork rest 5 minutes (temperature will increase to 150°F). Thinly slice pork crosswise.

Divide pork slices among 6 plates.
Spoon Rutabaga Puree alongside. Drizzle sauce over pork and serve.

Rutabaga Puree

3 pound rutabaga, peeled and cut into 1 inch chunks
3 Tbsp butter

Cook rutabagas in large pot of boiling salted water until very tender, about 45 minutes. Drain well. Transfer to processor; puree until smooth. Return to pot. Stir over medium heat until any excess liquid evaporates. Add butter; stir until melted. Season with salt and pepper. (Can be made 2 hours ahead. Let stand uncovered at room temperature. Rewarm over medium heat, stirring often.)


Sara said...

I haven't made pork tenderloin in a long time and this sounds super yummy!

Brian, you ungrateful lout, go have a snack and wait patiently for the wonderful dinner your lovely wife is slaving over!

Zylo said...

Wow. If you say so. It sure looks good at least. The only problem would be the grilling part. I live in an apartment and I'm afraid of the outside grills. You know, the local park kind? I've never used them before. I've never barbequed period.

Sara said...

zylo, Just put it under a broiler instead. A broiler is pretty much just an upside down grill. results are similar enough, especially with pork tenderloin, that I use my broiler and gas grill interchangeably depending on the season.

Zylo said...

Hey, now you're thinking. Thank you, Sara. I forget I have a broiler most of the time!