Honey Roasted Pork Tenderloin
A few months ago, I figured that if I was going to be a successful food blogger in the know about all things food related, I should get some magazines. When I wasn’t experimenting and making stuff on my own, I usually got recipes from either cookbooks or the internet. But when I saw a couple of deals to get awesome magazines subscriptions for as little as $2/year (and maxing out at $4/year), I definitely signed up. Now, I have all kinds of reading material – Bon Appetit, Food & Wine, and Wine Enthusiast! I’ve enjoyed reading the first batch of issues and found some really great recipes in the process.
This recipe for honey roasted pork tenderloin caught my eye immediately. Of course, I’m a big pork fan and pork tenderloin is one of my favorite cuts. It was even featured in one of my first posts, when I made this grilled pork tenderloin with mango jalapeno salsa! And, if you didn’t know, honey is one of my favorite ingredients. I literally have about 5 kinds of honey at home – clover, key lime, orange blossom – just to name a few. This particular honey, I got from an apple orchard outside of Knoxville, TN. So the honey tastes like apple cider – it’s freakin’ delicious! Honey +Pork = I’m sold. The honey adds great flavor and really helps caramelize the pork so you get that great crust. I thought a nice puree of butternut squash would be a lovely accent. The dried cranberries and grapefruit-thyme gremolata add lots of freshness to this dish.
Honey Roasted Pork Tenderloin, Ginger-Butternut Squash Puree, Apple Jus, Cranberries
(Recipe adapted from Bon Appetit Magazine)
For the pork:
2 12-14 oz pork tenderloins, trimmed of silver skin and excess fat
1/3 cup of honey
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tablespoon of apple juice
1 tablespoon olive oil
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Whisk together the honey, garlic cloves, and apple juice. Season the mixture with about 1 teaspoon of kosher salt. Add the pork and turn to coat. Let marinate, covered and refrigerated, for at least two hours and up to overnight. (*Note: I marinated mine overnight, and the pork was nearing the “too garlicky” stage, so you may want to tone it down if you’re not a fan, say 2 cloves)
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Transfer the pork to a plate and reserve the marinade. Heat oil in a large ovenproof skillet over medium high heat. Once the oil is almost smoking, add the pork and brown on all sides. The pork will brown quickly due to the honey in the marinade. Transfer the pork to the oven and cook until the pork registers about 145 degrees, 15 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board. Let the pork rest for 5-10 minutes. Then slice. Reserve the skillet for the jus.
For the apple jus:
1/4 cup chicken stock
1/4 cup apple juice
1 tablespoon of butter
When the skillet comes out of the oven and you have removed the pork, add the rest of the marinade to the pan and bring it to a boil. The marinade must come to a complete boil to get rid of any lingering bacteria. Once at a boil, add the chicken stock and the apple juice. Boil until the sauce is reduced to 1/2 cup and coats the back of a spoon. Add the butter and stir it in to the sauce to make it glossy. Strain the sauce to get rid of any garlic bits and then season it with salt and pepper.
For the Gremolata:
1 tablespoon finely grated grapefruit zest
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary
2 teaspoon chopped fresh sage
Combine all the ingredients in a bowl. That was an easy step, haha!
For the Ginger-Butternut Squash Puree:
1/2 butternut squash, peeled and coarsely chopped
1/4 cup ginger simple syrup (1 cup water + 1 cup sugar with a big hunk of ginger, boiled so the sugar dissolves, and cooled)
1/2 cup chicken stock
3 sprigs of thyme
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Put the butternut squash in a pot and cover with the ginger simple syrup and the chicken stock. You may need more stock (or water), but you want to make sure you cover all the squash. Add the thyme, a pinch of salt and bring the mixture to a boil. Cook until the squash is tender, around 10 minutes.
Transfer the cooked squash with a slotted spoon to a blender (remove the thyme sprigs). Add a few ladles of liquid and puree. Your puree should be relatively thick, and not soupy. If you need to add some more of the cooking liquid, go ahead, but you may not use all of it. You can discard any remaining cooking liquid. Strain the puree though a strainer and season with salt and pepper.
Butternut Squash Puree
Small dice of butternut squash, for garnish
dried cranberries, for carnish
Put a little bit of butternut squash puree on the plate. Top with slices of the pork. Top the pork with the gremolata. Put the apple jus around the plate. And then garnish with the cubes of squash (yes, raw butternut squash is very tasty!) and cranberries.
This is an awesome dish. Hope you all try it out!