Ryan Thomas is a university graduate who enjoys cooking recipes from a wide variety of culinary traditions.
Why I Love Pork Tenderloin
I’ve sung the praises of pork tenderloin on many an occasion with my recipes, but it’s for good reason: it’s such an excellent and sadly unappreciated cut of meat. Here are some of the reasons I love preparing pork tenderloin:
- It’s tender.
- It's easy to cook with.
- It's very flexible with a wide variety of dishes.
- It has an excellent flavor in of itself.
- It's great at soaking up different aromas and flavors.
In other words, I can’t recommend pork tenderloin enough, and this recipe is a good example of how it can be used to provide the centerpiece for many an elegant and pretty meal.
For this particular recipe, the deep, sweet, almost caramel notes of fig preserves are the star of the show. The preserves help give a very nice aromatic sweetness to the dish, dark and rich. We will also add rosemary for the herbal green aroma, balsamic vinegar with the sharpness and notes of fruitiness, a bit of cinnamon, cardamom, and cayenne to liven it up, and walnuts for a delicious nutty crunch. Brussels sprouts accompany the dish and pick up the host of seasonings. It is beautiful, a wonderfully balanced array of flavors, and it is also surprisingly simple and easy to make.
This recipe is entirely my own.
- 2 pounds pork tenderloins, in two sections, around 1 pound each
- 2/3 cup fig preserves
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 pound Brussels sprouts, stems removed and chopped intoi halves
- 1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon cardamon
- 1/3 teaspoon cayenne
- 5 sprigs rosemary
- 1/2 teaspoon tarragon
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Preferably at least 4 hours before serving, season the pork tenderloin pieces with salt and pepper in a roasting tray or casserole dish. Then add in the tarragon, cinnamon, cardamom, and cayenne. Next, rub down the meat with the fig preserves, and then sprinkle most but not all of the balsamic vinegar over it.
- Use the stickiness of the fig preserves to provide a base to rub the rosemary. Then surround the pork tenderloin with the walnuts. Allow the meat to rest in the refrigerator.
- After the meat has marinated in the fridge and you are ready to cook, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Cover the dish with aluminum foil and place it into the oven for 10 minutes. Then remove it and add in the Brussel sprouts. Add in the rest of the balsamic vinegar and some olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste.
- Cook for another 30 minutes. (The total cooking time is 40 minutes.) Serve hot.