Friday, June 24, 2011

Pork Tenderloin Poached in Red Wine

Well, FINALLY we were able to get out in the yard and get the garden going, sort of. Now, we were able to move a few herbs around and get the tomatoes into the new greenhouse, along with the wimpy herb, basil. It just can't take the elements outside here, very temperamental. The weather here is atrocious again, just as it was last year. We have seen a few sunny days, a few with some sun, but mainly just rainy days after the snow had quit. It's still raining off and on, but at least we hit temperatures above 20C.... finally.

The tomatoes in the greenhouse are way behind schedule, but at least they've been planted.



They are starting to bloom and hopefully we will see some fruit on the vines soon.



The other night it was decided pork tenderloin was going to be the victim of the evening. I wanted to prepare it differently from what I have done in the past, so I looked around the house and here is what I came up with. I didn't think braising the pork was a good idea as it is a tender enough cut of meat that it doesn't need to be tenderized. Braising cooks the less tender cuts of meat using a liquid. This pork recipe is more of a poaching than a braising. I didn't sear the meat on the outside first. Instead, I just put it in the liquid (red wine) with some veggies and shoved it in the oven. Quick and easy.

Ingredients

- 1 pork tenderloin
- 1.5-2 cups red wine* (see below)
- 1/2 onion, cut into large pieces
- 2 carrots, sliced thick
- 2 cloves of garlic, smashed
- 1/2 tsp fresh rosemary
- 1 sprig fresh thyme
- 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
- fresh ground pepper, to taste
- 1 tsp butter

Directions

1) Preheat the oven to 400F, and prepare all of the vegetables and herbs. No need to be perfect as they are only in this recipe to help flavor the wine and the meat.
2) Place the tenderloin in a good quality pot. You want a pot with a tight sealing lid to keep the heat inside.
3) Sprinkle rosemary over top along with some pepper,


and add the rest of the vegetables, herbs and spices. Just smash the garlic and you don't even have to take off the skin.






4) Pour in the wine until it reaches approximately 1/2 to 3/4 the way up the side of the tenderloin.


5) Put the lid on and place in the oven for around 35 minutes. You could turn the tenderloin over after 2 minutes, if you like. This will turn all of the pork a purple-ee color all over instead of just on one side. If you do this, you may need another 4-5 minutes cooking time.
6) When finished, yank it out of the oven and place the pork on a cutting board for a 5-6 minutes to cool down. This will ensure the juices stay inside the meat when you cut it. Meanwhile, strain the liquid so everything else is removed. Pour the wine back into the pot and crank up the heat. Bring to a boil and reduce to a little less than half of the original volume. When finished reducing, add the butter and stir into the wine. This adds flavor, a little brightness to the sauce and helps thicken it. Take it off the heat and set aside.





7) Slice pork on the bias (at an angle) to allow more of the sauce to come into contact with the meat and make your slices a little bit bigger.
8) Place on a plate with whatever else you are eating, pour the sauce over top of the meat, a little salt and serve.
Yield: Serves 2






*When choosing a wine for this, you have to think about a wine which will stand up to the flavor of the  tenderloin. An American Pinot Noir will suffice as it is bold enough. I didn't have a US Pinot and I was too lazy to run to the liquor store. I sauntered down the stairs to our little cellar and went through all of our collection and the best fit I found was an Okanagan-based Pinot from Mt. Boucherie, a 2005 Summit Reserve. Nice wine but I was a little worried it wouldn't stand up to the pork as it isn't as bold as it's US counterpart(s). My worries were placed aside after my first bite. It worked out fine.

Now, I had planned on serving some poached asparagus in hot water with EVOO and salt (which is what you see above) along with some ginger carrots, but unfortunately little O dropped one of her larger toys on her big toe after attempting to put the toy on one of our coffee tables. This made me almost forget about supper altogether. Fortunately, I remembered in the nick of time about the pork, let alone anything else. I only had time to make the asparagus because fatherly duties popped up. Making another dish would've made the pork sit and get cold. Poor kid, her big toenail now has a nice purple color underneath it to match the pork.

Little O's Menu

It's crunch time now as she is becoming extremely picky with her food choices. It's hard to get her to eat any protein right now. We will start the new regime by letting the daycare ladies feed her what all the other kids are eating from now on. They eat fairly healthy there, so we aren't worried. O has to understand more now than ever that you eat what is placed in front of you, not whatever YOU think you should be eating. She still demands her bananas, blackberries and other fruits, but there isn't much for protein as I mentioned. She did, however, eat some of our pork. Surprising, yes, very. We have had to resort to hiding any meat under a piece of bread or something like that, but she chewed down 4 or 5 pieces without us playing any games. Hopefully this trend continues. We don't eat meat everyday, but we do have a few different ways of getting protein in to her and our diets without it.

Quote Of The Day:

"If we're not supposed to eat animals, how come they're made of meat?"

~ Tom Snyder (1936-2007) American news anchor, television and radio personality

I love eating meat, but I don't push meat on anybody. Check this article out on Chef Tal Ronnen which I posted on my Big City Eater Facebook page yesterday. I like his ideas and he's very open minded (which we all should be when it comes to your diet and health), but I still will always eat meat. To good to give up all together.


Until next time, good eating everyone

Mark

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