Pork Tenderloin with Cider Glaze, Dried Fruits and Extra Virgin Olive Oil

pork tenderloin

2 large pork tenderloins, 2 1/2 lb. total, trimmed of excess fat
4 Tbs. olive oil
1/4 tsp. sweet paprika
1/4 tsp. ground cumin
Large pinch of cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
1/4 tsp. salt, plus more, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/3 cup dried apricots, coarsely chopped
1/3 cup dried pears, coarsely chopped
3 Tbs. golden raisins
1 1/2 Tbs. sherry vinegar or white wine vinegar
1 tsp. sugar
1 3/4 cups water
3 cups apple cider
2 bay leaves
4 whole cloves
1 1/2 cups chicken stock

Butterfly the pork tenderloins: Slice each tenderloin lengthwise, cutting almost all of the way through. Open flat and then flatten slightly by pounding with a meat tenderizer. In a small bowl, stir together 1 Tbs. of the olive oil, the paprika, cumin, cayenne, cloves, the 1/4 tsp. salt and black pepper and rub over the pork. Place in a baking dish, cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.

Meanwhile, in a small saucepan over high heat, combine the apricots, pears, raisins, vinegar, sugar and 1 1/4 cups of the water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer until the fruit softens, about 20 minutes. Uncover, increase the heat to high and cook until the liquid is reduced by half, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat.

Using a slotted spoon, lift out the fruit, reserving the liquid. Divide the fruit evenly between the 2 pieces of pork, spreading them over the meat in an even layer. Roll up each tenderloin into its original shape, enclosing the filling in a spiral, and tie at 1-inch intervals with kitchen twine.

In a sauté pan over high heat, bring the cider and the reserved poaching liquid to a boil. Boil until reduced by three-fourths, about 15 minutes. Add the bay leaves, cloves and stock and return to a boil.

Meanwhile, in a large fry pan over medium-high heat, warm the remaining 3 Tbs. olive oil. When the oil is nearly smoking, add the tenderloins and cook until well browned, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Transfer the pork to the simmering cider. Remove the fry pan from the heat, add the remaining 1/2 cup water to the fry pan, and whisk to scrape up any browned bits stuck to the pan bottom. Add this liquid to the simmering cider, reduce the heat to medium-low, cover and simmer until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of the pork registers 140°F for medium, or 150°F for medium-well, 20 to 25 minutes.

Transfer the tenderloins to a carving board and cover loosely with aluminum foil. Increase the heat to high and boil until the liquid is reduced by half and thickens slightly, about 5 minutes. Strain the sauce through a fine-mesh sieve into a small bowl, season with salt and pepper and cover to keep warm.

Snip the twine and cut the pork into slices 1/2 inch thick. Arrange on a warmed platter, drizzle with the sauce and serve immediately.

Note: There are two types of apple cider: "sweet," which is freshly pressed, and "hard," which has fermented and has an alcohol content. Use sweet cider here.

Serves: 6

Source: Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Seasonal Celebration Series,Autumn,by Joanne Weir (Time-Life Books, 1997).

Prepared by: Margo for the December 2007 meeting.