Friday, April 5, 2013

Pork Tenderloin with Belgian Ale Marinade

Last year's garden was very generous due to the string of warm sunny days in early spring and the intense heat throughout the summer.  The tomato plants and peppers especially loved climate change.  The growing season this year has started colder and wetter, so those guys are getting a head start indoors.

I'm looking to expand my green thumbs and grow lettuces, spinach, arugula, carrots, and peas in addition to the cucumber and squash we enjoyed last year.  The spinach and arugula are up first, as they can stand a bit of of cold weather.  I hope I can keep the rabbit away that lives under the deck, that could be an ongoing battle.  In the fall the plan is to get some garlic and onion bulbs in the ground.  Should have lots of basil, oregano, rosemary, mint and thyme by then.  Are you planting anything new this year?  I hope you're doing something...if you only have a balcony to work with, herbs will thrive in a small space and even a small container of tomatoes will taste lovely on that BLT sammich.  At the very least, put some basil on a window sill that gets some rays. 

Until that warm weather hits, we're still eating dishes like this.  You could use either a darker amber Belgian ale for this recipe, or a lighter blonde.  As you'll only need one cup for the marinade/sauce, I assume you'll know what to do with the rest. 

Pork Tenderloin with Belgian Ale Marinade
3 servings

1 C Belgian Ale
1 medium carrot, chopped into 1/2" pieces
1 celery rib, chopped into 1/2" pieces
1 medium onion, roughly chopped into 1/2" pieces
3 medium cloves garlic, halved
1-1.25 lb pork tenderloin, silverskin removed
2 TB canola oil
S&P (Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper)
2 ts cornstarch
1 ts cold water

Place the pork in a large resealable plastic bag.  Add in the beer, carrot, celery, onion, and garlic.  Get everything distributed somewhat evenly and close the bag, squeezing out the air in the process.  Refrigerate for 12-20 hours.  Feel free to shake the bag and mix things up every couple hours if you can. 

Remove the pork from the marinade and let come to room temp.  Pour the marinade and veggies into a medium saucepan over medium-high heat.  Bring to a boil for a minute, then turn down the heat to low, cover and simmer until the veg are tender, about 18 minutes.  Remove from heat and set aside.  

Fire up the oven to 375F.  Pat the pork dry with paper towel and season generously with S&P on all sides.  Fire up a heavy, ovenproof skillet to medium-high heat.  Once hot, add the canola oil and then sear the tenderloin on all sides until nicely browned, 3 minutes per side on the fatter sides and 2 minutes each on the thin sides.  Transfer to the oven and roast until internal temp reaches 145F at the thickest part, about 10 minutes.  Let rest for 10-15 minutes loosely covered with aluminum foil on your cutting board.  Put the hot skillet back on the stovetop, add a splash of beer to deglaze and scrape up the tasty bits, add that to the pureed sauce. Any au jus from the resting meat should also be added to the sauce or spooned onto the plated dish. 

While the pork rests, pour the now cooked marinade and veggies into a blender or food processor, alternatively you could use a stick blender.  Puree until you have a smooth sauce.  Pour that into a small saucepan over medium-low heat.  Make a slurry with the cornstarch and water and add to the sauce, it will thicken a bit as it cooks gently for 5 minutes or so while you slice the pork.  Season to taste with S&P. 

Slice the pork and serve over the plated beer sauce.  Pair with some haricots verts and a once-baked-once-broiled potato loaded with yummy broccoli and cheese.  

Do you remember where you were 19 years ago today?  I was sitting in the back seat of a car on a highway outside Boston.  Here's a tribute

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