Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Cooking for my sister in law

I recently had the pleasure of cooking for my wife and her sister, who came over to visit. I decided to make pork loin, and found a recipe for Pork Tenderloin with Apricot Fennel Ragout from the Martha Stewart Living 2002 Annual Recipes book. One thing that I like about Martha Stewart's recipes is that they have been tested and are generally foolproof. They are made for the average homemaker who doesn't necessarily know all the fanciest French techniques. Consequently, you can assume cooking times and portion sizes have a fairly wide margin of error.

I took some liberties with the original recipe. Instead of using 2 pork tenderloins, I used one, and I only used one type of mustard (Dijon) instead of the two. It was still delicious. I've posted the modified version below.

Putting the crust on the pork

Trust me, it's 145°F. You don't want pork to be well done!

Reducing the sauce.

The finished product!

Wine pairing. We had this with a 2005 Hogue Cellars Chardonnay, which was a great deal at BevMo for $11 (plus 5 cents more for a second bottle). The wine was a good match: slightly buttery, a little oaky, and medium bodied with refreshing acidity through the finish to cut through the richness of the pork and the sauce.

Pork Tenderloin with Apricot Fennel Ragout

5 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 16 oz pork tenderloin
salt and pepper
1/2 cup bread crumbs
3 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tbsp unsalted butter

4 large shallots, large dice
1 small fennel bulb, sliced thinly
1 1/2 cups homemade chicken stock
12 dried apricots
1/4 cup brandy
1 tsp fresh thyme

1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Season the pork with salt and pepper, rub with mustard. Coat the pork with bread crumbs. Set aside.
2. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add 2 tbsp oil and sear the pork on all sides until brown. Remove from pan; set aside. Add the remaining tablespoon oil and butter to the pan. Add the shallots and fennel. Cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Add 1/2 cup stock; cook, stirring, until the liquid evaporates, 1 to 2 minutes.
3. Return the pork to the pan; add the apricots, 1/2 cup stock, and brandy. Roast in the oven, stirring the vegtables occasionally, until the internal temperature of the pork reaches 145°F, about 20 min. (Yes, it is safe and delicious that way!)
4. Transfer the pork to a cutting board; place the pan over medium-low heat. Add remaining 1/2 cup stock and thyme; stir with a wooden spoon to loosen any browned bits on the pan. Simmer 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper; slice the pork. Serve with sauce.


natalie said...

YUMMMMMMMMM *drool* I want some!!!

Angie Lai said...

mmmm... looks really professional! your cooking style is pretty western/european i notice.

jko said...

Mmmm so good. The leftovers were great as well! I just wish there were more mushrooms with the pasta.


JudyEll said...

maybe next time i will bring a lot of my friends over and you can write a, "cooking for my sister-in-law and her friends."

*sigh* the meal was delicious. :)