Roasted pork with walnuts and grapes

This dish was new and exciting in several respects. First, it allowed us the opportunity to try out the Costco cookbook given to us by David’s mother (thanks Debbie!). Second, I was intrigued at the prospect of combining pork and grapes. Now we’ve had our share of pork + fruit combinations, but it had never even occurred to me to pair grapes with meat. I’m not sure why it seemed a bizarre notion. Perhaps it’s because they’re the type of fruit that really aren’t prepared in anyway (e.g. sliced/diced/etc). But I was excited to try it!

Recipe

adapted from A Decade of Cooking: The Costco Way
Serves 2-3

1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1 tbsp chopped thyme
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 lb pork tenderloin
3 tbsp honey, divided
1-1/2 cups seedless grapes
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 tbsp spicy honey mustard
1/2 tbsp Dijon mustard
2 garlic cloves, minced

Preheat oven to 375 F. In a bowl, stir together walnuts, thyme, salt and pepper. Pat pork dry and brush with 2 tbsp honey. Place in an ovenproof dish and press the walnut mixture onto the top and sides. Surround the pork with grapes. Roast for 30 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 160 F. Let stand for 5 minutes before slicing. Meanwhile, combine remaining honey, vinegar, mustards and garlic in a small saucepan and simmer for 5 minutes. Drizzle over the sliced pork and grapes.

Musings

A few notes on preparation: the original recipe called for rosemary, but we substituted thyme (as we had that on hand). Also, the recipe called for spicy brown mustard, which we didn’t have, so David went with a combination of Dijon and vaguely spicy honey mustard.

A wonderfully tasty dish! It was remarkably well-rounded–nice sweetness from the honey and grapes coupled with tartness from the balsamic and rounded out by the nuttiness of the walnuts. The sides that accompanied it also complemented it well, including green beans drizzled in a bit of balsamic as well as portobello mushroom risotto with walnuts and dash of hot pepper flakes for a bit of a kick. David speculated that perhaps marinating the pork for a bit in a honey-herb mixture might make it even more flavourful and tender. Otherwise, a fantastic meal well-worth having again!

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