Pork tenderloin with seared strawberries

We’ve always been fans of fruit and pork, and pairing pork tenderloin with strawberries is one combination we had never tried before. Gearing up for summer means there is an abundance of relatively inexpensive strawberries available, which made this dish a perfect choice for a hot, nearly-summer evening.

Recipe

adapted from The New Spanish Table
Serves 2-3

1 pork tenderloin (about 1 lb)
coarse salt
fresh ground black pepper
1-1/2 tbsp finely chopped fresh rosemary
10 to 12 large aromatic but firm strawberries, hulled and sliced
1/3 cup chicken stock
1/2 cup sherry vinegar (or sherry wine mixed with 1 tbsp cider vinegar)
2 tsp sugar

Rub pork generously with salt, pepper and rosemary. Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add the pork and cook until richly browned on all sides, about 6 minutes total. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook the pork, turning several times, until it is tender and a meat thermometer registers 155 F, about 15 minutes. Transfer pork to a cutting board and let rest, while you prepare the strawberries and sauce. Set skillet aside, as it will be used to make the sauce.

Rub a large, heavy skillet with an oiled paper towel and heat until almost smoking. Add the strawberries and sear for about 45 seconds, turning once. They should be cooked until slightly softened but should not release too much juice. Add the chicken stock to the skillet in which the pork was cooked and place it over medium-high heat, scraping the bottom of the skillet to dislodge the brown bits. Cook until the stock is almost syrupy, about 3 minutes. Add the vinegar and 2 tsp of sugar and continue cooking until sauce is almost thick enough to coat a spoon, 3 to 5 minutes longer. Taste the sauce and add more sugar to taste if it seems too tart. Serve sauce with pork and strawberries.

Musings

Our love of sweet pork continues with this dish. The sauce and strawberries leant a wonderfully sweet, tangy flavour to the pork. D really liked this method for cooking the tenderloin, as it ended up moist and tender. We paired this with a mushroom-chicken liver risotto (largely because we needed to use chicken liver that we had on hand), but the creamy earthiness of the risotto was nicely undercut by the refreshing lightness of the sauce. D noted he could probably add a touch more vinegar to make the sauce a little more tart. Otherwise, it was a delicious summer dish!

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