When I was growing up, we didn’t eat a lot of pork – we occasionally had ham, but that was pretty much the extent of it. Now, it wasn’t that we didn’t like it, but my father was on a low cholesterol diet and the thinking at the time was that pork was high in cholesterol. This of course was before we knew pork was “the other white meat”!! So, it wasn’t until my 20’s that I discovered all the “joys of the pig” if you will – BBQ pork, stuffed pork chops, pork roasts and of course, pork tenderloin!
I have to admit that although I love pork in all it’s forms, it’s pork tenderloin that is most often on my weekday menu. I suppose that’s because it’s lean, quick cooking and incredibly versatile. There are few things it doesn’t pair well with and that quality alone makes it a popular choice for weeknight meals. More often than not I will cook two four pork tenderloins – 2 for dinner that night (yes, we have graduated from 1 to 2) and two for another night – these generally get cut up and put into salads, tacos or used as a topping for a rice/pasta dish. This Spiced Pork Tenderloing with Agrodolce Sauce is one of my favorite weeknight pork dishes – the spice rub is very versatile – it adds a subtle tang to the meat and forms a nice crust that seals in all the juices! The sauce is a “riff” if you will on the traditional Agrodolce sauce – the sweet and sour notes complement the spice in the rub. The best part of course is that it requires no cooking!! Serve this with steamed rice tossed with fresh parsely and toasted almonds and some roasted broccoli. This would also be delicious with the Caramelized Garlic Pilaf.
Spice Crusted Pork with Agrodolce Sauce
- ¼ cup smoked Spanish paprika
- 1 Tbsp. ground cumin
- 1 Tbsp. ground coriander
- 1 Tbsp. dark brown sugar
- 1 Tbsp. kosher salt
- 1 Tbsp. freshly ground black pepper
- 2 pork tenderloins
For Agrodolce Sauce:
- ¼ cup golden raisins
- ¼ cup dry sherry
- ⅓ cup sherry vinegar
- 2 Tbsp. minced shallot
- 1 Tbsp. minced fresh garlic
- 3 Tbsp. minced fresh flat leaf parsley
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
Directions: Pre heat oven to 400 degrees. In a small bowl, combine the raisins with the sherry and set aside. Line a sheet pan with foil and place a rack on top. Spray rack with non stick cooking spray. In a small bowl combine the first 6 ingredients. Rub mixture all over pork tenderloins and place on rack. Roast tenderloins in the oven for approximately 20 – 25 minutes or until internal temperature of pork is 145 degrees (150 degrees if you don’t like any pink in your pork!). Remove pork from oven and let rest 10 – 15 minutes before slicing.
While pork is roasting Add the vinegar, shallots, garlic and parsley to the bowl with the raisins and sherry. Stir to combine and then whisk in the olive oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper. To serve, slice pork and drizzle with the sauce.
Notes:the rub can be made several weeks ahead – keep in an airtight container out of direct heat/sunlight. The sauce can be made a day ahead . Combine all the ingredients except the parsley – add it right before serving.