I love peanut butter – peanut butter cookies, peanut butter sandwiches (no jelly of course!), pb & toast for breakfast… Ooo, and remember Ben & Jerry’s Chubby Hubby ice cream? Vanilla with chocolate covered peanut butter stuffed pretzels? … I don’t know if I’ve ever met a peanut butter food I didn’t love.
This grilled pork tenderloin has been on my to-try list for quite a while, and the hubby and I quite enjoyed it. The peanut butter marinade / sauce was very good, although next time, I’d probably add the coconut milk a little at a time, tasting as I go. I found the sauce a bit sweet (although the hubby didn’t complain!), and I would probably add in a little less coconut milk than required.
1/2 c. creamy peanut butter, preferably natural pb
1/4 c. soy sauce
3 Tbs. fresh lime juice
3 Tbs. dark brown sugar
2 1/2 tsp (2 large cloves) garlic, minced
2 tsp. ground coriander
2 small pork tenderloins (2 lb. total)
vegetable oil for the grill
Prepare the Pork:
Trim fat from pork and butterfly the tenderloins (split each tenderloin lengthwise, but not all the way through – it should fold open like a book). Then pound out tenderloin with a meat mallet until about 1/2-inch thick. Thicker is fine, just takes longer to cook.
Make the Marinade:
Whisk all other ingredients together in a large bowl. (I’d recommend whisking in the coconut milk a little at a time, tasting as you go.) Mixture should be creamy and smooth. Add pork an marinade for 10-20 minutes, or for several hours in the fridge.
Grill the Pork & Prepare the Dipping Sauce:
Heat a gas grill to high. Lightly oil grates and add tenderloin, allowing excess marinade to drip back into the bowl. Grill until cooked through, flipping once, 5-7 minutes total. Let rest for 5 minutes before slicing.
Meanwhile, pour marinade into a small saucepan. Add 2 Tbs. water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for a couple of minutes, adding water in 1 tsp. increments if the sauce seems too thick.
I’m constantly looking for quick weeknight meals that are flavorful and not boring. This Peppercorn Pork fit the bill. It took about 30 minutes to make. The meat had a bit of kick from the crushed peppercorn, but the sweet Cider Sauce balanced it out nicely. The Apple Barley Salad would be a bit bland on its own, but I really enjoyed it with the pork and sauce.
Peppercorn Pork with Dijon-Cider Sauce
and Apple Barley Salad
Adapted from Cuisine at Home (p. 15)
recipe not posted online but other Cuisine at Home recipes are found here
10 oz. pork tenderloin, trimmed and cut into 2-inch thick medallions
1 Tbs. whole peppercorn blend, freshly ground or crushed
2 Tbs. olive oil, divided
1 Tbs. minced shallots
2 tsp. tomato paste
1/4 c. dry white wine, such as Chardonnay
1 c. apple juice (or cider)
1 tsp. apple cider vinegar
1 Tbs. Dijon mustard
Heat 1 Tbs. oil in a skillet over medium-high heat.
Season pork medallions with kosher salt. Dredge one side of the medallions in the crushed pepper. Add to the hot skillet, pepper-side down. Cook until browned, about 3 minutes.
Flip medallions and continue cooking until meat is cooked (about 145F at the center), about 6 more minutes. Transfer medallions to a plate, cover with foil, and let them rest.
In same skillet, add remaining olive oil, shallots, and tomato paste. Saute for 1 minute.
Add wine and deglaze pan, scraping the bits from the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon. Simmer until almost evaporated.
Add apple juice and vinegar, simmering until it reduces to about 1/3 a cup, 5-7 minutes. Whisk in mustard and season with salt.
Serve with Apple Barley Salad
1 sweet red apple, diced
1 Tbs. unsalted butter
1 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
1 Tbs. chopped fresh parsley
2 tsp. sugar
* Cook barley according to package. I used 1 c. uncooked barley, yielding 3-4 c. cooked.
In a small non-stick pan, melt butter. Add apples and cook until apples are just softened, a couple minutes.
Stir in remaining ingredients. Add to barley and stir to combine.
Crown Roast of Pork with Fennel-Apple Stuffing and Cider-Bourbon Sauce
Source: Fine Cooking No. 89
Everything from Fine Cooking is so good that we usually stick pretty close to the recipe, as we did here. We did prepare almost this entire dish several hours ahead of time — the stuffing was finished and ready to go into the oven about 3 hours prior to actually baking. The sauce was reduced, about 5 hours prior to serving, so that all there was to do was reheat and add the vinegar & sour cream just prior to dinner.
The meal got off a little late, so be sure to check the size of your roast against cooking time. Our butcher said we need about 20 minutes per pound, which was right on the money. Our 11lb roast took 3 hours and 30 minutes to cook.
Ingredients for the sauce:
1 quart apple cider
2 c. bourbon
2 c. low-salt chicken broth
1/3 c. sour cream
1 Tbs. cider vinegar; more to taste
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Ingredients for the stuffing:
1 lb. crusty artisan-style bread, cut into 1/2-inch cubes (8 to 9 cups)
8 oz. bacon (8 to 10 slices), cut crosswise into 1/2-inch-wide strips
5 Tbs. unsalted butter
2 medium-small yellow onions, diced (about 2 c.)
1 medium fennel bulb, diced (about 3 c.)
1 tsp. kosher salt; more to taste
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper; more to taste
4 medium Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 4 c.)
2 Tbs. bourbon
2 Tbs. apple cider
2 Tbs. chopped fresh marjoram
1 Tbs. chopped fresh sage
2 tsp. fennel seeds, lightly chopped or pulsed in a spice grinder
1/2 tsp. ground allspice
2 to 2-1/2 c. low-sodium chicken broth
Ingredients for the roast:
16-rib crown roast of pork (8-1/2 to 9-1/2 lb.), chine bone removed and bones frenched (ours, for 10 people, was 11 lb.)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
The day before: Dice bread and allow to sit out overnight on a baking sheet, to dry out.
Make the sauce: Combine cider, bourbon, and chicken broth in a saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat and maintain a simmer until sauce is about 1 1/4 cups, about an hour.
Make the “stuffing base”: Cook bacon in a skillet over medium-high heat. When brown and crispy, transfer bacon to a large mixing bowl. Pour fat from skillet and return to stove. Add 3 Tbs. butter and melt. Add onion, fennel, salt, and pepper. Cook until onions and fennel have softened, 10-12 minutes. Add to bowl with bacon. Return skillet to stove.
Melt remaining 2 Tbs butter in skillet. When melted, add apples, stirring until slightly browned but still firm, about 5 minutes. Mix bourbon, apple cider, and 3 Tbs. of water and add to pan, scraping sides and bottom of skillet to loosen any bits stuck to pan. Cook until the liquid has reduced and coats apples, about 1 minute. Add apples to mixing bowl with bacon, onions, and fennel. Add spices and stir to combine.
Cook the roast: Let the roast sit out at room temperature for 1 hour prior to cooking. We let it sit out in the roasting pan that we were going to use — a roasting pan (or heavy duty rimmed baking sheet), with a rack at the bottom. Be sure to oil the rack before putting the roast in the pan (it was interesting trying to lift the 11 lb. roast in order to oil after the fact!). Just prior to popping in the oven, season the roast generously with salt and pepper.
Heat oven to 500°F. Cover bones tightly with aluminum foil and cook for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a very large mixing bowl (or stock pot, combine stuffing mix (onions, fennel, apple, and bacon) with dried bread. Pour 2 cups of chicken broth over mixture and stir to combine. “If the bread immediately sucks up the liquid, add the remaining 1/2 cup broth. The bread should be moist but not soggy.” Season with salt and pepper.
Remove roast from oven after first 30 minutes. Lower oven temperature to 325°F. Remove foil from bones and fill center with stuffing, to just below the top of the bones. (The stuffing never completely fits, so have a spare baking dish ready. Cover stuffing in aluminum foil and set aside.) Cover the bones and stuffing and return roast to oven.
Set oven timer for 1 hour. When the timer goes off, put stuffing in the oven with the roast. Reset the oven timer for 30 minutes. When that goes off, remove foil from roast and from stuffing wrapper, so that stuffing can crisp up.
Again, reset the oven time, for 15 minutes. When that goes off, check for doneness – an instant-read thermometer, inserted between two bones (without hitting the bones) should read 155° F. Be sure to check in a couple places. For a 9 lb roast, the cooking time will be 2-1/2 – 3 hours. According to my butcher, the cooking time will be 20 minutes per pound.
With a wide spatula under roast to keep the stuffing in, transfer roast to a cutting board or serving platter. The recipe calls to cover the roast loosely with aluminum foil and allow to rest for 30 minutes, but since we were running late, we skipped this (and the meat was perfect – still nice and juicy). Continue to bake stuffing until top is crisp. Stuffing can stay in the warm oven (turned off), until ready to serve, if necessary.
Finish the sauce: When almost ready to serve, rehear sauce in a small pan. Remove from heat and whisk in vinegar and sour cream. Season with additional salt, pepper, and vinegar, to taste.