This week’s French Fridays with Dorie recipe (Fresh orange pork tenderloin, p 273) included a couple of firsts for me. Not because of the pork with fruit combo - that’s a no-brainer for me. But, firstly, because I NEVER think that a pork tenderloin is going to be a “quick meal” – mostly because many of my favourite ways to prepare it involve marinating for a few hours or overnight. This recipe calls for no marinade whatsoever. Secondly, because I would NEVER think to cut up a beautiful pork tenderloin. I had to read the recipe a couple of times to make sure I was doing what Dorie intended.
The pork was cut into what was for me, four evenly (about 5-6 cm long and 3-4cm in diameter) pieces. Ok so this was already better than the thin rounds I had first imagined on reading the recipe. These were browned a little in oil and butter then onions, orange zest and juice and cardamom were added and then the pork was covered and cooked at a low heat for about 8 minutes, then I added orange segments and cooked it for a couple minutes more (this is less than Dorie recommends but I guess it all depends on the thickness of your pieces and how you like your pork cooked – in my case – I knew I could get away with it being undercooked a little as it would continue to cook in the pan as I fussed with my camera LOL!). I added some fresh clementine pieces to the pan for colour too.
And how was this? Well it was just fine. By the time I had reheated it for lunch a while later it was definitely a little more cooked than we both like (but that’s what you get when you need the photo before people are ready to eat!) but when I was plating it for the picture, it was perfect. This is a dish that definitely needs you to keep a close eye on it. I wonder about making the sauce ingredients into a marinade and marinating the whole tenderloin overnight. I find a tenderloin roasted in the oven easier to cook (as in, I know how long it takes more or less and if in doubt, I can use the meat thermometer) whereas this could go from perfectly “done” to overdone in the blink of an eye. In any case, we both loved the flavours of this (the cardamom was a little subtle – I might add more next time) and I’d like to try this method (and flavours) with something that lends itself to pan roasting like pork chops – I think that might work too.
As a bonus, I think it was a pretty pork dish and you don’t often see that, right?
French Fridays with Dorie participants do not publish the recipes on our blogs (this week you can find the recipe online here), rather, we prefer if you purchase Around My French Table for yourselves (trust me, you definitely want this book!) which you can do here on Amazon or Amazon Canada. Or for free worldwide shipping, buy from The Book Depository. Go on, treat yourself then join us here!