Pork tenderloin can be a delicious and moist dish, but all too easily it comes out dry, tough, and flavorless - the cost of such a lean cut. Done right, however, tenderloin is a satisfying yet low fat meat. While many recipes for fall tenderloin include apples and cider, I wanted to try something a bit different but no less hearty. After consulting a few cookbooks, I created a sauce that's warm and hearty with an indulgently buttery consistency, yet only uses about 4 tablespoons of butter for 4 servings! The trick was the addition of Harvey's Bristol Cream Sherry, an ingredient I didn't see in any of the recipes I consulted, but that I've had success with in the past for bringing out meaty flavors in other dishes.
I chose to pair the dish with roasted baby potatoes; a very simple two step recipe.
- 1lb pork tenderloin, well sprinkled with coarse salt and fresh black pepper, about 2 tsp. each
- 3 tbsp. EVOO
- 1 tbsp. minced fresh rosemary (fresh is imperative)
- 1/4 cup diced shallots
- 4 tbsp. unsalted butter
- 3 tbsp. water
- 1 tbsp. packed dark brown sugar
- 1/4 cup Harvey's bristol cream sherry (a worthy purchase as it's useful in many recipes)
- 4 cups sliced baby potatoes
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Heat 3 tbsp. EVOO a saute pan until almost smoking. Add the tenderloin and sear, about 1 minute, then turn and sear on the other side for another minute or so. Keep turning until all sides are nicely browned.
- Heat a medium saute pan, add 1 tbsp. EVOO, heat over medium heat until shimmering, and add the sliced potatoes. Do not stir; let them get brown on one side, about 5 minutes, then give it a stir and cook another 5 minutes or so. They do not need to get tender, as they'll finish cooking in the oven with the pork.
- Place the pork in a baking pan, (I line with foil for easy cleanup), surround the pork with the potatoes, cover loosely with foil, and pop it in the oven. Set the timer for 10 minutes.
- In the pan used to cook the pork, add 2 tbsp. butter, 2 tbsp. EVOO, and scrape the bottom of the pan to loosen browned bits of pork that have stuck to the pan.
- Add the water and brown sugar, stir to incorporate.
- Add the shallots and cook over medium heat until caramelized, about 5 minutes.
- Lower the heat and add sherry, rosemary, and remaining butter.
- Remove the pork from the oven and let sit, still covered, for 10 minutes. The internal temperature should register 140 degrees. The meat will be SLIGHTLY pink.
- Add all the pork, potatoes, and juices (there will be about 1/2 cup) to your pan sauce, stir it all together so the potatoes are coated in sauce. Then slice your tenderloin into medallions, and serve!
Serves 4 people