Thursday, January 19, 2012

Pork Tenderloin with Balsamic Cranberry Sauce

What can I say about cranberries?  There really isn't enough good to say about them.  I love cranberries and my love for them goes way back to my childhood.  I loved them then and I have a passion for them now.  I gravitate towards recipes that include cranberries and I'm always trying to create and write new recipes that incorporate cranberries.  There is just something so delicious about the sweet and tart flavor they have.  They compliment so many different types of food, and they work with both sweet and savory dishes.

As much as I love cranberries in muffins and cookies, I enjoy them in various savory dishes as well.  Cranberries compliment pork, turkey and chicken wonderfully.  I enjoy the days after Thanksgiving and Christmas because I get make chicken and turkey sandwiches and use leftover craberry sauce as a spread, oh my goodness it's so good!  This pork loin with balsamic cranberry sauce is another successful combination of cranberries and savory.  I love the contrast of flavors in this sauce; sweet, tart and salty. The balsamic vinegar gives it a very distinct flavor, yet compliments it perfectly.

I love how the fresh cranberries are cooked down to for a homemade cranberry sauce and then added to a pan sauce with balsamic vinegar, garlic and rosemary.  This sauce is perfect and hits every single flavor note.  Add this perfectly sweet, tart and tangy sauce to the roasted tenderloin and you've got a perfect meal for any occassion.  This is quick enough to make for a week night meal yet impressive enough to use for entertaining.   

Pork Tenderloin with Balsamic Cranberry Sauce


1 Cup whole cranberries

1 Cup water
2 Tbsp sugar (more to taste, if desired)
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 1/2 lbs pork tenderloin
Salt and pepper
1 Tbsp butter
1/2 Cup chopped shallot (or onion)
1 Clove garlic, minced
1 Tbsp chopped fresh rosemary
1 Cup chicken broth
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar


Place water, sugar, and cranberries in a saucepan, bring to a boil and simmer for about 15 minutes, until the berries and most of the water cooks off, leaving a homemade whole-berry cranberry sauce.

Preheat oven to 400.

Add olive oil to an oven-proof saute pan over medium-high heat.  Pat the pork loin with paper towels to dry. Season liberally with with salt and pepper and place in pan.  Sear pork on all sides and place pan in the oven.  Roast the pork loin until thermometer inserted into center registers 155, about 20 minutes.

Remove the pork from the oven and allow to rest in the pan for 5 minutes and then transfer to a plate and tent with foil.

Place a large saucepan over medium-high heat and add butter, shallot, and rosemary. Cook until shallots are soft, about 3 minutes.  Add garlic and cook for 1 minute more.  Add broth and scrape up the bits from the bottom and sides of the pan.  Add cranberry sauce and vinegar and bring to a boil, reducing heat to medium-low and simmering for about15 minutes, until sauce has thickened.

Slice tenderloin to desired thickness and serve with sauce.

Recipe source: Bon Appetit via Confections of a Foodie Bride

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