Black Forest Pork Tenderloin

October 31, 2010

Black Forest Pork Tenderloin

Varietal: Merlot

Serves 6 to 8

Camaraderie Cellars, located on the Olympic Peninsula in Port Angeles, Washington, bills itself as “a craft winery producing fine varietal wines.” Winemaker Don Corson produces award-winning wines from grapes produced at Eastern Washington’s top vineyards, wines created to be full-flavored, yet food-friendly. Son Steve, a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America at Greystone in the Napa Valley, devised the simple recipe below. The cherry flavors of the sauce are mirrored in the berry flavors of an easy-to-drink wine, such as Camaraderie Merlot. The Corsons and other winemakers and restaurateurs from Washington’s Olympic Coast were profiled in a Taste column I wrote for The Seattle Times Pacific Northwest magazine entitled, In the Loop, a fun read and inspiration to visit this very special part of the world (“Twilight” territory!).

2 tablespoons olive oil

Two 1-pound pork tenderloins, trimmed of fat and silver skin

2 teaspoons kosher salt

3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 cups dry red wine, preferably good-quality Merlot

1 cup cherry preserves

1 tablespoon water (optional)

2 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch (optional)

1. Heat a large heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-high heat and add the oil. Lightly sprinkle the pork on all sides with the salt and pepper. When the oil is hot, add the pork and cook, turning with tongs, until browned on all sides, a total of 4 to 5 minutes.

2. Reduce the heat and continue cooking the meat, turning occasionally, until still slightly pink at the center when cut with a paring knife, 25 to 30 minutes. Transfer the meat to a large plate and tent with aluminum foil to keep warm.

3. Add the wine and preserves to the pan, scraping up the brown bits in the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon or heat-proof rubber spatula. Bring to a simmer and cook until the liquid reduces slightly, 7 to 10 minutes. For a thicker sauce, mix the water and cornstarch and add to the pan, then stir well and simmer for 1 minute, or until thick and shiny.

4. To serve, slice the tenderloin and spoon the cherry-wine sauce over the meat.

Cook’s Hint: For fun and variety, try sprinkling the sliced, sauced pork with fresh chopped herbs such as sage, thyme or parsley.

Recipe reprinted from Pacific Northwest Wining & Dining: The People, Places, Food, and Drink of Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and British Columbia (Wiley, 2007, $34.95) by Braiden Rex-Johnson.

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