This method of cooking takes an inexpensive cut of meat and turns it into a flavorful, juicy, crispy-crusted classic for your dinner. Cutting the meat into medallions and flattening them increases the surface area, giving a great sear and tenderness to each bite. And, why waste such delicious drippings? Making them into a great sauce is always necessary and in this case, perfect.
We apologize, the parmesan cheese has been left off the asparagus to maintain the heart healthy appeal, but no one will tell if you sprinkle a little micro-zest of parmigiano reggiano over the top*
For the pork:
1 t salt
½ t black pepper
1 pork tenderloin (approximately 1 lb. with skin removed and cut into 1-inch slices- butcher will do this*)
2T high quality olive oil
For the Sauce:
1 T olive oil
1 medium onion thinly sliced (approximately 1 cup)
¼ c dry sherry
¼ c red wine vinegar
½ c chicken stock or low-salt canned broth
1/4 c FruitFast Traditional Dried Cherries
For the asparagus:
20 spears asparagus
¼ lemon (juice)
1 t kosher salt
¼ t white pepper
2 T olive oil
1 T Brownwood Acres Red Pepper Jelly
*If the butcher doesn’t, or you forget, then simply lay a ruler out next to the pork tenderloin and slice away–an even cut is very important in this recipe.
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
Lay pork medallions out on a piece of saran wrap and cover with another piece of saran wrap. Pound pork medallions until ¾ inch thick using a rubber mallet, wood mallet, or banging your fist against it.
In a ziploc bag place asparagus, kosher salt, pepper, olive oil, lemon juice and Pepper Jelly. Shake to coat.
Lay asparagus flat (not stacked) on a cookie sheet and roast in the oven for 18 minutes.[continue with pork while asparagus is cooking and revisit during Step 11] NOTE: if asparagus is not in season and is therefore thin, don’t put in oven until after the pork is cooked and then only for 10 minutes.
In a ziploc bag, place pounded medallions, mustard, salt and pepper. Roll it all around until pork is fully covered.
Heat oil until shimmering in a heavy-bottomed pan, at least 10 inches across bottom, over medium-high heat, swirling pan to distribute oil. Working in batches of no more than six slices to avoid overcrowding, sear medallions without moving them until brown on one side, about 80 seconds (oil should sizzle, but not smoke). Turn medallions with tongs to avoid scraping off the sear; sear until meat is mostly opaque at sides, firm to the touch, and well browned, about 80 seconds. Transfer pork to a plate.
Heat oil in a pan in which pork was cooked (leave everything from pork in the pan) over medium heat, swirling to distribute.
Add onion; sauté until softened and starting to color, about 2 minutes.
Add sherry, and vinegar; boil, scraping pan bottom with wooden spatula to loosen browned bits, until liquid reduces to a glaze, about 2-1/2 minutes.
Increase heat to high and add stock or broth, cherries, and cherry sauce, and any accumulated pork juices (from plate); boil until liquid reaches consistency of maple syrup, about 3 minutes.
Reduce heat to medium; return pork to pan, turning meat to coat. Simmer to heat pork thoroughly and blend flavors, about 3 minutes.* Adjust seasonings, adding salt to taste. * WHILE PORK IS SIMMERING, remove asparagus from the oven, turn off oven, sprinkle with Parmesan cheese, and put back in the oven until ready to serve. Transfer pork to a serving plate and spoon sauce over meat and serve with asparagus.
*Using a micro-zest delivers just the smallest amount of anything, whether it be zest or parmesan (and parmesan is just strong enough that a light micro-zest delivers the flavor without the clogged arteries)