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Pork Tenderloin in a Port-Prune Sauce

Pork Tenderloin in a Port-Prune Sauce

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Jacqueline and I have been talking about hosting a virtual food event, for the past couple of months.  She was twittering and writing about a Spiced Mexican Chicken dish that she served with Tabasco Watermelon Margaritas and we got to thinking that it would be fun to have an event where we provide our readers with the main entree recipe and ask you, our readers to come up with the ultimate cocktail to pair with this meal.  This recipe for Pork Tenderloin in a Port-Prune Sauce is the perfect pairing entree too.  

Pork Tenderloin in a Port-Prune Sauce


In the same breath, David Leite’s newest book, The New Portuguese Table had come out and we decided to toss around the idea with David.  We were really excited to use one of his pork tenderloin recipes as we thought it would be a nice transition into the holidays, something festive for a cocktail pairing. 

David was so kind as to let us publish his Pork Tenderloin in a Port-Prune Sauce recipe for this particular event.  Just a quick review of David’s book, it is fantastic.  Lenny is Portuguese and he loves the take on traditional recipes, the same flavors that mom makes but with a fresh and new taste.  We have made a few of the recipes and all of them have been outstanding!

Lenny and I made this dish last night and it was amazing.  I could not find any pork tenderloin at either of my butchers, so I did end up using a Pork Loin Roast, which worked out perfectly.  The pork came out with a crispy outside and very moist inside. 

I loved that use of prunes and port in the sauce, it was not overly sweet and was slightly smokey, thanks to the port.  We tried two different plates, one with cilantro and one without, the cilantro really added a nice freshness to the sauce and we recommend using it.  The only other thing that we did differently was to add slices of yellow potatoes and turnips, to the roasting pan, about an hour before the roasting was finished.  One can never go wrong with potatoes roasted in pork fat!

We decided to serve a Sazerac with this particular dish as we both thought the boldness of the Rye would be a nice addition to the slightly sweet sauce.  Normally, I am not a Sazerac fan, but I have to say, Lenny outdid himself with this round.  The cocktails were smooth, icy cold, and perfectly balanced with the Herbsaint Liqueur and Rye.

The rules for this dinner party are:

  • Make the same Pork Tenderloin Recipe, if you can’t find tenderloins, use a roast or chops, but let’s keep it a pork dish in honor of Pig Tales
  • Create a cocktail that you think will pair nicely with the dish
  • Blog about the two being served together and be sure to include a photo
  • Include a link in your post to both the Leather District Gourmet and Chez Us
  • Email both of us the link to your post along with a photo of the two. 

Recipe:  Pork Tenderloin in a Port-Prune Sauce


2/3 cup pitted prunes (about 15)
1 cup ruby port
½ cup beef stock
1-inch thumb of ginger, peeled and grated
1 tablespoon honey
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 1 pound pork tenderloins, fat and silver skin removed
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tablespoon, sherry vinegar
Chopped fresh cilantro leaves

How To:

Position a rack in the middle of the oven and crank up the heat to 450.

Dump the prunes into a small saucepan, add the port, beef stock, ginger, and honey, and bring just to a boil.  Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, for 15 minutes.  Turn off the heat and let steep for 20 minutes.

Pour the prunes and liquid into a blender or food processor and buzz until smooth.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until hot.  Season both tenderloins well with salt and pepper and sear one at a time, turning occasionally, until brown, about 5 minutes.  Transfer to a baking sheet and set the skillet aside.

Roast the pork until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the center of the meat registers just under 150, 15 – 18 minutes.  Transfer the tenderloins to a cutting board, tent with foil, and let rest for 5 minutes.

Pour off all but a thin film of fat from the skillet.  Lower the heat to medium, toss in the garlic and cook until lightly colored about 2 minutes.  Add the port-prune sauce and stir to pick up the browned bits stuck to the skillet.  Pour in the vinegar, and any accumulated juices from the pork, and cook to meld the flavors, 2 to 3 minutes.  If the sauce seems thick, add more beef stock.  For an elegant take, strain the sauce through a sieve.

Cut the tenderloins on the diagonal into ½ inch slices.  Divide the slices among six plates, drizzle with the warm sauce, and sprinkle with cilantro.


1 teaspoon Herbsaint liqueur Ice cubes
1 teaspoon simple syrup
1 1/2 ounces rye whiskey
3 dashes Peychaud’s Bitters – we used blood orange bitters
1 lemon peel twist

Chill an old-fashioned glass by filling it with crushed ice or refrigerate or freeze for at least 30 minutes. Add the Herbsaint to the glass; swirl it around to coat the entire sides and bottom of the glass. Discard the excess. In a cocktail shaker, add 4 or 5 small ice cubes, sugar, rye whiskey, and bitters. Shake gently for about 30 seconds; strain into the prepared glass.  Twist lemon peel over the drink and then place in the drink. Makes 1 serving.

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Friday 4th of December 2009

Sounds wonderful Denise. The pork in your photo looks a lot larger than any pork tenderloin I've seen here.