Sunday, February 8, 2009

Roasted Pork Tenderloin with Beets & Parsnips, Apricots & Olives

I made this meal for John's parents when they were here for a visit. Pork tenderloin has become one of my party faves because it is tasty, healthy and cooks while you are entertaining, making plate up the main part of the effort while your guests are there.

This version of the recipe is due in part to my friend Jill who had an extra parsnip, which I had never tried before ... and Johnson's Backyard Farm who supplied fresh beets in our most recent box o' veggie love. I also got a little inspiration from a few other blogs and recipe sites ... but created this combined unique recipe myself. The apricots & olives add a really interesting combination of sweet & salty that worked surprisingly well.

I served the pork with thyme-garlic-olive oil roasted sweet potatoes and a spinach and bell pepper salad with my signature dressing (that you can find in a prior post).

Roasted Pork Tenderloin with Beets & Parsnips plus Apricots & Olives
  • 1 Medium Pork Tenderloin
  • 5-6 Medium Red or Yellow Beets, or a mixture, cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 1 Parsnip, peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 15 Dried Apricots, cut into quarters or so
  • 15-20 seedless Kalamata olives, sliced
  • 2-3 Garlic Cloves, Crushed / Crudely Chopped
  • 2 Oranges, zest both oranges & squeeze the juice into the marinade
  • 1-2 Cups White Wine, ideally something a bit on the sweet side*
  • 2 Tbsp Rice Wine Vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp Honey
  • 1 Tbsp Soy Sauce
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tiny pat butter for sauce
  • Thyme
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
*Feel free to use sparkling too if you like. I just used a wine that was sort of like a riesling that we found a bit sweet to drink for our palate.

Marinate the tenderloin for 3-6 hours in a dish with the wine, vinegar, orange zest + juice, soy sauce, honey, garlic, thyme apricots and olives. Remove the tenderloin and season with salt & pepper, reserving the marinade.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Heat a dutch oven or large pan with about 1 tsp olive oil until the oil is hot. Sear the tenderloin on all sides, return the marinade to the dutch oven or if you used a pan, transfer the tenderloin into an oven safe roasting dish and add the marinade. Add the parsnips and beets and place the roaster in the oven, lid off.

Allow the tenderloin to roast until it reaches an internal temperature of 140degrees when tested with a meat thermometer. This will be between 45 - 65 minutes depending on the size of the tenderloin. If it is one of those HUGE 4 inch diameter tenderloins, add another 30 - 40 minutes. Note, most meat thermometers are not meant to be in the oven with the item ... take it out and test it ... then put it back if it is not done:) I learned that years ago the hard way ... :)

Once the pork has reached temp, your veggies should be done as well. If they aren't then leave them in the roasting pan, take out your pork and let it rest covered in foil. Remove most of the liquid from the roaster and put it in a saucepan to create your pan gravy. Then place the veggies back in the oven under the broiler. You should be able to finish them quickly that way.

Either way, use the remaining liquid to make a sauce. I use corn starch to thicken my sauces and then add just a tiny bit of butter for flavor. In order to avoid a lumpy sauce, reserve about 1/3 cup of liquid in a small container and whisk/stir it together with about 1 tsp of corn starch. Then recombine that thickened liquid with the remainder in the sauce pan. Stir over medium heat while it thickens. If it still isn't as thick as you'd like, repeat. If you don't have enough liquid, you can add a bit more wine or some chicken broth/water to create your sauce. Add a small pat of butter, whisk and get ready to serve.

Your pork should be well rested and ready to eat now ... carve away and serve with the veggie combo, your sides and a drizzle of sauce on top for an impressive and mostly healthy, but fundamentally easy meal. And ... get ready for some tasty leftovers!!!!