Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Bacon-Wrapped Pork Tenderloin with Apricot-Ginger Sauce

Pork tenderloins, because of its leanness, is prone to easily drying out even when just slightly overcooked. The key to moist pork tenderloin is brining or if you are in a hurry, wrapping it in bacon like what I've done here. The role of the bacon is two-fold: first, to keep the lean meat from dying out quickly and second, to add flavor.

For this dish, I first trim a piece of pork tenderloin of its silver skin. Then I used several pieces of hickory-smoked bacon and wrapped them around the meat. Before cooking the tenderloin in the oven, I first brown the bacon-wrapped meat on a hot pan. While the tenderloin cooks in the oven, I used the pan drippings from the browning process to prepare the sauce. Pork pairs very well with fruits, especially apple. For my sauce, I decided to go with apricot and ginger. First, I cook the dried apricots and fresh ginger slices in a solution of rice wine vinegar, sugar and salt until it becomes really tender and almost like a really thick sauce. Using the same pan with the bacon oil that was used to brown the pork, I saute some shallot and garlic until fragrant. I then deglaze with some white wine and add the apricot-ginger sauce, cooking for a few more minutes. After letting it cool down for about 10 minutes or so, I puree the sauce with a blender, adding a little more water if needed.
When the pork is ready, remove from the oven and let it rest. As the meat rests, yummy juices will bleed out and I like to use these juices to further flavor the sauce. Here I am serving the pork with my favorite vegetable, asparagus, that are sauted with shiitake mushrooms and home-made garlic and parmesan mashed potatoes.

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