Reading criticism of the children's book Little Women at my little desk. (Of course, my Peet's mug of coffee is almost empty!)
I woke up to light snow falling outside. Considering we didn’t have much of a winter, I actually welcomed a cozy day inside (spent doing some work and baking, of course). Last night I realized I had a pork tenderloin sitting in my freezer from WEEKS ago (eek!) and needed to use it today. I decided to make a roast. Roasting (as a cooking technique) is not only one of my favorite baking methods, but it also reminds me of the winter time. (How many chickens have I roasted on a cold day?) I also consider all roasted food a “comfort” food!
I know the basics of cooking with pork, but I wanted to see if I could experiment and pair it with some different flavors. I looked online and pieced together (from several different recipes) a meal fit for a queen (or king!): Roasted Pork Tenderloin with Brandied Blueberry-Raspberry Sauce (and greens)! I have Raspberry jam, but no raspberries. I have fresh blueberries, though, and a whole bottle of brandy just aching to be used. Plus, doesn’t this sound like a rich sauce? I’m including balsamic vinegar, honey, brown sugar, berries, and a touch of applesauce in this sauce. I’m making it somewhat neutral and tart (not too savory or sweet) and using it after this meal for flavoring greek yogurt or ice cream! Yes! You know how I like good base recipes (which I can then recycle for something else), and this sauce is a winner. I also am stuffing the roast with fresh herbs, not stuffing. I want this pork to be aromatic and don’t need the stuffing (I already have tons of leftovers).
Herb-Stuffed Roast Pork with Brandied Raspberry-Blueberry Sauce
Ingredients for Herb-Stuffed Roast Pork:
1 pork tenderloin
a few sprigs of Fresh herbs (I had parsley and basil on hand)
2 Bay leaves
2 cloves of chopped garlic
Paprika (all spice amounts vary; enough to cover your pork tenderloin)
Italian all-purpose seasoning
Blueberry-Raspberry Sauce Ingredients:
1/8 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup blueberries
2 tbsp Raspberry preserves
1 tsp honey
1/2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp applesauce
1 tbsp brandy
a pinch of brown sugar
a pinch of corn starch mixed with hot water
Carefully rinse pork, pat dry, and set onto a cutting board. Cut a small slit down the center of your pork, stuff with a few springs of fresh herbs and the bay leaves, and then use a toothpick or twine to seal back together.
Now that you’re done stuffing the pork, rub a tbsp of olive oil into the meat and then liberally season with the remaining dried herbs. Again, massage the seasoning into the meat. Place pork into an oiled roasting pan and bake for 60-70 minutes at a low heat, 325 or 335 degrees (depending on the size of your meat). If you’d like, roast some vegetables with your pork; I chopped apple, carrot, and potato and put into the bottom of pan for roasting.
While your pork roasts, make your sauce. Heat on low the blueberries, raspberry preserves, honey, applesauce, brown sugar, cinnamon, balsamic, and brandy. Heat for 5 minutes, allowing for the ingredients to reduce and for the flavors to marry. At the end, add a tiny amount of cornstarch (tsp of warm water and cornstarch) to thicken your sauce.
My improvised berry sauce (Sorry the picture is over-exposed...the stormy day made it dark in my house, and I'm also still learning how to use a camera!)
Take your roast out of the oven when done, and let rest for 5 minutes. Done! Time to enjoy your fabulous meal! I actually put some of the pork, roasted vegetables, and sauce on top of a bed of mixed greens and herbs. Honestly, this is pretty delicious! I am a little improvisational in the kitchen, and this turned out better than I expected! Cheers! Hope you have a fun Saturday!
My herb-stuffed pork loin and roasted vegetables atop a bed of greens and dressed with some of my tart Brandied-berry sauce. Lunch is served! (And I have tons of leftovers!)