Pork tenderloin—as its name suggests—is a very tender section of the loin. The loin is usually sold in separate portions: the blade end, the sirloin end, and. the center loin. The tenderloin is a small, cylindrical muscle that is the tenderest part of the sirloin end. Pork tenderloin is much less expensive than beef tenderloin, and since it cooks quickly and is an elegant cut of meat, it makes a great dish for entertaining. The cherry-rosemary marinade results in a very aromatic dish that’s delicious served warm or at room temperature.
Two 1-pound pork tenderloins
½ cup dried cherries
⅓ cup dry red wine
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
¾ cup good-quality, all-natural cranberry juice or unfiltered apple juice
4 garlic cloves, minced
6 shallots, cut in half lengthwise
3 tablespoons fresh rosemary or 3 teaspoons dried rosemary
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
2. Rinse the pork loin, pat dry, and place in a shallow glass or ceramic baking dish. Set aside.
3. Whisk together the cherries, wine, vinegar, cranberry juice, garlic, shallots, and rosemary in a bowl. Pour this mixture over the pork, cover, and refrigerate 2 to 3 hours or overnight, turning the pork several times.
4. Heat the olive oil in a large, ovenproof skillet over medium heat. Remove the pork from the marinade (reserve the marinade) and place the pork in the heated skillet. Cook the pork on all sides, 5 to 6 minutes total time, until light brown.
5. Pour the reserved marinade over the pork and place the skillet in the oven. Roast, basting several times, 20 to 25 minutes or until a meat thermometer registers 150 to 155 degrees for medium (160 degrees—about 5 minutes longer—for medium-well). The meat will be a very light pink color. (Note: The pork will continue to cook after it is removed from the oven.)
6. Remove the pork from the baking dish and place on a grooved carving board. Cover the pork loosely and let it rest 5 to 10 minutes before carving.
7. Season with salt and pepper. Slice into ¼-inch pieces and spoon the pan juices over the pork. Serve immediately.