Thursday, February 25, 2010

Roasted Pork with Shallots and Pears

As you may know, I am in culinary school which has created a certain level of expectation when I cook. Even though I'm relatively new to the program, people assume I must be a good cook to even consider going through school. Or perhaps I just put more pressure on myself... Either way, I want to put on a good showing whenever I have people over for dinner. The last time I had guests, I committed one of the entertaining no-no's by preparing something I had never made before. Actually, I made a few things I'd never done before. With some careful prep work and my fingers crossed, everything turned great! I not only impressed my friends, but I found a great new way to prepare pork tenderloin, a meat I love using to add variety to the usual chicken or fish. I first found a recipe on Epicurous and then read the numerous reviews of what others had done and then made my own variations. The following recipe made a moist, flavorful pork with sweet and soft pears and shallots. The red wine reduction was easy to make right before serving and complimented everything beautifully. To enjoy with your meal, try Grand Veneur, a delicious white wine from the Cote du Rhone region of France. Or if you prefer red, try Domain Charvin, another great product of the Rhone region. Both complimented the flavors of the pork and pears and will only set you back about $15 each. I served the pork with butternut squash gnocchi (a post on that to come) and broccolini. The key is to save time at the end of cooking to let the pork rest for at least 10 minutes before cutting it. This will keep all of the delicious juices from running out all over the cutting board. While it's resting, you can make the sauce and do any last minute prep.

Roasted Pork with Shallots and Pears
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 10 (or so) thyme sprigs, leaves removed and stems discarded
  • 1.5-2 lbs pork tenderloin (they generally come in a package of 2 weighing about this much)
  • 3 Anjou pears
  • 5-6 shallots
  • 1 cup dry red wine
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • salt and pepper
Preheat the oven to 375F.
In a large bowl combine olive oil, thyme and garlic. Season well with salt and pepper.
Toss the pork in the mixture and let sit till the pork comes to room temperature (about 20 minutes).
Heat a large dutch oven on the stove over medium heat.
While the pork is marinating, cut the pears in quarters lengthwise. Cut out the core and the stem and then halve each quarter. Peel the shallots and cut them into quarters as well.
Place the pork into the hot dutch oven and let sear on each side for a couple minutes per side.
Toss the pears and shallots in the remainder of the oil mixture.
Add them to the pork and put the entire thing in the oven.
Roast together for about 3o minutes or until pork reaches desired doneness (I prefer slightly pink which is around 135F).
If the pears are not fork tender, remove the pork and cook for another 5-10 minutes.
Remove the dutch oven and set aside the pears and shallots.
Put the pot back over medium-low heat and pour in the wine, stirring to pick up the flavors from the bottom.
When the wine has reduced slightly, stir in the balsamic.
Season with salt and pepper if needed and pour over the pork and pears.

Unfortunately the photo I took did not turn out as well as I would have hoped. I was too busy entertaining and enjoying myself to stop and take a good photo. However, I assure you that the meal was delicious and will also look wonderful to serve to friends and family. Enjoy!

For a printable recipe click here

1 comment:

  1. This meal was absolutely unbelievable! Thank you!