Friday, 19 August 2011

Pork Tenderloin Fillet with Blueberry and Apple Cider Sauce

The tenderloin is not only the most tender part of a pig, it is also probably the tastiest. Although not the cheapest cut of meat, pork tenderloin generally remains considerably less expensive than even a moderately decent beef steak. It is important when we are cooking tenderloin, because it is so lean, that we take care that it doesn't dry out and become tough and/or unpalatable. Equally for this reason, it is nice to serve a rich, fruity sauce with the cooked tenderloin fillet.

In a majority of cases, people thinking of a fruit sauce to serve with pork will automatically think of apple sauce. While apple sauce is indeed an excellent accompaniment to many different cuts of pork, it is refreshing on occasion to find and try an alternative. The sauce in this instance was originally intended to be a straightforward blueberry sauce and the meal accompanied by the bottle of cider. The decision to actually incorporate a little of the cider in the sauce was very much a last minute one but definitely something I believe worked well.

Ingredients per Serving

3/4lb fillet of pork tenderloin (it will shrink significantly during cooking)
5 or 6 small new potatoes
2oz trimmed green beans
1 tbsp fresh blueberries
2 tbsp apple cider
1/2 tsp sugar
1oz butter (plus a little extra for potatoes)
Little olive oil for greasing foil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper


Preheat your oven to 375F/190C. Lay a large sheet of aluminium foil on a baking tray and very lightly grease the centre - where the pork tenderloin fillet will sit - with a drizzle of olive oil. Place the pork on the oiled area, season with salt and pepper and wrap the foil into a loose but sealed tent. Cook in the oven for twenty-five minutes. It should then be removed from the oven and set aside (still wrapped in the foil) to rest for ten minutes while your potatoes finish cooking and you cook your sauce and beans.

Wash but don't peel your new potatoes. Add them to a pot of cold, slightly salted water and put on a high heat until the water boils. Reduce to a simmer for twenty to twenty-five minutes until the potatoes are soft when tested with a metal skewer or the point of a sharp knife.

Wash the blueberries and add them to a small saucepan, along with the sugar and cider. Place the pan on a medium heat and cook until the blueberries burst and the sauce starts to thicken, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon. This should take around four to five minutes. Reserve the remainder of the bottle of cider to enjoy with your plated meal.

The green beans could of course be blanched in water if you prefer but in this instance I have quickly fried them off in some butter. Put the 1oz of butter in to a small, non-stick frying pan and gently melt. Add the beans and season with salt and plenty of black pepper. Cook on a fairly high heat for two to three minutes, moving them around frequently with a spatula.

Drain your potatoes and return them to the empty pot with the remaining butter. Swirl them gently around to ensure even coating. Carefully unwrap the pork and lay it on a heated serving plate. The potatoes and beans should be arranged alongside before the blueberry and apple cider sauce is carefully spooned over the pork. Serve immediately - not forgetting the remainder of your cider!

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