More cranberry action this week. A gastrique is a sweet and sour sauce which pairs really nicely with pork and duck. In this case I’m going with a pork tenderloin, which I brined and pan roasted. I slightly modified the gastrique recipe from here: http://www.stephanieizard.com/recipes/brussels_sprouts_with_bacon_almonds_and_cranberry_gastrique/.
Brined Pork Tenderloin
1 pork tenderloin, about 1 to 1.5 lbs.
1 carrot, sliced
2 shallots, sliced
5 cloves garlic, husks removed but left whole
1 celery stalk, chopped
15 ounces water
1.5 ounces salt
½ teaspoon mustard seed
6 allspice berries
1 sprig rosemary
4 sprigs thyme
1 tablespoon brown sugar
15 ounces ice
Heat a 12” pan over medium and add in a bit of olive oil. Add the carrots, shallots, garlic and celery and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the 15 ounces of water along with the salt, black pepper, mustard seed, allspice, rosemary, thyme and brown sugar. Squeeze juice of the lemon into the liquid, then add in the actual lemon. Bring to a simmer.
Weigh out 15 ounces of ice in a large bowl. Pour the brining liquid into the ice bowl, and stir to melt the ice. The liquid should be at room temp (or cooler, that’s fine. As long as it isn’t hot so it doesn’t cook the pork). Pour the liquid into a 1 gallon Ziploc bag. Add in the pork tenderloin, and place in the refrigerator. Let the meat brine for 4 to 6 hours.
When it’s time to cook the tenderloin, remove from the brine and pat dry. Preheat the oven to 425°F. Heat a 12” cast iron skillet over high heat. Add in a splash of canola oil, then add the tenderloin, browning about 30 seconds a side. Place the skillet in the oven, and cook the tenderloin until it hits an internal temperature of 140°F (about 10 minutes). Remove and let rest for 5 minutes before slicing.
¾ cup red wine vinegar
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
¼ cup red wine
¾ cup cranberries (fresh or frozen)
¾ cup sugar
Add everything to a small pot and bring to a simmer. Let simmer until reduced by half, which should take 15 minutes.