Healthful cooking

Sweet-and-savory rhubarb sauce for pork tenderloin

 

Main dish

Pork Tenderloin Medallions With Rhubarb-Orange Sauce

2 pork tenderloins (about 1 1/2 pounds total), trimmed of fat

Kosher salt and ground pepper

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided

2 cups thinly sliced rhubarb

2 teaspoons sugar

2 tablespoons minced shallot

1/2 teaspoon minced garlic

1 cup orange juice

1 teaspoon cornstarch

2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

Chopped fresh chives, to garnish

Trim off the thin end piece of each tenderloin. Slice the remaining portion of each tenderloin crosswise into 3/4-inch rounds. You should end up with 18 to 20 pieces, including the 2 thin sections cut from the ends. Season the pork on all sides with salt and pepper.

In a large skillet over medium-high, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil. Working in batches, add the pork to the skillet. Cook, turning to brown on all sides, for about 4 to 5 minutes, or until the pork is just pink at the center (about 145 degrees). Transfer the pork to a plate, cover with foil and let it rest while you prepare the sauce.

Return the skillet to the heat and add the remaining tablespoon of oil, the rhubarb and the sugar. Sauté for 2 minutes. Add the shallots and garlic and cook, stirring, for another minute. Add the orange juice and simmer for 2 minutes.

In a small bowl or glass, whisk the cornstarch with 2 teaspoons water, and add to the simmering broth in a stream, whisking. Return the sauce to a boil, and whisk in the mustard and any juices that have collected on the plate from the pork.

To serve, divide the pork medallions among 6 plates and top with sauce. Garnish with chives. Makes 6 servings.

Per serving: 200 calories, 60 calories from fat (30 percent of total calories), 7 g fat (1.5 g saturated, 0 g trans fats), 75 mg cholesterol, 8 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 2 g sugar, 25 g protein, 420 mg sodium.


Associated Press

An import from England, rhubarb was known in 19th century America as “the pie plant” because that was where it usually ended up – in pies, often paired with strawberries. But I think the rhubarb’s acidity makes it a splendid ingredient in savory dishes, too.

Rhubarb looks a lot like celery, except that it’s usually a fetching reddish-purple in color. It comes in long, slender stalks, with strings running from top to bottom. To eliminate the toughness of the strings, some cooks peel their rhubarb before cooking. I deal with the issue (and more easily, I think) by thinly slicing the stalks across the grain.

Given its high water content, turning rhubarb into a sauce requires little more than cooking it. It breaks down quickly and becomes nice and thick. In today’s recipe, it needed some counter-balancing sweetness, but I kept the sugar to a bare minimum in favor of fresh orange juice.

As for the cut of pork on which we ladle this sauce, I went with the tenderloin instead of its neighbor, the loin. Both are lean, but they call it the tenderloin for a reason. However, this isn’t to say it won’t turn out tough and dry if you overcook it, so be sure to keep your eye on the cooking time and let it rest after you’ve taken the meat out of the skillet.

Sara Moulton hosts public television’s “Sara’s Weeknight Meals” and is the author, most recently, of “Sara Moulton’s Everyday Family Dinners.”

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