© Constantine William Spyrou
My favorite technique of cooking has to be roasting, because the long cooking times result in delicious, juicy meat that can't be replicated in flavor in any other way in my opinion. Whether it be beef, lamb, chicken, or pork, or any meat in between, roasting just gives it an incredible flavor that comes from the slower cooking time on the meat. It's also where I first cut my teeth on cooking. Roasted leg of lamb was one of the first dishes I made, and it was pretty much the best thing ever. Ever since then, I've just loved to roast things.
This is a roasted pork tenderloin, nothing too fancy about it. The main reason I wanted to work with pork actually is that its sweet and almost buttery flesh goes great with sweet fruits and vibrant, citrusy flavors. I have actually just discovered that I love grapefruit (turns out I was eating it wrong all those years before, grapefruit is actually quite delicious if you take all the bitter membranes off first and eat it by segment!). I wanted to showcase the brightness of grapefruit and contrast it with the sweet pork and some tart pomegranates (another favorite fruit of mine) and let those shine on one plate. Paired with a chili orzo to give a nice sweet and spicy flavor to the dish, this will be one to remember for sure!
Recipe can feed up to 6 people comfortably.
For the Orzo:
2 packages of orzo, cooked to package specifications
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
4 tablespoons chopped birds-eye chilies (thai chilies or red jalapenos work as well, depending on how spicy you want the dish to be. Birds eye is in the middle, jalapenos are the mildest, and thai chilies are the spiciest)
2 tablespoons dijon mustard
1/4 cup olive oil
Salt and Pepper to Season
1/4 cup chopped parsley
For the Glaze:
1/2 cup turbinado sugar (brown sugar or regular sugar also work, but turbinado doesn't burn as easily)
1/4 cup Pomegranate juice
Segments out of 1 1/2 to 2 grapefruits
1/4 cup honey
For the Pork Tenderloin:
2 1- 1 1/2 pound pork tenderloins (make sure to trim the silver skin off of these, they will make it tough!)
Salt and Pepper to Season
3 tablespoons dried sage
Zest of 1 lemon
1/4 cup grapeseed oil (This is a mildly flavored neutral oil that won't overpower like olive oil will)
1. Preheat your convection over to 425 degrees F.
2. Blend the grapefruit segments so they form a nice juice.
3. Place the turbinado sugar, pomegranate juice, grapefruit juice, and honey into a medium sauce pan. Dissolve the sugar, bring to a boil and boil the miture for 3-4 minutes. Set aside to let it cool.
4. Rub the pork tenderloins with the salt, pepper, and grapeseed oil.
5. Add some more grapeseed oil to a pan, and sear the pork tenderloins on each side. This should take no more than 15 minutes to get a nice browned color on all sides.
6. Rub the pork with the lemon zest and sage, then transfer to a roasting tray and lightly cover with about half the glaze. Bake off for around 15 minutes or until the internal temperature of the pork reaches 145-150 degrees F.
7. As the pork roasts, cook the orzo according to package instructions. If you want to make sure the orzo doesn't stick, add a little olive oil to the boiling water before adding the orzo.
8. Mix together the chili vinaigrette by adding the olive oil, red wine, and chopped chilies together. Add in the mustard and whisk vigorously until well combined. Season with salt and pepper and mix until thoroughly combined once more.
9. Add the vinaigrette and fresh chopped parsley to the orzo and combine well.
10. When the pork comes out of the oven, cover it lightly with the rest of the glaze, and leave to rest for about 5-10 minutes. Serve thick slices of the pork over a small bed of the chili orzo. Finish with any leftover glaze if you have it.
This dish really brings together sweet and spicy in a way that is just elevated to a new level with elements from the vinaigrette and glaze combining to harmonize in a beautiful way, with the fresh parsley and buttery pork leading the charge to get the flavors to work so well.
I hope you really enjoy this dish! Let me know if you try to make it and what you think in the comments! As always, enjoy! =)