Pork Tenderloin with Pomegranate Fig Sauce

Pork tenderloin is the luxury cut of pork and one of the easiest cuts of pork to prepare. I always look for them on sale at my market and buy an extra one to pop in the freezer to have on hand for easy & quick meals. Because there is virtually no waste, they can be a very economical cut of pork as well. It’s always tender, very low in fat and lends itself well to any number of interesting sauces, including this easy sauce that combines the autumn flavors of figs and pomegranate. The sauce is easy enough for family meals. Paired with a wild rice pilaf side this dish is impressive enough for holiday entertaining. Sliced pork tenderloin is perfect for buffet serving.

These days pork tenderloins are often sold in individual cryo-vac packaging and the only prep work needed is to wash, pat dry any trim and bits of silver skin that may cover the meat with a sharp knife. An average size pork tenderloin yields enough meat to feed 2-3 adults generously.

This recipe quickly sears the seasoned tenderloin in a hot pan before oven roasting, but pork tenderloin is also particularly good grilled outside. The recipe for the pomegranate fig sauce can be made ahead, refrigerated until needed and reheated with the final addition of the butter before serving. While not overly sweet this sauce does double-duty as a desert sauce and is very, very good on waffles, pancakes and vanilla ice cream.

Pork Tenderloin with Pomegranate Fig Sauce

1 pork tenderloin
1/2 teaspoon vegetable oil
1 clove garlic, mashed

Wash and pat the tenderloin dry with paper towels. Trim any fat and silver skin.

Rub pork with a little oil and salt, freshly cracked pepper, and garlic.

Quickly sear on all sides in a preheated skillet set over high heat until browned. Remove the tenderloin to a baking pan or dish and roast in a preheated 375F oven about 15-20 minutes (internal temperature should be 145 degrees for a light pink interior).

Remove tenderloin from the hot pan to a platter, cover loosely with foil, and let rest for 10 minutes. Slice and serve with Pomegranate Fig Sauce.

Pomegranate Fig Sauce

3 cups fresh figs, halved
1 cup sherry
½ cup sugar
3 cups pomegranate juice, reduced by half
3 tablespoons cold butter
Pinch of salt

Combine all ingredients in non-aluminum saucepan, bring to a simmer. Simmer approximately 45 minutes on medium-low. The figs will be very soft and the liquid will have reduced slightly. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.

Strain liquid into a bowl, pressing figs through a sieve to get the pulp from the fruit. Sauce should be the consistency of syrup.

Right before serving, return the sauce to a small saucepan and re-heat over medium heat. Cut the butter into 3 pieces and gently swirl into the sauce just until melted. Remove from the heat right away, taste for seasoning and add a pinch of salt if desired.

Makes about 2 cups of sauce.

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