Thursday, August 7, 2008

Roasted Pork Tenderloin with Fresh Plum Pan Sauce - An Exceptional Recipe

It's been stone fruit nirvana around here lately - peaches, apricots, nectarines, pluots, and plums stacked high in gravity-defying piles. Whether eaten outside, or over a sink, the sweet juices running down your chin a sign you've chosen well. A part of me thinks it wrong not to eat every one of these fruits raw because before you can say "Happy Labor Day," they'll be gone for another year.

But, cooking is all about exceptions and compromises. Just as in winter, when we convince ourselves that there's nothing wrong with using canned peaches - in summer there are times when we have to talk ourselves into sacrificing a few fresh plums for the sake of the roast. This video recipe for pork tenderloin, featuring roasted plums, is so good that any feelings of guilt will disappear like the butter we use to finish this delicious sauce.

When shopping for this recipe be sure to choose plums (or any other stone fruit) that are fairly firm, so they keep their shape after roasting. You know that selfish jerk that has to feel-up every piece of fruit before deciding on one? This time, be that jerk. I've also included some links below to other video recipes that use pork tenderloin - one of the best, and easiest, protein choices there is. Enjoy!

Ingredients for 2 servings:
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 pork tenderloin (not loin)
1 red onion
2 shallots
fresh thyme springs
salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 cup water
2 firm plums
1 tsp cold butter

Check out these other pork tenderloin video recipes:
Roast Pork Tenderloin with Apple Cider Dijon Pan Sauce
Black Pepper Crusted Pork Tenderloin with Black Cherry Reduction


Anonymous said...

ok, dinner tomorrow night is set, just wish my girlfriend was more inclined to fruit with roasts.

Anonymous said...

Was waiting all day for this one. I'm trying this one again for my wife. I'll let ya know how it turns out.



Anonymous said...

ROFL! "...i have to call the plumber" what reminded you, the plum, or the crevice??

Anonymous said...

Dear Chef John,
I have a plum question: I have recently experienced eating the blue, firm plums rather than the purpler, soft ones, and I noticed that the blue plums were sweeter. Is this just my whacked out taste buds, or is this true? Do plums increase in sweetness as they sit, or decrease? How does their color change as they age?

Thank you so much for the quite entertaining videos, however, I would like to see some tofu being cooked!

Always a fan,

Chef John said...

You're in luck! I minored in Plums at Culinary School.

Actually, I have no idea. I've never noticed a connection between color and sweetness. Had good and bad with all varieties. It's part of the fun.

Many fruits continue to ripen as they sit, so they may get sweeter.

Tofu video coming at some point.

Anonymous said...


Adam Schlozman said...

just wondering, what is the song that always plays at the beginning?

Chef John said...

It's a free clip that comes with iMovie software called "Buddy"

Anonymous said...

making this tonight, wish me luck. Didn't see the cup o' water on the ingredients list.

Chef John said...

Good luck! She may like it since it's not sweet like dried fruit sweet.

Anonymous said...

TAST TEST. This was SOO GOOD. We actually did a tast test. I cooked the pork and made the plum sauce. BUT.. I also made your Cherry Cabernet sauce because it's just so darn good. The results. Wife loved the plum sauce (as did I) but the Cherry cab sauce is still my fave. All in all great recipe and loved this.

One question because i'm sure you have been sitting around all day just waiting to answer : )

I have an all clad steel pan that seems to just burn rather than brown when I sear meet. Am I just cooking to hot or is it possible i ruined the pan? After I cook instead of those great browned flavor bits I get black charred bits. I don't think i'm cooking to high but what the hell do I know.

Thoughts? Recommendations on pans. I'm ready to buy some good ones : )

Thanks Chef!


Chef John said...

Maybe too high a heat. The all clad SS are pretty thick so I doubt you ruined it. The ultimate of course it the pan I'm using - a French SS copper bottomed pan that weighs about 10 pounds. It was a wedding gift. They are crazy expensive, but crazy good.

Anonymous said...

SO LOOKING FORWARD to this tofu recipe of which you forwarn. This is just what my meat-disliking ass has been waiting for :D

kashbosta said...

Hi Chef John, I'm making this tonight. I'm using pork cutlets instead of the tenderloin. I'm hoping it will be just as yummy. I'll let you know how it turns out.


kashbosta said...

Hey Chef John, it turned out delicious. I believe this was my first reduction sauce. It was so rich yet not heavy . My g/f & I used these homegrown red onions. That just pushed me over the edge! I served it with some wild rice and a tossed green salad. Again thanks for the recipe.


Chef John said...

Sounds great. Yes, reduction sauces are the way to go! Now you can use that technique for many dishes.

Carolina deWitte said...

I have a question for anyone who might be able to answer. I watched the Alice Water's video on NY Times, and she was shopping at the farmer's market there. She found some miniature peaches. She pointed them out, but nothing more was said about them. They looked to be about the size of apricots, but were actual peaches. Does anyone know anything about them? I've googled them, but all that turns up are the miniature peach TREES, which produce full-size fruits. I am such a stone-fruit addict that I feel compelled to search out all the different ones there are. So, if ANYONE has ever heard of these, please let me know.

Thanks so much

Chef John said...

sounds like doughnut peaches. do you have the URL to the video?

Anonymous said...

John - as always you are coming correct with the deliciousness. Excellent recipe and video. This marks the first time I didn't over cook my pork and I was very pleased. Worlds have been opened up!


Anonymous said...

Yum! Made this tonight, sans plums. The sauce is AMAZING for such simple ingredients.

Adam & Chef John: The theme song always reminds me of the old chestnut "Don't Get Around Much Anymore"

Scott from SF: Thanks for asking that! I too end up with black charcoal bits instead of nice tasty bits. Turns out my pan can't take very high heat for the sear, so turning it down tonight did the trick -- no burnt bits, all tasty!

Another husband-approved recipe courtesy of Chef John :-)

Carlos said...

Made this recipe for dinner the other night and had success! My two dinner guests thoroughly enjoyed it and I loved it! So thank you again for all your work in creating the site and educating me and people like me.

One thing though, while everyone loved the plum pan sauce, I got one comment that the meat wasn't that flavorful as they were expecting. I think this person maybe wasn't familiar with pork loin's leanness, because I thought the dish was plenty tasty and had plenty of brown bits from the sear and cracklings.

For the sear, I used my old trusty cast iron skillet, a good one. But I'm thinking if I maybe try a SS all-clad type maybe more brown bits will be produced?

Or will an SS all clad type vs. a iron skillet not make any big difference as far as getting a lot of brown bits/cracklings?

Thanks, as always,


Chef John said...

thanks! the SS usually collects more caramelization, but not a huge differnce

Gplongwood said...

What a delight. So easy and full of amazing flavor. I've always cooked onions with pork, but this was at a whole new level. Thanks for your continued array of amazing, and amazingly easy, recipes.

Anonymous said...

Hi Chef John,

I love you website and your videos are so great and easy to follow! I was wondering what happened to this video it seems to have been taken down and I really want to cook this dish it looks so tasy

Unknown said...

Accidentally made this with pork ribs, however it turned out fine. Everyone thought the plum stains were blood.