Pork Tenderloin with Roasted Strawberry–Merlot Sauce

By ALEX HRABOVSKY April 2020 as printed in Food and Wine

I made few changes to this recipe:  a few more strawberries, more fresh thyme and definitely more butter.  I removed the pork from the oven before it reached 140 degrees and it was perfect (I like my pork a touch pink.).The sauce was very good and added a depth or flavor that made the dish interesting and comforting.  I served this with buttered Israelli couscous and quickly pickled red onions.  Try this dish when time is tight.

  • 1 1/2 pounds pork tenderloin
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more to taste
  •  1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  •  2 cups hulled and halved fresh strawberries
  •  1 teaspoon granulated sugar, plus more to taste
  •  2 tablespoons canola oil
  •  1/3 cup finely chopped shallot
  •  3/4 cup Merlot or other dry, fruity red wine
  •  1 1/2 cups chicken stock
  •  3 thyme sprigs
  •  3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces

How to Make It

Step 1
Preheat oven to 400°F. Let pork tenderloin stand at room temperature 30 minutes. Meanwhile, crush coriander seeds with a mortar and pestle or small heavy skillet until coarsely ground. Stir together crushed coriander seeds, salt, and pepper in a small bowl; set aside. Toss together strawberries and sugar in a separate bowl; set aside.

Step 2
Heat oil in a 12-inch ovenproof stainless steel skillet over medium-high. Sprinkle coriander mixture over pork, pressing lightly to adhere. When oil is just smoking, add pork to the skillet. Cook, turning occasionally, until pork is browned all over, about 8 minutes. Place strawberries around pork.

Step 3
Transfer skillet to preheated oven. Roast until a meat thermometer inserted in the thickest portion of pork registers 130°F, 8 to 10 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 200°F. (Do not remove skillet from oven.) Continue to roast pork and strawberries until the thermometer registers 140°F, about 5 minutes. Transfer pork to a cutting board, reserving strawberries and pan drippings in the skillet. Cover pork loosely with aluminum foil.

Step 4
Return the skillet to heat over medium-high. Add shallot to pan drippings, and cook, stirring often, until pan drippings are slightly thickened, 2 to 3 minutes. Add wine, and cook, stirring and mashing strawberries with a spoon, until the sauce has thickened enough to hold a clean line when a spoon is dragged across the bottom of the pan, 7 to 9 minutes. Stir in chicken stock and thyme sprigs, and bring mixture to a simmer over medium-high. Cook, stirring occasionally, until sauce is thick enough to coat the back of the spoon, 13 to 17 minutes. Pour sauce through a fine wire-mesh strainer into a small saucepan, pressing on solids to extract liquid; discard solids.

Step 5
Place saucepan over medium-low heat. Add butter, and cook, whisking constantly, until butter is fully incorporated, about 1 minute. Remove from heat, and season strawberry sauce with salt and sugar to taste. Cut pork into slices, and serve with strawberry sauce.

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