Monday, July 26, 2010

Pork Tenderloin w/ Tomatillo Sauce & Braised Apricots


Pork and fruit, what a great combo! These dried fruits can withstand the long cooking times needed to braise this dish, and they compliment the pork so well. Tomatillos are such a perfect base for this sauce. Over time, they simply break down and the natural flavors and juices become the sauce that saturates the pork. Tomatillos are related to the tomato, but are also just as closely related to the Cape Gooseberry. They are typically used before they are ripe. A ripe tomatillo is yellow, but most people use them while they are still green. While green, the tomatillo has the aroma and flavor of lemon, apple, and herbs. Because they are under-ripe, the tomatillos do well braising under the low heat, slowly breaking down to become this succulent sauce.

Pork Tenderloin, cut into chops
2 Tbsp. Olive Oil
2 lbs. Tomatillos, husked, quartered
2 Tbsp. Chipotle Peppers, minced
2/3 C. Apricots (dried)
1/2 C. Cherries (dried)

1 lb. Pears, peeled, cored, cut into 1/2" cubes
1 Cinnamon Stick
1 Tbsp. Oregano
1 Onion, sliced
4 Cloves, Garlic
3 Green Onions, chopped

Heat the oil over medium high heat. Sear the pork, about 4 minutes each side. Transfer to a holding plate.

Add the onions to the pan, saute about 2 minutes. Add the garlic and chipotles and saute for one additional minute. Stir in the tomatillos and cinnamon stick. Reduce the heat (to somewhere around low), cover and simmer the mixture for about 20 minutes. Once the tomatillos have begun to break down, add the pears, apricots, and cherries and simmer until the fruit is tender. Braise the fruit as necessary. This should take about 15 minutes.

Add the pork back to the pan and reheat to desired temperature. Serve with a healthy portion of pork and braised fruit.

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