Monday, March 14, 2011

Organic, heritage breed pork tenderloin

"What's a heritage breed?" asked the woman in line at New Roots Farm's table at a recent farmers' market.

"It's a breed that's much closer to its wild's not one of those pigs you see in cartoons all the time, the ones raised on industrial farms," said the farmer.

That farmer would be Jeff Cantara.  He and his wife RenĂ©e (and their son, 2-year old Caleb) grow organic produce, and raise livestock in just about the best form of husbandry possible: rotational grazing.  Check out their website here.
New Roots Farm heritage breed, maple glazed pork tenderloin over Riverside Farm Keuka Gold mashed potatoes, topped with a maple and whole grain mustard sauce and sauteed Hackleboro apples.  Spinach from Heron Pond farm.
The following recipe was used for a 1-1/2lb loin:

For the glaze, mix the following six ingredients all together in a pyrex measuring cup:

1/3 c maple syrup (plus extra for sauce, as well as some grainy mustard)
1/8 c molasses
1 Tbsp bourbon
1/8 tsp cinnamon
pinch cayenne
pinch ground clove

For ensuring glaze adhesion, combine the following in a small bowl, and then spread onto a jelly roll pan:

1/4 c cornstarch
1 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp pepper

Heat oven to 375 degrees.  Add 1 Tbsp oil to a 12" pan, turning on flame to high.

Dry loin with paper toweling, and then roll loin in cornstarch mix, evenly covering.  Shake off excess coating. 

Once oil is showing wisps of smoke, turn heat down to medium and add loin.  Sear on all sides until a nice caramel color is achieved, 10-12 minutes total.  At some point, quick-rinse jelly roll pan and set aside with a rack inserted.  When loin is finished searing, set aside on rack/jelly roll pan.

Using same saute pan, drain off excess fat, if any.  Pour glaze into pan and reduce over med-high heat for a minute or two.  Go too long and you'll wind up with toffee, so be mindful!

Once reduced, set 2 Tbsp of syrup aside for later.  If it hardens, just microwave for a few seconds.  Using pastry brush, generously brush glaze all over top of loin.
Roast loin in oven until it registers 130 on an instant-read themometer.  Remove from oven and give a second coating with the glaze.  Return to oven and cook for another 4 or 5 minutes, or until temp of loin reaches 135-140 degrees.  Slightly pink centers are okay!!

Remove loin from oven to rest.  Do not tent with foil, or you'll wind up steaming that nice crust off.

For sauce, add 1Tbsp whole grain mustard to reserved glaze, along with an additional 1-2 Tbsp of maple syrup.

Slice loin into 1/2" slices and serve with drizzles of the maple-mustard sauce.


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