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Cook the Book

Cook the Book: Grilled Pork Tenderloin with Rhubarb Sauce

Book CoverRhubarb season generally runs from late spring to early summer, but this year it seems to have lasted a bit longer: the bright red stalks are still available at my weekend farmers market, and I've spotted them at high-end grocery stores such as Whole Foods as recently as a few days ago. As a lover of rhubarb's snappy, tart flavor, I can only hope its recent proliferation is a sign of increasing popularity. If there is enough demand, maybe someday rhubarb will be available year-round. Sure, it won't taste as good in January as it does in June, but baked into a pie, I doubt anyone will complain.

Today’s Cook the Book recipe, excerpted from Summer on a Plate by Anna Pump, pairs a chunky rhubarb-honey sauce with a spicy grilled pork tenderloin rubbed with ground sage, fennel, cayenne, and Dijon mustard. If you have time, prepare the rhubarb sauce one day ahead to give the flavors a chance to blend.

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Grilled Pork Tenderloin with Rhubarb Sauce

Cook the Book: Grilled Pork Tenderloin with Rhubarb Sauce

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About This Recipe

This recipe appears in: In Season: Rhubarb

Ingredients

  • For the rhubarb sauce
  • 2 pounds rhubarb (about 6 cups) cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup water
  • For the pork tenderloin
  • 3 pounds pork tenderloin
  • 1 tablespoon rubbed (ground) sage
  • 2 teaspoons ground fennel
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 bunch watercress, rinsed and dried, stems removed

Procedures

  1. 1

    For the rhubarb sauce, place the rhubarb, sugar, honey, and water in a heavy saucepan and bring to a boil. Stir to blend, lower the heat, and simmer, covered, for 15 to 20 minutes until the rhubarb is tender. Transfer the rhubarb to a serving bowl and chill.

  2. 2

    Trim the pork of all fat and sinew. Mash the sage, fennel, salt, pepper, mustard, and olive oil into a paste and rub the mixture over the tenderloin. Place the meat on a sheet pan and leave at room temperature for 30 minutes to marinate.

  3. 3

    Preheat grill to medium-high.

  4. 4

    Grill the pork for about 20 minutes, turning on all sides to brown evenly. Test for doneness by inserting an instant-read thermometer into the thickest part; it should read 150° to 155°F. Remove from the heat and allow five minutes for the juices to settle. The meat will be tender and juicy.

  5. 5

    Slice and serve on a bed of watercress with chilled rhubarb sauce on the side.

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