This recipe turned out nothing like I imagined it, which is completely my fault because I didn't bother to read it through to the end. "Press the sauce through a fine-mesh sieve," it advised, which quashed my idea that this was going to be a chunky, rustic dish that highlighted in-season rhubarb. I thought I was was going to have a meat-and-vegetable all-in-one dish that could stand on its own and make a satisfying meal. What I ended up with was the pork tenderloin with some ugly-looking cooked-down brown mush that, good thing, the recipe told me to strain.
Anyway, it still tasted good (although it would be even better over creamy polenta with a side of spinach). After the tenderloin gets roasted, rhubarb and pear are cooked down in the same pan, everything is deglazed with a wheat beer, then it's finished with a little honey and butter. It's just a little fussier than the kind of recipe I usually enjoy. The taste of the rhubarb, which is what I wanted to highlight in the first place, was a little lost. I'm still confident that pork and rhubarb would be great together—but I've yet to find that recipe.
- 1 1/2 pounds pork tenderloin, seasoned with salt and pepper
- 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 sprigs rosemary
- 1 clove garlic, smashed
- 1 cup diced (1/4-inch) rhubarb
- 1 Bosc pear, diced (1/4-inch)
- 1/2 cup wheat beer
- 1/2 cup chicken broth, or water
- 1 1/2 tablespoons light honey
- 1 tablespoon butter
Preheat the oven to 375°F. Heat an ovenproof sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil to the hot pan, followed by the pork, cut into 2 pieces if necessary. Brown well on all sides, then tuck 2 rosemary sprigs underneath the meat, transfer to the oven and continue cooking until the internal temperature of the pork at its thickest point reaches 140°F, 10 to 20 minutes.
Remove the pork from the oven, transfer to a serving plate and tent with foil. Discard the rosemary. Place the sauté pan over medium heat and add the garlic, rhubarb, pear and remaining rosemary sprig. Sauté until the rhubarb begins to soften, 5 to 7 minutes. Season lightly. Pour in the beer and broth/water and reduce by half, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in the honey and butter, then press the sauce though a fine-mesh sieve.
Slice the pork and serve with the rhubarb sauce.