These were early days at Food52 and there were not too many of us. We got to know eachother pretty quickly. Admittedly, we were all a bit obsessed with this amazing new community. We commented on everyone’s recipe. We “met” each other onTwitter and Facebook. It was an incredibly tight community and we became new friends. I felt like I found my peeps.
What pleases me, I have to admit, is this recipe was a riff on a dinner I made for years. It’s a recipe that starts with a jar of plum sauce. With one of my recipes that I’ve canned for years. It’s nice to know even my very first recipes were all about canning.
Consider this a mash note to all you fabulous friends I made through Food52. I started to put together a list, but I’m too afraid I’ll forget someone, so, ahem, you know who you are.
2 boneless pork tenderloins, each about one pound
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
1 minced serrano or jalapeno chile (remove seeds if you are heat averse)
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon crystallized ginger (substitute 1 teaspoon ground ginger)
1 teaspoon yellow mustard seed, cracked
1 pound plums, pitted and chopped fine (select bright red or deep purple fruit, not yellow or green)
Truss the pork. This helps the meat cook evenly. Rub the tenderloins with kosher salt and set on a rack over a baking sheet. Let the salt sit on the meat for 20 minutes while making the sauce.
In a heavy 3 quart saucepan, bring the brown sugar, vinegar, chile, garlic, ginger and mustard seed to a brisk boil. Add the plums and return the mixture to a boil. Cook until saucy and thick, about 45 minutes.
Heat the grill. You’ll be cooking both directly and indirectly, so bank charcoal on one side of the grill, or light up one side of your gas grill. Sear the pork on all sides over a hot fire then move the tenderloin to the indirect heat (should be around 375°F), baste well with the sauce, cover the grill and cook for 12 to 14 minutes, until a thermometer inserted into the center of the tenderloin reads 145°F. Baste once or twice during that time and again, generously, when it comes off the grill.
Remove the pork from the grill and tent with foil. Rest for 10 minutes then slice into thick pieces and serve with the warm plum sauce. Garlicky greens are the perfect partner.