August 18, 2014

sliceFive years ago, nearly to the day, I typed my first recipe into what was the Beta version of Plum Sauced Pork Tenderloin, entering the weekly contest: Your Best Grilled Pork Recipe.

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.

searAnd wow! my grilled pork recipe was selected as a finalist. Amanda and Merrill wrote a wonderful comment and took a beautiful photo. I was verklept.

Jennifer Hess‘ sensational recipe for pork burgers won . It’s really good and the fennel slaw is delicious. Jen and I have laughed over the years about how much we love both recipes.

saucyWhat 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.

restFor now, I’m bringing you the recipe I put on Food52. Updated a little. No canning required.

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.


plum saucePlum Sauced Pork Tenderloin
Serves 4 with leftovers for lunch

2 boneless pork tenderloins, each about one pound
Kosher salt
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.


5 Responses to “Plum Sauced Pork Tenderloin, redux”

  1. Jean Marie

    I am making this for sure. Just bought plums at the market today. I love fruit with meat!

  2. Eileen

    Love this! I actually made a somewhat similar pork with plum sauce a few months ago, when we were buried in backyard plums. I’m definitely keeping this on the back burner for next year’s harvest!

  3. Gail

    Confession: I still have a jar of plum sauce you gave me a few years ago. I was saving it because I dreaded not having it once I opened the jar & devoured the sauce.

    No more saving! I can make this myself and not have to worry about canning!!


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