Honey mustard pork tenderloin medallions
Prep time: 20 minutes. Marinade 4 hours to overnight
Cooking time 20 minutes. Serves 4
I used to recite to my daughter the ditty by Ogden Nash:
The pig, if I am not mistaken,
Supplies us sausage, ham, and bacon.
Let others say his heart is big –
I call it stupid of the pig.
At first it made her laugh, but then she saw some piglets on a farm and went vegetarian (which lasted only a week, thankfully). It’s true, though: the pig surely is a noble animal, if nobility is measured by self-sacrifice. So many good things come from pigs that it’s churlish of us to use their name as a form of approbation for people we don’t like (“male chauvinist pig” for example). Here’s a variation on a quite typical American-style recipe, though I’ve cut in half the quantities of sugar and honey.
You will need
1½lb pork tenderloin
1/2 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon honey (OK, heap it up if you want)
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons lemon juice or 4 tablespoons white wine
1 tablespoon Dijon-style mustard
½ teaspoon powdered cinnamon
⅓ cup warm water
½ teaspoon salt
Skewers soaked in water for at least an hour
Pork tenderloin is the lean meat along the backbone of the pig. Unless the butcher has done it already, you will need to trim off the so-called silverskin – the silvery bit of tough connective tissue at the thick end. Cut into inch-thick medallions.
Everything in the ingredients list above except the meat and skewers belongs in the marinade. Add honey and sugar to the warm water first to help them to dissolve, then throw in everything else in whatever order you like and mix thoroughly. Set aside a little marinade to use as a baste during cooking, and thoroughly coat the meat with the rest. Cover and leave in the fridge for at least four hours.
Thread the medallions on to skewers, leaving a gap of half an inch between pieces. Sear over high temperature for a couple of minutes to seal in the juices, then move to moderate, and preferably indirect, heat and cook for 20 minutes, keeping the meat moist by brushing with leftover marinade (but remember that the marinade will contain meat juices, so leave time near the end to ensure it’s cooked)
Corn on the cob, roasted potatoes, butternut squash, all done on the BBQ of course.