I found out that our liquor store sells shochu, yay! Mix with a little Trader Joe's sparkling limeade and you're laughin'. Getting shitfaced on lime chuhai makes me smile. Booze and painkillers are best mates (if your liver can take it). See that? That's how I'm doing this. I'm typing with a busted-up pinky finger.
This is the last of the pork tenderloin that we bought a week ago. Four days of dry aging in the fridge gave it a nice patina, perfect for a faggoty-assed sauce such as creamsicle beurre blanc. This is the dish I had envisioned when I chose the ingredients for this month's Royal Foodie Joust. No one made it, I'm a little surprised.
Okay, I guess I'm not that surprised, since I think I invented vanilla-orange sauce for pork. But I always think I invented something, just to Google and find it on three or four menus around the US, and maybe a recipe or two on epicurious. This is always really fucking frustrating for me, because cooking is my only real form of creativity, and I don't want to bite off anyone else's style. Oh well! Whaddyagonnado.
Since I'm not doing the Joust this month, I'm entering this recipe into my baby girl Emiline's thang, the Saint Paddy's Day Pub Crawl. Also, since she is classy beyond her years, she is giving up some goodies for the winner of her contest!
So Emiline, for you I made this divine dinner. And a tip o' the hat to the Irish, it has potatoes!
Pork au poivre rosé with "creamsicle" beurre blanc
A nod to a traditional steak au poivre, I used pork tenderloin medallions instead of beef, and pink peppercorns instead of black. A vanilla-orange beurre blanc is further enriched with the use of bourbon instead of white wine.
Pink peppercorns taste somewhat like the needles of a Jeffrey pine, kind of a heptane fruitiness. Pink peppercorns are actually not in the Piperaceae (pepper) family at all, but in the Anacardiaceae (sumac) family, making them kin to mangoes and cashews. That, right there, was probably more science than you wanted in your recipe. Serves 2.
8 oz pork tenderloin (I guess this is 4"?), sliced into 1" medallions
2 tbsp pink peppercorns
1 tsp Maldon or other good sea salt
1 tbsp butter
2 tbsp minced shallot
half a cup of bourbon or whiskey (I guess it would be apropos to use Irish whiskey)
Juice and zest from 1 large, sweet orange (I used a Valley Cove, which is the best fucking thing I've had in a coon's age)
2 vanilla beans, split lengthwise and scraped
4-6 more tbsp butter
Wash and pat dry the pork. Crush the peppercorns up in mortar and pestle (or other device). Pat the crushed pepper and salt onto the medallions and set aside. Heat butter in a small-ish pan over medium-high heat. When foamy and sizzly, add the pork and brown on both sides. Transfer pork from pan to an oven-proof plate, cover with foil and roast gently in a warm oven until cooked through (but not past medium-well).
Add the shallot to the sizzly butter and reduce heat to medium-low. You can add a bit of olive oil if things are getting too brown. When the shallots are getting good and glossy, deglaze the pan with the bourbon. Add the orange juice and zest and vanilla beans, simmer for like 15 minutes until nicely reduced and the alcohol is evaporated. Remove from heat and let it sit and cool for a minute or two.
The trick to making beurre blanc is whisking in the butter to make a creamy sauce that contains no cream. Well, that's not really a trick, it's just what it is. You don't want the butter to melt completely! THAT MEANS FAIL. Cooling the booze/orange/vanilla mixture slightly will improve your odds of not fucking it up. Cut the butter into nubs and whisk it in bit by bit until it's all emulsified and creamy.
Spoon sauce over pork. Serve with fingerling potatoes that have been boiled tender, then fried crispy-skinned in butter. Toss those with a crunch of good flake sea salt and fresh thyme. In retrospect, I guess I could have a little green on the plate. Maybe some nice fava beans? I wish I didn't suck at Photoshop.