Pan Roasted Pork Tenderloin with Seckel Pears, Collard Greens and Stilton, Napped with Port and Fresh Orange Sauce

The air was especially crisp as we walked briskly down the cobblestone streets of Maastricht, The Netherlands.  The chill in the night air, however, was particularly refreshing and invigorating after a long day of teaching and instruction in a warm meeting room at the university.  As my business colleague and I wound our way to the restaurant where reservations had been made to entertain a client for dinner that evening we eagerly soaked in the history of this medieval city as we passed through Vrijthof Square dominated by the St. Servaas Basilica, a Catholic church parts of which are more than 1,000 years old.  It’s Gothic beauty was enhanced by the silvery moonlight piercing the coal black sky.  The brisk walk only added to the anticipation of the fine meal of French and Dutch cuisine that would be ours to experience and enjoy on this particular night.  As we opened the restaurant door we were welcomed by opulent old world charm.  The intimate dining room contained but a few tables surrounded by a myriad of gorgeous antiques.  The room was swathed in candlelight… and the air was perfumed with hints of the delicious fare simmering and roasting in the farmhouse-sized kitchen tucked away behind the dining room.  We enjoyed an exquisite meal, each course presented by an attentive tuxedoed and white gloved waiter.  Four hours after we had begun our unforgettable dining experience the final course was set before us, a magnificent array of fine cheeses and paired wines.  We chose a rich, full-bodied port and savored its pairing with a creamy yellow, richly veined Gorgonzola.  The evening had been nothing short of perfection!

Wine and cheese have been paired together for centuries.  With so many options available today for selecting both wines and cheese the combinations are nearly incalculable.  A general rule of thumb is that red wines are paired with hard cheeses and white wines with soft ones.  There are, however, many exceptions to the rule!  The key to a perfect pairing is balance.  One should be able to taste both the cheese and the wine without one overpowering the other.  Several delicious cheese and wine pairings include:

  • Blue, with Port, Sherry, or Madeira
  • Boursin, with Gewurtztraminer
  • Brie, with Cabernet or Beaujolais
  • Camembert, with Cabernet or Sauvignon Blanc
  • Mild Cheddar, with Chardonnay
  • Sharp Cheddar, with Shiraz
  • Goat Cheese, with Loire Valley Wines or Sauvignon Blanc
  • Gouda, with Riesling
  • Chevre, with Riesling
  • Stilton, with Port
  • Gorgonzola, with Bordeaux or Port
  • Swiss, with Gewurtztraminer
  • Gruyere, with Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc

A couple of weeks ago while contemplating a new dinner creation I thought to myself, “Why not apply the same pairing principles and bring the beauty of a complementary wine and cheese together in a magnificent dish that would showcase the flavors of both?”   Not quite knowing how to approach this self-imposed challenge I thought it best, in this particular instance, to first marry together in my mind those flavors that would be compatible with the wedge of Stilton continuing to age in the fridge.  We knew that the Stilton and the tawny port that was residing in a cabinet just an arm’s length away would work wonderfully well with the fresh pork tenderloin and the fragrant oranges about to be juiced for incorporation into a rich sauce.  A wealth of fresh ingredients stood proudly on the sturdy maple butcher block, ready to be transformed for their respective roles in this rich, flavorful… and beautiful dish!

Pan Roasted Pork Tenderloin with Seckel Pears, Collard Greens and Stilton

Napped with Port and Fresh Orange Sauce

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Rinse, dry, roll and julienne:

  • 1 lb collard greens, approximately 1 large bunch or 2 small

With a sharp paring knife notch out the stems of each leaf and discard:

Stack several of the washed and dried leaves together and roll up tightly:

Cut into fine julienne, place in large bowl and set aside:

Quarter, core, cut each quarter into three slices, then set aside:

  • medium or 3 small, firm sweet pears (we recommend Seckel)

Wash and pat dry:

  • 1 pork tenderloin, at room temperature

Place tenderloin in a large pan and season well with:

  • All Purpose Meat Rub

Coat well-seasoned tenderloin with:

  • 3 – 4 T cornstarch, or more as needed

 

Set aside and add to a heavy 12-inch skillet or sauteuse, over moderate heat:

  • 2 T extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 T unsalted sweet butter

When the butter has ceased crackling brown the tenderloin well on all sides:

Transfer the browned tenderloin to a baking pan fitted with foil and a wire rack.  Drain all but 2 tablespoons of the fat from the pan in which the tenderloin was browned and return  the skillet to the stove top unfired.  Coat the tenderloin with Orange Marmelade Mustard Glaze:

  • 2 T orange marmelade
  • 1 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard

Mix the above ingredients well and generously coat the browned tenderloin with the glaze.  Place into the preheated oven until the internal temp of the tenderloin reaches 140 degrees, approximately 12 minutes.  When the tenderloin has reached the desired temperature remove it from the oven and quickly coat with additional glaze:

Transfer it to a cutting board and tent with foil.  The internal temperature of the meat will rise an additional 10 degrees during the resting period.

While the tenderloin is roasting place a second large skillet or sauteuse over moderately high heat and add:

  • 2 T unsalted sweet butter
  • 1 T extra virgin olive oil

When the butter ceases to crackle add:

  • the sliced pears

Turn gently until slices are tender to the tip of a paring knife:

Add:

  • the julienne of collard greens

 

  • 1/2 C chicken or beef stock

Toss to combine all ingredients well.  Season with:

  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Cover the greens with an undersized lid and cook until wilted:

Meanwhile, fire the skillet used to brown the tenderloin to moderately high and add:

  • 1 T unsalted sweet butter

When the butter has melted add:

  • 1 T finely minced shallot

Saute for a minute or two or until the shallots have softened and the brown bits have begun to loosen.  Add:

  • 1/4 C freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 3/4 C tawny port

Continue whisking and add:

  • 1/2 C creme fraiche
  • 1 T demi-glace

 

Whisk and continue cooking until sauce is thick and glossy.  Adjust consistency with additional stock, if necessary.  Season with:

  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

For service layer the collard greens and Seckel pears on the bottom of the warmed service plate.  Sprinkle judiciously with:

  • Stilton, or another blue-veined cheese of choice, crumbled

Top with a thinly sliced layer of orange-glazed tenderloin, napped generously with the rich, velvety port and orange sauce.  Garnish with supremes of orange and savor with gusto… Bon Appetit!

Via Aurea Designs, Inc., All Rights Reserved

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Tags: , , ,

Categories: Pork

Author:Steve Meyer & Dayton Azevedo

Food and fine cooking have been our passion for many years, fueled by the year-around abundance of fresh fruits, vegetables, poultry and meats, as well as aromatic spices and herbs readily available to us here in the San Francisco Bay Area, making adventuresome, creative and delicious 5-star cooking a reality in our kitchen. Our aim is to make it yours as well by utilizing our step by step instructions and serial photographs. Bon Appetit from our kitchen to yours...!

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