The other day, I made a pork tenderloin* with a dry spice rub. After roasting it, though, I was inspired to make a sauce, featuring a very ripe white peach and the juices from the roast. Here’s how I did it, and please bear in mind that, like so many of my culinary adventures, the quantities are approximate.
It started innocently enough. I was reading Julia Child’s wonderful Julia’s Kitchen Wisdom book (a small, easy-to-hold compilation of essential cooking techniques and recipes) to find out how long to cook the tenderloin, when I ran across her recommendation to use a dry spice rub. (The last time I’d made a pork tenderloin, I’d used a recipe for a molé-based dry rub that turned out amazingly well, so I was happy to try this idea again.) Of course, what started out as Julia’s dry rub recipe turned into my own version, according to ingredients I did and did not have on hand. Here’s what I used:
Approximately 2 tablespoons each:
- ground cloves
- herbes de Provence
- Greek oregano
Plus approximately 1 tablespoon each:
- ground ginger
- flower pepper (from Trader Joe’s, a combination of black peppercorns and edible dried flowers)
- pink Himalayan salt
- black pepper
Note: I only used about half of this mixture for 1 pork tenderloin, by the way. Julia also recommends using this spice rub on goose and duck, from which I deduce that it might also work for chicken or turkey.
I rubbed this mixture liberally all over the pork, then wrapped it up tightly in plastic wrap, and set it in the refrigerator overnight. (Julia says this can be done in as little as 1 hour, but recommends 24 hours or more.) The actual roasting was a breeze, at 350° with a meat thermometer until internal temperature reached (recommended) 160°.
Note: When I did this, my 2-lb. roast got to that temperature so quickly (around 1 hour) that I wasn’t totally sure, so I left it in the oven until it was almost at 170°. When I ate it, I decided that, while it was not overcooked, it would have been just that much better if I’d taken it out at the 160° mark. This is, however, a matter of personal taste.
And then I decided to get fancy. I had just gotten some fabulous white peaches the day before at the farmer’s market, one of which was close to being overripe, and it suddenly occurred to me that maybe I could make a sauce for the tenderloin; peaches with that particular sweet/savory mix of spices sounded good to me. Here’s how I made it, while the roast was taking its customary 20-minute rest:
- Peel and finely dice 1 white peach.
- Melt 1-2 tablespoons butter in a small saucepan over medium-high heat.
- Mince 1 large shallot, add to pan. Sauté, stirring, for 2 minutes.
- Pour juices from roasting pan into pan .
- Add the diced peach, bring to simmer.
- Add white or rosé wine to about double liquid volume in pan (I used a Washington riesling).
- Simmer, stirring constantly, until sauce thickens and reduces by about half (7-9 minutes, may vary).
- Spoon over fully-rested and sliced pork tenderloin, toast to your handiwork (you do have wine left, don’t you?) and eat!
This sauce was soooo good with the pork! Something about the combination of the peach flavor (white peaches taste noticeably different than regular peaches) and sweet spices along with the savory shallot, herbs, and peppers just really works.
*FYI, I got my tenderloin at Trader Joe’s; the 2-lb. roast cost about $10.00!