Saturday, February 5, 2011

recipe: pork tenderloin with preserved lemons over couscous

I tend to not cook much meat, especially nicer cuts of meat due to my fear of overcooking them. But when my parents visited and brought me a freezer full of frozen goods ranging from her homemade casseroles to a pork tenderloin, I knew I had the perfect accompaniment for the dish.

For Christmas presents for several family members, I had made preserved lemons. Preserved lemons are quite easy to make and I was able to bulk purchase Meyer lemons at Trader Joes. I made a jar for myself and they were just about ready to use when the bounty of meats arrived. Googling turned up a few recipes for pork with preserved lemons, but the most delicious sounding was one from Bon App├ętit that didn't actually use preserved lemons. So naturally I had to adapt it just a bit. I ended up creating a new(ish) dish: Pork Tenderloin over Isreali Couscous with a Preserved-Lemon Butter Sauce.

Despite my fears and the possibility that I sliced the pork much thicker than an inch (it took far longer to cook than expected) the meal turned out great, one of my favorites for a long time. The preserved lemon tastes incredibly fresh and adds a sweet note to the meal and the vegetables crunch is complemented by the chewier couscous.

  • 1 tablespoon coarsely ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 pounds pork tenderloin, cut into 1-inch-thick medallions
  • 4 or 5 tablespoons butter
  • 2 cup chicken stock or canned broth
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons capers, drained
  • peel of 1 preserved lemon, diced
  • 16 oz Israeli couscous
  • 1 cup red peppers, roughly diced
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
Cook couscous according to package.

Press pepper onto both sides of pork pieces. Heat 1 tablespoon butter in heavy large skillet over medium heat. (Or do as I did and cook in your bacon-fat seasoned skillet.) Season pork with salt. Cook until just cooked through, about 4 minutes per side. Transfer to plates and keep warm.

[Pork in the skillet.]

Add stock and preserved lemon to skillet. Boil until reduced to 1 cup, about 7 minutes. Whisk in remaining 4 tablespoons butter. Add tomatoes and peppers. Cook for 2-3 minutes more. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Place pork on top of couscous and pour sauce over both.

[Phone picture halfway through the meal. With roomie's green beans.]

1 comment:

L.R. said...

This looks fantastic! I have been cooking super thick pork chops like crazy lately. Do you have one of those meat thermometers that has the wire to a set sensor/buzzer outside the oven? They are AWESOME! It's so easy to brown your meat and then finish off in the oven in your skillet and it always cooks perfectly!

like this: