Pork Tenderloin w/ Carmelized Pears & Pear Cream Sauce

Pork, Pork, Pork and more PORK!

Gotta love how flexible pork is to cook with.  I love pork tenderloin because the recipe usually goes well with some of my favorite wines.  After living in Oregon for 17 years, I fell madly and deeply in love with the Pinot Noir grape, especially from Oregon.  So when dinner involves pork paired with Pinot, I'm a super happy camper.  This recipe is one of the top three best pork recipes I've had in the past year.  If you make this, I'd love to hear what wine you'd pair with it.

INGREDIENTS 1 pork tenderloin, around 1 lb. 2 TBSP olive oil 4 TBSP butter 1 TSP sugar 3 ripe pears, peeled and cut into slices 1/2 cup shallots, minced 1/2 TSP cayenne 1 TBSP fresh thyme, chopped 1/3 cup pear jelly 1 TBSP ginger, minced 1 cup whipping cream 1/4 cup sweet dessert wine like late harvest Gewurtz or Riesling (pear brandy can be sub.) 1/2 cup chicken stock Salt and Pepper to taste

Season pork tenderloin with salt, pepper and cayenne. A few hours in advance is even better.

Melt 2 TBSP of butter in a medium skillet, Add sliced pears and sugar, sauté over high heat until pears are golden and tender. Usually 5-10 minutes.

Heat grill to high heat. Grill pork tenderloin over high heat about 12 minutes total making sure to get outside of pork nice and grilled with a crisp exterior. Cooking a shorter time on high heat keeps the center moist, and making the outside crisp. The olive oil will drip off causing the fire in the grill to intensify, making the outside of the pork well grilled (just short of blackening). Pork can also be sautéd in a large skillet instead of grilling.

In a separate large skillet, melt 1 TBSP of butter. Sauté shallots, ginger and thyme for about 3 minutes over medium heat. Add chicken stock and dessert wine, reduce until sauce is thick and almost a glaze. Add in pear jelly and cream and boil until sauce thickens.

Slice pork into medallions and serve with sauce spooned over top. Then light a cigarette.

WINE PAIRING There's a number of different ways you can go with the wine pairing. I'd love to hear suggestions in the comments below.  I tried pairing two wines with this recipe.  The 2007 Cristom Mt. Jefferson Pinot Noir from Oregon and the 2007 Hahn SLH Pinot Gris.  I was curious how the pear/cream sauce would go with the raspberry/strawberry/cranberry notes of the Pinot versus the Granny Smith apple and pear notes of the Pinot Gris from Hahn.

Part of wine+food pairing is trial and error—This was one of those times.  Ultimately, the Pinot Noir was good with pork as it usually is because the two go together like peas and carrots.  But the subtle pear and tree fruit notes didn't compliment the red fruits in the Pinot Noir.  The Hahn SLH Pinot Gris on the other hand DID pair well because Pinot Gris has flavors that match up with the pear and cream sauce.  In this case, the Pinot Gris had enough alcohol and acidity to stand up to the pear cream sauce.

Please let me know what you think would be ideal with this pairing.  Cheers!

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