Tuesday, 22 December 2009

The 21st Century Housewife's© Pork Tenderloin with Balsamic Roast Shallots and Madeira Gravy

I’ve heard so many folks talk about using Madeira in cooking, I bought a bottle recently so I could experiment with it. I have used it in a lot of recipes – from gravies to soups and stews - with great success. If you don’t already know, Madeira is a fortified wine, fairly similar to sherry but with a slightly different flavour to it. Having said that, you can definitely substitute sherry for the Madeira in this recipe if you don’t have any Madeira to hand.

I love pork tenderloin. It is easy to cook and usually very tender. I buy mine from the butcher, who removes the white skin and trims the fat for me so all I have to do is season it and plonk it in the roasting dish. I recommend this course of action highly – the one time I did try to do the trimming myself I ended up frustrated plus I cut my finger!

This dish is definitely good enough for company, but it is a great one to treat yourself to as well! Leftovers keep for a couple days in the fridge and make lovely sandwiches.

Pork Tenderloin with Balsamic Roast Shallots and Madeira Gravy

2 to 3 pork tenderloins
2 cups shallots, peeled and sliced in half if they are big
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oil

For the gravy:-

1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 generous tablespoons flour
about 2 cups chicken stock
½ cup Madeira
¼ cup cranberry sauce

Arrange the shallots around the tenderloins in a roasting dish. Mix the balsamic vinegar and the olive oil together and pour over the tenderloin and shallots. Turn the shallots a bit in the pan to coat them with the oil and vinegar. Roast at 375℉ (190℃) for about 30 to 40 minutes until the tenderloin is cooked with no pink inside –with an internal temperature of about 320℉ (160℃).

Meanwhile, make the gravy. Melt the butter with the olive oil in a medium saucepan. Add the onion and cook over very low heat, allowing it to soften slowly for about ten to fifteen minutes.

Add the Madeira and turn the heat up to high. Reduce the Madeira by keeping it at a high heat and stirring occasionally so it does not stick. Basically you want the onion to look like it has absorbed nearly all the Madeira, but with a tiny bit of liquid still in the pan.

Turn the heat back to medium, and sprinkle the Madeira soaked onions with the flour. Stir and allow to cook for about a minute. Gradually add the chicken stock, stirring after each addition. You are aiming for a smooth, fairly thick gravy. You may not need all the stock, or you may need a little more, but I find 2 cups is usually about right.

When the gravy is a nice consistency, stir in the cranberry sauce until it is all blended in and heat through.

Slice the tenderloin and top it with the roasted shallots. Pour a little of the gravy over top to serve, and put the rest in a gravy boat on the table so people can help themselves.