Coriander is the kind of spice that usually plays a supporting role in curries, other sauces and spice rubs. Here it’s the star seasoning. This sweet, nutty seed complements pork, red wine and prunes so it’s perfect as the star ingredient in seasoning pork tenderloin and infusing a red wine and prune reduction sauce. I love this dish in winter; I find it so soothing and simple, but it’s elegant enough to be the main course of a festive feast for the holidays.
Coriander has important curative powers too — it aids the digestive system, relieves anxiety and insomnia, soothes inflammatory skin conditions and joint pain, and decreases bad cholesterol, according to Healing Spices. Here’s to good taste and your health!
Pork Tenderloin with Coriander-Spiced Prunes
(Adapted from Food & Wine‘s recipe for Pork Tenderloin with Port and Prunes)
- 1 pork tenderloin
- salt & pepper
- 2 1/2 tsp. ground coriander
- 1 Tbs. cooking oil
- 1/2 cup chicken broth
- 20 soft pitted prunes
- 2 small shallots, minced
- 1/2 cup red wine
- 2 Tbs. unsalted butter, cut into smaller pieces
Directions: Preheat the oven to 400 F (200 C). Cut the tenderloin in half to fit two pieces in an ovenproof skillet. Season the tenderloin with salt & pepper and 2 tsps of the coriander.
Heat the oil in the skillet over high heat and when hot, gently place the tenderloin halves in and brown on all sides, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer the skillet to the oven and continue cooking until internal temp reads 145 F, about 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, warm the broth and add all but about 5 of the prunes, transfer to a blender and blitz until a smooth puree. Break apart the remaining 5 prunes into 2 or 3 pieces and add to the puree and set aside. (Note: this step of blending and breaking apart the prunes is optional to achieve a thick consistency; you can alternatively leave the prunes whole and just soak them briefly in the warm broth.)
Once the tenderloin is cooked through, carefully remove it to a platter or cutting board and tent with foil to let it rest while you make the sauce. Cook the minced shallot in the skillet over low heat, scraping the browned bits off the pan. When shallot becomes translucent, add the wine and increase the heat to bring to a simmer. After the wine reduces a bit (about 2 minutes), add the prune mixture and continue cooking another 2 minutes. Add the last 1/2 tsp of coriander and season with salt & pepper (to taste). Turn the heat off and add the butter in pieces and stir to melt and incorporate.
Slice the pork against the grain and serve over the prune sauce. Serves 2 to 3. Best accompanied with a full-bodied red wine.
December 12, 2013 at 2:30 pm
Really nice giving the coriander a starring role, this sounds wonderful. I love the prunes with the pork. Your pork looks perfectly done, tender and moist.
December 13, 2013 at 12:58 pm
Thanks, Suzanne! I first had pork and prunes when I was a poor student in Paris many years ago, and my host mother made it. I was hooked! Funny thing about coriander is it’s so subtle even as the starring role but seems to bring everything together.
December 12, 2013 at 9:54 pm
Pork goes so well with sweet fruits. I love the fusing of coriander.
December 13, 2013 at 12:51 pm
Thanks. I’ve been using coriander more lately and it’s such a subtle spice but tends to boost flavors without overpowering, or even being identifiable in a dish.
December 12, 2013 at 10:51 pm
I agree with Fae – the perfect pairing for the pork is a sweet fruit – and a bit of spice, too. 🙂 Have a lovely night, Shanna
December 13, 2013 at 12:48 pm
You too, Shanna. Thanks for stopping by 🙂
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