Ahhhh…this turned out really good for something I was sure would be a disaster. I was very low on cooking ingredients because Spouse and I are off on a business trip this week (by the time this post comes out anyway) and I like leaving the refrigerator clean when we go out of town.
My intention was to use up the unstrained Orange Raspberry Preserves I previously made. There was a 2-lb, 2-piece pork tenderloin sitting in my freezer and I’ve been wracking my brain thinking what to do with it. Since I’m getting used to the pork with fruit combination that’s more common of Western cuisine, I thought – dilute the preserves with orange juice and it would be perfect with the pork. Well, guess what….I was out of orange juice! I had no choice but to substitute with Arizona Tea with Lemon, which was the only non-alcoholic beverage I had in stock.
So that, coupled with my favorite herb combination of thyme and sage, I could only pray I got the flavors right. And it was spot on….thank goodness! The only thing I’d change in this recipe is the raspberry preserves – I’ll go for the strained preserves next time. Definitely. The little seeds got in the way of enjoying the very tender and juicy meat.
You can also do a double batch as I did and save one piece for sandwiches. Like most of the recipes I like, this is not difficult to execute – at all. The only thing you have to remember is to baste the meats every 45 minutes or so. That way, the meat comes out flavorful and juicy.
Baked Pork Tenderloin with Orange Raspberry Preserves and Tea
Preheat oven to 325F.
In an oven-proof 11x 7 in. dish, mix the rub: 1/2 tsp. salt (or more), 1/2 tsp. thyme, 1/2 tsp. dried sage and about 1/4 tsp. black pepper.
Dry your 2-lb, 2-piece whole pork tenderloin with a paper towel. Transfer to the dish and evenly rub the mixed herbs over the pork using your hands. Drizzle with olive oil.
Mix about half a cup orange raspberry preserves, about 1/2 c. Arizona Tea with Lemon (or make your own, sweetened to taste) and about 2 tbsps. red wine vinegar – any strong vinegar is fine. Pour over the tenderloins. Tuck in the thinner ends of the tenderloin so it won’t burn. Place your dish in the center of your pre-heated oven.
Cook till internal temperature is between 16oF-170F, basting every 45 minutes or each time you remember. This took about 2.5 hours at high altitude. It may take less at sea level….probably 2 hours, 15 minutes. Let the meat rest at least 10 minutes before carving so the meat retains its juices.
Slice and spoon some pan juices over the pork. I served this with an easy to cook pasta with minced onions, peas, and cream flavored with sage to complement the pork.
I hope you’ll try this. It’s good enough to serve when you have company for dinner. If anything, they most certainly won’t get this dish anywhere else!