Grilled pork with cherries

Newsletter Jun 14 - Pork with cherriesSummer is awesome! Not only is the weather warmer, but the days seem to stretch on forever. One of my favorite parts of summer is outdoor grilling. When I bought my first apartment two years ago, the previous owners left their gas grill with an almost full tank of propane. Since we were still living out of boxes it was easy to throw some chicken breasts and veggies on the grill. A fantastic supper was ready in 15-20 minutes with next to no clean-up.

Although this recipe was one I started using after finally getting the kitchen into working order, it certainly satisfies for dinner without being too difficult to execute.  There is a nice balance between sweet and savory, especially as we enter our fresh cherry season.

(Please note that although the instructions are for the grill, oven roasting also produces a delicious result. Roast the pork at 210 degrees for the same amount of time. )

  • 1 whole pork tenderloin (szűzpecsenye)
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 2 cups (400g) fresh cherries (pitted, quartered)
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) balsamic vinegar
  • 2 or 3 sprigs chopped fresh thyme (kakukkfű)
  • 2 spoons of honey (optional)

First, fire up the grill. Set it to high with the lid down for 5 minutes to get the grill nice and hot. While it’s heating up clean the tenderloin of any remaining silverskin and lightly salt and pepper the meat. Set aside on a plate.

In a shallow, non-stick frying pan, heat balsamic vinegar under a high heat until bubbling, then lower to medium. Cook until reduced by half. It should thicken to syrupy consistency. While this is cooking it’s time to start grilling.

Rub ¾ of the minced garlic over the meat and then place on the hot grill. Reduce the temperature to a medium flame. Cook about 6-8 minutes a side, flipping once. You will know it’s done when the meat feels firm and not squishy to a good finger poke. The internal temperature should reach 63 degrees…but you won’t be able to tell this with your finger so use a thermometer if one is on hand.

While the meat is grilling check the balsamic reduction, and when it has thickened add cherries, honey, and the remaining spoonful of the minced garlic.

Remove the tenderloin from the grill and let it rest on a wood cutting board for 5-10 minutes. Then slice and top with the cherry balsamic mixture.

Did you know?

  • There are only 136 calories in 100 grams of pork tenderloin.
  • The Roman general Lucullus is said to have committed suicide in 56 BC when he realized he was running out of cherries.
  • Lucullus introduced cherries to Europe in 72 BC. He named the cherry tree “Cerasus” after a town of that name in what is now Turkey.
  • Turkey produces more cherries than any other country. The United States comes second.
  • The beginnings of balsamic vinegar-making date back as far as the 11th century.

 

This article appeared in our June, 2014 Newsletter. For further information about the online publication and to sign up, please click here.