Grilling · Main Dish · Planked · Pork

Planked Rosemary Pork Tenderloin With Dark Chocolate Balsamic and Orange

Planked Rosemary Pork Tenderloin With Dark Chocolate Balsamic & Orange

A few weeks ago, I went a little crazy at Oliva in Stuyvesant Plaza. So many oils & vinegars, so little time! One of the vinegars I’ve been itching to try is their Dark Chocolate Balsamic. My sister & brother-in-law were coming to dinner, so I made guinea pigs of them. There isn’t at all a discernible chocolate flavor with this balsamic, just an added depth of flavor & a bit of richness. Still, the chocolate just had to go with something orange, in honor of both “Chocolate Covered Orange Belly Jellies,” which my sister & I fondly recall from Camp Onanda care packages, and “Mix in the Pan Chocolate Cake,” a family favorite from way back that I particularly like to put orange buttercream frosting on. I’ll need to post that sometime, it’s delicious. 

I’ve been gardening for decades, and this is the first year I’ve managed to keep a rosemary plant all season without killing it. It’s just beautiful. So I’m cooking with rosemary as much as I can get away with, to take advantage of having it while I do. Come to think of it, I should take a cutting to root in my Aerogarden. Maybe I’ll get lucky this winter & be able to keep it going.

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At the last minute, I got to add 2 more guinea pigs to the force. My daughter and her boyfriend stopped by and stayed for dinner. It was time for him to hear about stewed oysters and hardtack, anyway. My son’s fiancée got to hear the stories last time they were over. 

The Stewed Oyster Story: When we were little, my mom drilled into my sister & me to always compliment the cook. My Nana invited the 3 of us to dinner once, when my dad was out of town. She made Stewed Oysters. No, you will NOT see that recipe on this blog. I’m afraid we disliked it rather intensely. Mom suggested lots of ketchup, & swallow without chewing. We were so skilled at cook-complimenting, that poor Nana honestly thought we loved it…and made it again. And again. Eventually, my mom had to tell her the truth. 

The Hardtack Story: If you have kids, you’re gonna want to listen carefully here. This is a good one. There was a computer game back in the day called Oregon Trail. You outfitted your expedition, and hunted along the way. If things weren’t going well & you had to try to stretch your supplies, you went on “meager rations.” Right around the time we got that game, I was getting pretty tired of the typical kid comments about new foods, like “eeeuw, what’s that?” and “yuk, this is gross!” I kind of lost it one night when one of the kids piled on with “this is meager rations!” First world problem, kids. So the next night for dinner we had hardtack and water for dinner. (And canned refried beans, just for a little protein. But the kids didn’t really like those back then.) They got to learn what meager rations were, and hear a lecture about how many kids around the world would consider this a splendid meal. And how somebody worked hard to put that meal on the table. That was the night we chose “It’s not one of my favorites” as our family code phrase. 

Lessons learned: Be honest, gently.

You won’t need a code phrase for this dish; it’s really quite tasty. One suggestion was a little less orange.  Me, I like a lot of citrus, but if you’re not a fan of orange in your savory dishes you might want to try halving the amounts the first time you make it. I want to try this again, with Oliva’s Blood Orange Fused Olive Oil instead of the oranges & regular olive oil, just for fun. Or maybe I’m just looking for an excuse to go back to Oliva & try more flavors! 

Here’s the actual recipe (printer-friendly version at the bottom of this page):

Ingredients:

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2 pork tenderloins, ~1 lb each

cedar planks to fit (I get mine at Outdoor Gourmet)

2 blood oranges (may substitute cara cara or other navel)

1 clove garlic

1 bunch rosemary

1/2 tsp dijon mustard

1/2 tsp kosher salt

1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

1/4 cup Oliva Dark Chocolate Balsamic Vinegar (may substitute regular)

2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Preparation:

1.) Wash oranges. Grate 1 tsp fine zest from one, then juice both. Place juice & zest in a small bowl.

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2.) Mince enough rosemary to make about 1 tsp; mince garlic. Add both to the bowl, along with mustard, salt, pepper, & balsamic. Whisking constantly, blend in the oil.

3.) Trim membranes & fat from pork, and place in a baking dish. Pour ¼ cup of the juice mixture over the pork; turn to coat. Cover and refrigerate at least a few hours.

4.) Put the rest of the juice mixture in a small pan, and bring to a steady simmer. Continue to simmer, stirring frequently, until mixture is somewhat thickened and reduced to about 1/3 cup. Cover and refrigerate until cooking time.

5.) At least an hour before cooking time, soak the plank(s) in water. Weigh the plank down with a honey jar or other object, so that the plank stays submerged. (Note to self – some sources claim you get more smoky flavor from the plank if you add 1 T salt or vinegar to the water. I’d like to try that next time to see if it’s true.)

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6.) When ready to cook, preheat grill on high. Remove pork and leftover balsamic mixture from the fridge to warm up a bit. Place bare, drained plank on grill, and close lid until you either see or smell a little smoke. Flip the plank over with tongs, and lay a sprig or two of rosemary the long way down the center. Place the pork on top of the rosemary, close the lid, and reduce the heat to medium-low.

7.) After about 10 minutes, brush with some of the balsamic mixture, and close the lid again.

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Cook another 10 minutes, or until center of pork registers 145°F on a meat thermometer. Try not to open the lid more than you have to; it’s best to keep as much smoke in there as possible.

8.) Remove finished pork to a platter, slice into ~½” rounds, and drizzle with remaining balsamic mixture.

planked rosemary pork tenderloin

Planked Rosemary Pork Tenderloin With Dark Chocolate Balsamic and Orange


Ingredients


2 pork tenderloins, ~1 lb each
cedar planks to fit
2 blood oranges (may substitute cara cara or other navel)
1 clove garlic
1 bunch rosemary
1/2 tsp dijon mustard
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup Dark Chocolate Balsamic Vinegar (may substitute regular)
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Directions


1.) Wash oranges. Grate 1 tsp fine zest from one, then juice both. Place juice & zest in a small bowl.
2.) Mince enough rosemary to make about 1 tsp; mince garlic. Add both to the bowl, along with mustard, salt, pepper, & balsamic. Whisking constantly, blend in the oil.
3.) Trim membranes & fat from pork, and place in a baking dish. Pour ¼ cup of the juice mixture over the pork; turn to coat. Cover and refrigerate at least a few hours.
4.) Put the rest of the juice mixture in a small pan, and bring to a steady simmer. Continue to simmer, stirring frequently, until mixture is somewhat thickened and reduced to about 1/3 cup. Cover and refrigerate until cooking time.
5.) At least an hour before cooking time, soak the plank(s) in water. Weigh the plank down with a honey jar or other object, so that the plank stays submerged.
6.) When ready to cook, preheat grill on high. Remove pork and leftover balsamic mixture from the fridge to warm up a bit. Place bare, drained plank on grill, and close lid until you either see or smell a little smoke. Flip the plank over with tongs, and lay a sprig or two of rosemary the long way down the center. Place the pork on top of the rosemary, close the lid, and reduce the heat to medium-low.
7.) After about 10 minutes, brush with some of the balsamic mixture, and close the lid again. Cook another 10 minutes, or until center of pork registers 145°F on a meat thermometer. Try not to open the lid more than you have to; it’s best to keep as much smoke in there as possible.
8.) Remove finished pork to a platter, slice into ~½” rounds, and drizzle with remaining balsamic mixture.

One thought on “Planked Rosemary Pork Tenderloin With Dark Chocolate Balsamic and Orange

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