Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Pork Tenderloin with Rhubarb Chutney

I've spent a lot of time baking with rhubarb. Or at least it feels like a long time, there's a pretty exhaustive list of treats including jam, cake, ice cream, drinks and pie. That's a lot, possibly the most used baking ingredient on here. But what else is rhubarb able to become? Must it be cornered in baking or can we expand its uses to cooking? Ask and ye shall receive!

I found this recipe while scouring the internet for rhubarb uses other than sweets. This is an intensive recipe, lots of moving pieces. We've got a spice rub, a chutney AND a sauce. Lordy lordy. But the good news is, you could divide these up. You could just make the rub if you don't like rhubarb (you can go now...). Or you could just make the chutney and a pre-marinated pork loin.

In this case, we're pulling out all the stops. I made the chutney first and kept it for a couple days before getting to the sauce and pork loin. We're chopping up quite a bit of rhubarb and onion for the chutney. These are sauteed with olive oil for about 2 minutes until liquid goodness is added. Liquid goodness comes in the form of some orange juice, balsamic, lime zest, and agave nectar. All the things. Boil all of these and then reduce to a simmer, leaving uncovered for 30 minutes.

This is a great time to prep your pork loin. In a small bowl, add all of the spices: rosemary, garlic powder, salt, pepper, cumin, chili powder and for some sweetness, cinnamon and ginger. Mix well and rub on the pork loin. Allow to sit for 20 minutes before cooking (aka: while the chutney cooks).

Once your oven has reached 350, cook the pork loin until cooked through or a meat thermometer reaches 155. No pink here! This will likely take 45 minutes depending on your oven strength and meat thickness.

While the meat cooks and the chutney cools, it's time to whip up the glaze. Chop up some onions and garlic, sauteing in a sauce pan with olive oil. Once the onions start to become translucent, add the brown sugar and rum. Continue cooking for 2 minutes before adding chicken stock and a dash of cinnamon. You can also add some hot sauce if you want a little kick. Bring the liquid to a boil and then reduce the heat so the mixture will thicken. The volume should decrease by half. I ended up with more of a sauce than a glaze, not very thick but still delicious. Allow this to cool for at least 10 minutes before serving.

Bring all the pieces together by pouring the glaze over the pork and serve with the chutney. I found this pretty delicious, if I do say so myself. You can also grill the pork loin instead of using the oven but I have an oven, not so much a grill.

Spice Rub and Pork Loin

  • 2 lb. pork loin
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 Tablespoon rosemary
  • 2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ginger
  1. Combine spice ingredients in a small bowl. Make sure to evenly mix the ingredients.
  2. Rub the spices over the pork loin and allow to sit for 20 minutes before cooking (good for preheating time or chutney-making).
  3. Preheat the oven to 350. Once ready, cook the pork loin through with the meat thermometer registering 155.
Rhubarb Chutney
  • 2 cups rhubarb, chopped
  • 1/3 cup red onion, chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil (for sauteing)
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon lime zest
  • 2 Tablespoons agave nectar
  1. Heat the olive oil in a small sauce pan. Once heated, add the rhubarb and onion. Saute for 2 minutes.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and uncovered for 30 minutes or until rhubarb is tender.
  3. Once the rhubarb is tender, remove from heat and set aside to cool slightly. You want to serve it warm though.
Rum Glaze
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil (for sauteing)
  • 1/2 cup of onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup dark rum
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • Dash of cinnamon
  • Hot sauce (optional 2 teaspoons)
  1. In a small saucepan, heat the olive oil and add the onion and garlic. Saute until the onions are translucent.
  2. Add the sugar and rum to the onions. Heat for 2 minutes before adding the remaining ingredients.
  3. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer for 25-30 minutes until the volume is reduced by half. You want the mixture to thicken into more of a glaze.
  4. Once the volume has reduced, remove from heat to cool and thicken more.
  5. Serve over the pork loin, adding the chutney before serving. 

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