Garlic-Herb Rubbed Pork Tenderloin with Apple Confit

This recipe is adapted from one provided by DeLoach Vineyards, one of my favorite producers of Pinot Noirs from Russian River Valley.  While I’ve long considered using one of their smaller, vineyard-designated Pinots in my wine club, they are simply too large a producer to be one of the “Boutique” wineries that defines our niche.  But I still encourage you to try these wines – old world style meets new world fruit.  This recipe is ideally suited to Pinot, but would work well with other light or medium-bodied red wines with good acidity – Barbera or Sangiovese come to mind, perhaps even a cool-climate Syrah.

Ingredients

  • 1 Lb Pork Tenderloin
  • 2 T Lemon Zest
  • 4 Garlic cloves, minced
  • 6 Tbsp Fresh Parsley, stemmed and minced
  • 2 Tbsp Rosemary, stemmed and minced
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1/4 tsp fresh ground pepper
  • 2 Tbsp grated Parmesan
  • 4 tsp panko bread crumbs
  • 2+ Tbsp Olive oil

Procedure

Pre-heat oven to 350 and remove tenderloin from refrigerator.  Meanwhile, combine in the bowl of a food processor all remaining ingredients up to the Panko bread crumbs.  With the processor running, drizzle in the olive oil until the contents combine into a thin paste.  Massage the paste into the room-temperature loin.

Heat an iron skillet over medium-high heat for three to four minutes, remove from heat and coat with thin layer of olive oil, then add the tenderloin.  Return to heat and sear on each three sides until golden – 1-2 minutes per side.  Turn the tenderloin to the fourth side and place the skillet into the oven for about ten minutes or until the interior reaches 138 degrees.  Remove from oven, coat with foil or up-turned pan, and let rest for ten minutes before slicing into medallions.

Apple Confit Ingredients

  • 6 Tart green apples, such as Granny Smith
  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1/4 Cup cognac or brandy

Procedure

Peel and core apples and slice into eighths and sprinkle with sugar.  Heat a skillet over medium heat, when warm melt the butter and sauté the  apples until brown and caramelized.  Add the cognac and cook until tender (CAUTION – before adding the cognac, remove the skillet from the heat, as the cognac may flame up.  If it does, simply let it burn off).

Recommended Wines

See my complete list of available Pinot Noirs to compliment this dish.

Love-Rubbed Breast of Duck

This recipe features “Love Rub” – another way to incorporate our Valentine’s Day theme into your wine and food experience.  But don’t pigeon hole this recipe and make it just once a year, it is delicious and memorable any time of the year.

“Love Rub” originally came from Jim Reichardt, founder and proprietor of Sonoma County Poultry, home of the Liberty Ducks (800-953-8257, and yes, they ship nation-wide). Though one may find humor in that name for ducks who are hardly at liberty to die a natural death, the death they encounter is more humane than most natural causes. Jim founded the company in response to local Chefs, who needed a larger and more flavorful duck on their customer’s plates. The Liberty Duck is descended from the famed Pekin Duck developed in Denmark, and is better suited to today’s slower, less stressful rearing techniques (to wit, Jim uses no growth hormones or antibiotics.)

To make this rub, simply blend everything together until well combined. Pairs beautifully with aged cabernet or pinot noir.

“Love Rub” INGREDIENTS
¼ Cup brown Sugar 1 tsp Cumin
2 Tbsp Paprika (sweet, not hot) 1 tsp Ground white pepper
2 Tbsp Kosher salt ½ tsp Ground black pepper
1 Tbsp dried Thyme ½ tsp Coriander
1 Tbsp chili powder ¼ tsp Ground nutmeg
2 tsp Dried oregano Small pinch cayenne pepper
1 tsp Chinese 5-spice blend ¼ tsp Cinnamon

Ingredients (Serves Four)
* 4 breasts, Liberty Duck
* ¼+ Cup Love Rub
* That’s all!

Procedure
Trim the duck breasts of excess fat – no more than ¼ to ½ inch around the entire breasts – but not too much, as you want the rendering fat to add flavor during cooking. Place breasts in a large, sealable plastic storage bag, pour in the love rub, and integrate well. Refrigerate overnight.

When ready to prepare dinner, remove from the bag and pat dry with paper towels. Place fat-side-down on the grill using indirect heat – slow cooking is the key to perfectly cooked duck breast. After 8-10 minutes, turn fat-side up and cook until medium rare. Do not overcook. Breast meat is lean “white” meat, and prone to drying out if over-cooked.

To serve, slice at an angle and sprinkle lightly with more Love Rub.

Cheers!
Dave the Wine Merchant