I find plums to be a neglected fruit sometimes. Sure, people love to eat them as is and bake them in pies, cakes and crumbles, but what’s often forgotten is that they are also terrific in savoury dishes. Plums sprang to mind when I was thinking about livening up the oh-so-familiar pork and apple combination. Combining plums, a balsamic-based sauce and roasted pork creates a fabulous taste sensation. The plums add an appealing colour and flavour to the serving platter, and the balsamic complements both fruit and meat. Serve with fluffy mashed potatoes to soak up ever last drop of the yummy sauce. I’d suggest an old-world Shiraz or a Pinot Noir as a wine pairing.
- 1 pound (454 grams) small plums (7 – 10 plums)
- 1/2 cup (125 mL) water
- 1/2 cup (125 mL) balsamic vinegar
- 3 tablespoons (45 mL) white sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon (2.5 mL) coarsely ground black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon (1.25 mL) salt
- 2 star anise
- 2 sprigs (6 inches/15 cm long) fresh rosemary
- 1 tablespoon (15 mL) butter
- 2 teaspoons (10 mL) extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 pound (454 grams) pork tenderloin, trimmed
- salt and pepper
- Preheat oven to 400F.
- Put water, balsamic, sugar, pepper, salt and star anise in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat; reduce heat to medium low and simmer for 5 minutes.
- While sauce is simmering, wash and pit plums and cut them into 1/2 inch segments.
- Place plums and rosemary in an 8-inch-square baking dish. Pour balsamic sauce over top. Don’t wash the sauce pot as you’ll be using it again.
- Bake for 12 – 15 minutes until the plums are tender. Leave the oven on to roast the pork.
- While plums are roasting, heat oil in a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle pork with pepper and salt. Brown on all sides in the hot skillet.
- When plums are cooked, use a slotted spoon to transfer them to a bowl. Cover with foil to keep warm; reserve the roasting liquid to make the sauce.
- Transfer the pan to the oven; bake until a thermometer registers 155F, about 12 – 15 minutes depending upon the thickness of the tenderloin.
- While the pork is roasting, strain the liquid from the plums into the saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium; cook until reduced to 1/2 cup, 6 – 8 minutes. If it gets too thick, add a splash of water.
- Add the butter to the sauce and whisk to incorporate.
- Transfer the pork to a cutting board, tent with foil and let rest for 10 minutes.
- Cut the pork into thin slices and arrange on a serving platter along with the roasted plums. Drizzle half the sauce over the pork and pass remaining sauce at the table.
Serves 2 – 3 and can easily be doubled or tripled.