Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Pork Medallions In Sherry Wine and Dried Cherries Pan Sauce

Unlike in the past when abstaining from eating pork was mostly because it was a religious taboo, nowadays the issue about this controversial meat has become more than that.

Pork is said to be one of the unhealthiest meat on earth. So many books have been written lately discouraging consumers to partake of this "dirty" animal. A number of research claim that ALL pork products is unfit for human consumption. One such research for instance, is that of Prof. Hans-Heinrich Reckeweg, MD. In his article from "the Adverse Influence of Pork Consumption on Health", he reports that pork allegedly contains homotoxine (human poison) or death enzyme.

However accurate these reports are, I would never know. But if you choose not to eat pork (or anything else) for whatever reason, then I applaud you for acting on your conviction. That is so admirable, and I am saying this with all my heart. As for me, I am not an advocate of abstaining on certain food nor on extreme diets (except if you have major health issues that necessitate you to do it). My principle has always been: balance and moderation and lots of exercise are the keys to a healthy living. When one lives in an excessive lifestyle (in all aspects), then one is surely bound to self-destruction. Thus, having said this, I will continue to enjoy partaking of this "other white meat" -- once in a while, that is.

Admittedly though, I have become health conscious and have been more aware of nutritional labels especially during the last couple of years. Maybe because my mother was stricken with the dreaded big "C", which eventually caused her demise less than a year ago. For this reason, my hubby and I try to eat healthy as much as possible.

Like I said earlier, I like to have my pork once in a while. For this dish, I used the lean cut of meat, pork tenderloin. The sauce in this dish is lovely, with its deep red color due to the red wine. It's rich and velvety. Make extra, I'd suggest, if you love saucy dishes like I do... Well, if you must know, Filipinos in general prefer saucy dishes. Since every meal is eaten with rice, we like to drizzle sauce over the rice and mix 'em up so our rice wouldn't be that dry... Yum! That's the way most Filipinos like their rice!

Ironically though, I did not serve this dish with rice. We had rice the past two nights when I cooked this dish so I thought, polenta would be the best alternative. And I was right. The polenta soaked up all the flavorful sauce of this dish. I also served steamed green beans with lemon along side this dish. Hmnn.. what a wonderful, balanced meal. Don't you think?

Pork Medallions In Sherry Wine and Dried Cherries Pan Sauce
(Recipe adapted from Cooking Light)

1 cup sweet sherry (ruby port or other sweet red wine)
1/3 cup dried sweet cherries
4 teaspoons seedless raspberry jam
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 med onion, sliced (sweet or yellow)
1 1/2 pounds pork tenderloin, trimmed
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon butter
Fresh parsley springs (optional)


1. Combine first 4 ingredients.
2. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over low heat for 2 minutes. Cut the pork crosswise into 16 pieces. Sprinkle evenly with salt and pepper.
3. place pork in pan; cook 4 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Remove pork from pan.
4. Then saute onion in pan until soft and transluscent.

4. Stir in wine mixture, scraping to loosen browned bits. Increase heat to high; bring to a boil. Cook until reduced to 1/2 cup (about 3 minutes). Remove from heat.
5. Stir in butter with a whisk.
6. Serve on a bed of polenta. Pour sauce over pork. Garnish with parsley, if desired.

Simple Polenta With Fresh Parsley

3 cups water
1 teaspoons salt
1 cup yellow cornmeal
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
1/2 cup whole milk
3 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
1-1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1. Bring the water to a boil in a heavy large saucepan.
2. Add 2 teaspoons of salt. Gradually whisk in the cornmeal.
3. Reduce the heat to low and cook until the mixture thickens and the cornmeal is tender, stirring often, about 15 minutes.
4. Remove from the heat. Add the cheese, milk, butter, parsley and pepper, and stir until the butter and cheese melt.
5. Transfer the polenta to a bowl and serve with Pork Medallions.


StickyGooeyCreamyChewy said...

Yikes! I must be really out of it. I didn't know that pork was so controversial. We just had pork chops tonight!

Your dish looks really great. I'll bet that cherry sauce was wonderful!

Jude said...

I can't ever imagine giving up pork. It's a huge part of being Filipino! :)
Everything's much better in moderation, of course.

[eatingclub] vancouver || js said...

Think of the poor piggies, their reputations being attacked! Personally, I don't know why they would single out pork. If you ask non-meat-eaters, they will say all meat are deadly to humans.

People have been eating pork for centuries, and the pig has been noble and been of great use and service to humankind. I think the animal deserves a little bit of respect.

To each his or her own, I suppose. I'll eat that piece of tenderloin with the yummy sauce, please. ;)

Dhanggit said...

oh my goodness this is so gorgeous!! my hubby will love this...thanks giving me idea what i can cook this weekend :-)

Grace said...

i refuse to believe that pork is unhealthy. like you said, moderation is key. i will continue to eat pig. next up--pork and cherries. great recipe. :)

Mochachocolata Rita said...

i hardly use pork when i cook as it is now really expensive hehe

but i am so in love with chinese bbq pork (char siu), i hope i'll never need to give it up, ever!

Jescel said...

susan - yep, love the sauce in this dish.

jude - paano na lang an lechon, di ba?

eatingclub- yep, to each his/her own, indeed.. i'll save you a slice :o)

dhanggit- hope you'll try it, let me know how it went.

grace - thanks.

mochacholatarita - i love char siu too.. heheh.. must be the asian in us!

SteamyKitchen said...

i bet duck would be great in this dried cherries in a sauce. Mom just sent over an entire package of them and I haven't used them. Thanks for the inspiration!

sherry wine said...

With the help of sherry wine can give the extra test to the food. Thanks