Table Talk with Michael Pollan of The Omnivore’s Dilemma Tenth Anniversary Edition |
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- 2 pork tenderloins (about 3/4 pound each)
- Salt and pepper
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/4 pound bacon, diced
- 2 large pears, firm and ripe, of any variety, halved, cored, and thinly sliced
- 4 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced
- 1-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and minced
- 2 branches rosemary, cut into pieces
- 1/4 cup white wine or apple juice
- 1/4 cup meat stock
Especially in autumn this dish becomes desirable, when the crunch of the leaves is underfoot and your breath puffs out in frosty clouds before your face. Pork chops work here, too, if you want a cheaper cut of meat, and browned to amber they look just as lovely with the gilt-shouldered pears and the evergreen sprigs of rosemary tucked in. Serve with chopped endives cooked in butter, onion tarts, or perhaps with caramelized parsnips.
- 1Preheat the oven to 325°F.
- 2Cut the tenderloins in half to make 4 equal logs. Fold the tapering ends under a bit and tie with string to secure, so that you have four even pieces. Season with salt and pepper.
- 3Preheat a skillet until quite hot. Add 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and fry the bacon dice until cooked, about 2 minutes.
- 4Remove, leaving the fat behind, and toss together with the pears, garlic, ginger, rosemary, and another tablespoon of oil in a baking dish.
- 5Add the remaining oil to the skillet, if needed. When sizzling, brown the pork well on all sides, about 10 minutes total. Remove and nestle in the baking dish.
- 6Deglaze the skillet with the wine, scraping up the good bits on the bottom, and boil until only about 1 tablespoon remains.
- 7Add the stock and boil to reduce to 3 to 4 tablespoons. Pour over the meat.
- 8Transfer to the oven and roast until the pears and garlic are soft and the meat is cooked through, about 30 minutes.
Beverage pairing: J Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley, California. Pork and Pinot Noir are natural complements for each other. This dish, with its sweet, rich, herbed flavors, would go well with a generously fruited, bright Russian River Pinot. This one from J Winery has a little cherry, blackberry, and vanilla, all of which will go beautifully with the pork.