I am a big fan of fillet of pork-- pork tenderloin-- in the summer. In autumn I sometimes like to make richer dishes involving fattier cuts of pork, plums and wine, but in summer I like to highlight the light elegance of this cut of meat. I make it fairly often, with the best berries I am able to rustle up.
One could argue that with bacon fat, butter and crème fraîche among the ingredients (olive oil doesn't count) this hardly qualifies as 'light and summery' but I'd argue back: Yes, it does! The vinegar cuts right through that butter! The meat itself is fat free! The sauce is full of fruit! Not to mention, there's no booze at all weighing down this dish. The idea here really for is just for a flowery, estival plate of pork and fruit ;)
See for yourself and let me know. Bon appetit!
In the picture above, it is served with tiny new purple potatoes. —nogaga
11 oz pork tenderloin
½ tsp pink peppercorns
1 dried bay leaf
½ tsp dried lavender flowers
½ tsp flaky sea salt
1 ½ tsp olive oil
4 heaping tablespoon fresh raspberries, crushed and strained, plus a few for garnish
With your meat at room temperature, make the rub. Crush peppercorns, bay leaf, ½ tsp lavender flowers, sea salt in a mortar till fine and powdery. Add olive oil. Rub all over the pork tenderloin, wrap it in plastic wrap and allow to rest for at least 1 hour at room temperature, but preferably several hours in the fridge.
Crush and strain the berries in a seive, basically to obtain a raspberry passata. Mix with raspberry vinegar, honey, thyme and lavender flowers. In a small saucepan, gently melt butter. Whisk in the crème fraîche. Add the raspberry passata, whisking slowly till all the ingredients are combined and you smell the thyme and vinegar wafting, but never allow it to achieve a simmer. Turn off heat. If you want to garnish with raspberries, you can place them in the sauce now.
Remove the meat from the fridge and allow to return to room temp. Unwrap and brown the meat on all sides in the bacon fat, till it appears to have a nice crust but remains raw inside. Remove from heat and cut into four even pieces. Set aside.
You can do all of the above ahead of time, making this an excellent dish for a dinner party you actually want to participate in!
When you are ready to eat, reheat the remaining bacon fat and start to cook the tenderloin chunks to the desired level of doneness using tongs to turn the chunky cubes around. You want them nice and brown on the outside, still tender and pink on the inside.
Warm the coulis, and serve your meat in a pink puddle, garnishing with thyme, lavender and/or more raspberries.