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Author Notes: I was first inspired by the smoky smell of the tea. Next, came the pork and then the sweetness of the Persimmon Chutney. It all came together and was very quick and easy. Both flavors really complement each other and make a perfect Autumn or Winter appetizer or main dish. —Rachelle
Lapsang Souchong Tea Brined Pork Loin
- 4 cups water
- 6 tablespoons Lapsang Soughing tea leaves
- 4 whole star anise
- 1/2 stick cinnamon
- 1/4 cup kosher salt
- 1/4 cup molasses
- 1 pound pork tenderloin
- 2 tablespoons cooking oil
- 1/2 teaspoon whole peppercorns
- In a medium saucepan, bring the water to a boil, turn off heat, add Lapsang Souchong tea leaves, cover with lid and allow to steep for 5 minutes. Strain tea, discard leaves and allow to cool.
- In medium saucepan over medium-low heat, add molasses and salt, cook until salt dissolves, about 5 minutes. Allow to cool.
- Dry roast whole spices in a pan over low heat, until aromatic, about 3 minutes (if using powdered cinnamon, add it when you add the pork tenderloin).
- Combine all ingredients together, add pork tenderloin, cover and place in the refrigerator and let the pork tenderloin soak for at least 4 hours, no more than 24 hours.
- Remove pork tenderloin from brine, pat-dry the pork tenderloin with paper towels (to remove excess brine - very important step, so the hot oil does not spatter when the pork is put in to the hot oil ) and let rest at room temperature for 30 minutes.
- Place a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, add oil. When the oil is shimmering, add the pork tenderloin and cook until brown on all sides, about 4 minutes each side.
- Reduce heat to medium, cover and cook for 10 more minutes. If you have a thermometer, the internal temperature should be 145ºF (I don't use one, but if you do, this is the correct temperature for pork). Transfer the pork tenderloin to a cutting board and let rest for 10 minutes.
- 1 cup chopped Fuyu Persimmons
- 1 inch piece ginger, peeled and grated (I suggest using a microplane zester)
- 1/4 cup currants, raisins or chopped prunes (I used currants)
- 1/3 cup Sherry vinegar (or apple cider vinegar)
- 1 tablespoon Calvados (Calvados is apple brandy - if you don't have apple brandy, any brandy is fine or white wine)
- 1 tablespoon preserved lemon (or lemon zest or juice of a lemon)
- 2/3 cup brown sugar
- Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce to a simmer and cook, stirring often, until chutney is thick and syrupy, about 1 hour and 15 minutes.
- Assemble Before serving, slice the pork tenderloin into half-inch slices and top with Persimmon Chutney.
- NOTES: You can substitute persimmons with asian pears, apples (Honeycrisp or Pink Lady) or pears (Anjou or Bosc). Serving this dish at room temperature, as an appetizer or hot main.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for The Best Thing You Ate This Year