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pan seared pork tenderloin with cherry sauce

Someone recently asked me when I started cleaning up my food. It’s funny because I kind of feel like it’s been a forever and ongoing process. I wonder if that’s how it feels for a lot of us. I’ve long been looking for a path that is sustainable, and the search has kept me learning and trying new things. Whether I’m judging a food by taste or how it makes me feel, I’m also not content repeating things that don’t work. Remember fat free cheese? I only had to try that once.

When it comes to how a food makes me feel? Well that one has required more work to change and to really believe that foods were making me feel like junk, even if I was only eating them once a week. I probably started experimenting with eliminating foods about 8 years ago. Over time and many stops and starts, I’m now realizing that what I really want and crave is good food that doesn’t drag me down or set me back.

pork tenderloin rubbed in salt and cumin

The trouble is, I once learned how to make a delicious sauce. The first time I scraped browned bits from a pan with wine, I was hooked (and quite possibly cried. ?) I still feel so proud every time I do that. Consequently, I’m sometimes afraid that eating healthy or making good changes might mean those days are over. Which is crazy! It’s not like I was deglazing pans with wine every night of the week or something. But fear never lets you try anything and talks in absolutes, right?

cherry sauce on pork tenderloin

Which brings me to this cherry sauce. Fear says sauces can’t be made unless they are loaded with sugar, butter, wine, or cream? Says stinking who? Time to experiment.

As it turns out, if you cook cherries, they break down into a thick sauce without needing to fuss with sugar. Shockingly, naturally sweet fruit makes a naturally sweet sauce, no sweetener needed. Ha. Jokes on us all.

bag of frozen dark sweet cherries from Whole Foods

Add a few spices and a seasoned pork tenderloin? This sweet and savory plate of delicious dinner is yours.

pork tenderloin with cherry saucepork tenderloin with cherry saucepork and cherries

Here you go!

pan seared pork tenderloin with cherry sauce
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Makes: 6-8
Ingredients
  • 2-1 pound pork tenderloins
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • ½ teaspoons ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons of clarified butter or olive oil, divided
  • ½ cup chopped yellow onions
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon allspice
  • 1 bag of frozen sweet cherries (naturally sweet with no sugar added.)
  • 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar
  • ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper (or a couple of pinches)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400°.
  2. In a small bowl combine cumin, salt, and pepper.
  3. Lay your pork tenderloins on a board and generously rub spice mixture until all sides are generously covered. Let set for 15 minutes while you get the cherry sauce started.
  4. In a medium saucepan, melt 1 tablespoon of butter or heat 1 tablespoon of oil on medium high heat.
  5. Add your onions and stir occasionally until they are softened and start to brown, 3-5 minutes.
  6. Add your cumin and allspice and stir to combine and fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  7. Add your cherries, balsamic vinegar, cayenne, and ½ cup water to pan, stir to combine. Leave on medium high until the cherries thaw and liquid is boiling. Turn to simmer and continue to cook the cherries and sauce for 10-15 minutes, stirring every few minutes. If the cherries are sticking to the bottom, add a bit more water and turn it down. If the sauce is too runny, turn the heat up and cook for a bit longer until it's more thickened and cherries start to fall apart.
  8. In an oven proof skillet melt remaining oil or clarified butter in an oven proof pan on medium high, when fat is hot add your pork tenderloins.
  9. Sear on one side for about 2 minutes and turn for 2 minutes on the opposite side. Keep turning and cooking until all sides are lightly browned. Do this for 7-8 minutes total, turn down heat as necessary so they don't burn but brown instead.
  10. When all sides of both tenderloins are seared, put skillet in the preheated oven for 12-15 minutes. Remove from oven and check for doneness. When you put a meat thermometer in the thickest part it should read 140°. If you don't have a meat thermometer, pierce the center and if the liquids run clear or faint pink, it's done. In addition, if you push your finger into your tenderloin and it springs back to shape, it is done. If it needs more time, put it back in for a couple minutes.
  11. When pork is ready, let it rest for 5 minutes.
  12. Slice the tenderloins and serve with thickened warm cherry sauce.
Serves 6-8

Nutritional Information for Pork Tenderloin with Cherry Sauce
Pan Seared Pork Tenderloin with Cherry Sauce

Plate your pork with cauliflower rice, spaghetti squash, and/or broccoli for sides.

Enjoy!

~Heather

{ 4 comments… add one }

  • Meg March 27, 2016, 7:27 pm

    This looks seriously delicious!! I can’t wait to try it

    • heather bursch March 28, 2016, 11:00 am

      Thanks, Meg! Let me know if you do. 🙂

  • Heidi April 17, 2016, 8:05 pm

    This looks so good! I will have to find some pork tenderloin and make it.

    • heather bursch April 17, 2016, 8:43 pm

      Thanks, Heidi! I hope you do, it’s an easy one! 🙂

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