Tuesday, June 8, 2010

2010 Challenge: Z Grille

For years Southerners have used soft drinks to add a jolt of sugar and flavor to everything from cakes and pies to ribs and whiskey. Usually the Southern classic, Coca Cola, gets the nod. Which is why seeing Dr. Pepper braised ribs set off some alarms. Dr. Pepper boasts of having 23 flavors, complex for sure. Cooking a piece of meat in a liquid so flavorful is not all that different from using wine.

But I didn't have anything tough or braiseworthy in the house. I did however have a pork tenderloin. So, I figured some medallions of pork seared and then coated in a reduced sauce made with Dr. Pepper would be pretty interesting and it was. Save for the fact that the pork tenderloin was "teriyaki" flavored. Grocery shopping after a long weekend leads to mistakes, remember that kids.

Pork Tenderloin with Sauce "au Poivre" and Braised Endive

Braised Endive (adapted from Tom Colicchio's Craft of Cooking)

In a large skillet, saute mirepoix in olive oil until just soft. Add to this some endive in which you have removed any discolored outer leaves. Then add in a 1/2 cup of white wine, 1/4 cup of white wine vinegar, some herbs (bay and thyme good choices), salt and pepper. Cover with water and bring to simmer. Braise for about an hour, or until tender through.

Sauce au "Poivre" (get it?)

In a small sauce pan, combine one can of Dr. Pepper and 1 cup of chicken stock. Allow this to reduce to a thick sauce on low heat. Will take about an hour. If you want, as I should have, whisk in some butter right before plating.


Slice the tenderloin into medallions about an inch thick. Season with salt and pepper and let sit for a few minutes. Meanwhile heat a cast iron skillet or other thick bottom pan until whisps of smoke leave its surface. Tablespoon of lipid just to coat the pan (butter works best). Sear the tenderloins on both sides, continuously basting with the butter. Lower heat and cook to desired doneness.

To finish, place food on plate and top meat with au poivre sauce. A malbec went very well with this dish. The meal would have been better had I not accidentally picked up a Teriyaki flavored loin, but with a few adjustments, say grilling it whole and basting with sauce, this could end up in the rotation.

No comments: