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Fire-Roasted Pork Tenderloin with Corn Cakes & Apple-Rum Compote

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Level: Intermediate

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Description

Pork tenderloin is a great and often under-appreciated cut. It’s fairly inexpensive, easy to cook, healthy (with about the same amount of fat of boneless/skinless/just-this-side-of-worthless chicken breast), and it’s a wonderful blank canvas for all manner of experimentation. It doesn’t take much to elevate this cut into something special, as I did here.

Ingredients

  • 2 whole Pork Tenderloins, About 1 1/2 Lbs Each
  • FOR THE RUB:
  • 2 teaspoons Kosher Salt
  • 2 teaspoons Black Pepper, Ground Fresh
  • 2 teaspoons Sweet Paprika
  • 2 teaspoons Ground Ancho Chile
  • 1-½ teaspoon Ground Cumin
  • ½ teaspoons Ground Ginger
  • FOR THE BRINE:
  • ½ cups Kosher Salt
  • ⅓ cups Brown Sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon Old Bay Seasoning
  • 1-½ cup Boiling Water
  • 4 cups Ice
  • 3 cups Apple Cider
  • FOR THE COMPOTE:
  • 3 whole Medium Fuji Or Granny Smith Apples, Peeled, Cored And Diced To 1/3"
  • 2 cups Apple Cider
  • ⅓ cups Rum (I Used Appleton)
  • ⅓ cups Brown Sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons Sherry Vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons Butter, Unsalted
  • 1 Tablespoon Kosher Salt
  • 1 teaspoon Allspice
  • ½ teaspoons Black Pepper, Ground Fresh
  • ¼ teaspoons Groud Cumin
  • FOR THE CORN CAKES:
  • 1 cup Boiling Water
  • ¾ cups Bob's Red Mill® Medium Grind Cornmeal
  • 1 cup Creamed Corn
  • ¼ cups Milk
  • ¼ cups Vegetable Oil
  • 2 whole Eggs
  • 1 cup All-purpose Flour
  • 1 Tablespoon Baking Powder
  • 2 teaspoons Kosher Salt
  • ⅛ teaspoons Ground White Pepper

Preparation

Combine all of the rub ingredients in a small bowl, whisk well to combine, and set aside.

Make the brine by combining all of the ingredients except the ice and cider in a large mixing bowl. Whisk until the sugar and salt are dissolved, then add the ice and cider.

Remove any silver skin and excess fat from each tenderloin. Put them in a large baking dish or zip-top bag and cover completely with the brine. Refrigerate for at least 2, but no more than 4 hours.

Combine all of the compote ingredients in a medium sauce pan and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and let cook for an hour, stirring occasionally.

Blend the compote lightly with an immersion blender. You want to leave some small chunks. Cover and set aside.

About 30 minutes before you’re ready to serve, remove the tenderloins from the brine and pat them dry with paper towels. Put them in a baking dish or on a platter and coat all sides with a medium coating of the rub then set aside.

Prepare your grill for 2-zone cooking (direct and indirect) at medium-high heat (about 400ºF).

While you’re waiting for the grill, make the corn cake batter by wisking all of the ingredients in a medium mixing bowl.

Cook the tenderloins indirect until they reach an internal temperature 140ºF, about 15 minutes, flipping once.

While the tenderloins are cooking, make the corn cakes. Heat a griddle or cast iron skillet to medium-high, and your oven to warm (about 175ºF).

Make the cakes by pouring the batter in about 5″ rounds on the griddle or in the skillet. Cook them until all of the large bubbles pop, then flip them over and cook about 90 seconds longer. Keep the cakes warm in the oven.

When the tenderloins have reached an internal temperature of about 140ºF, move them to the direct portion of the grill and sear them for about 2 minutes per side. You’re looking for a final temperature of 155ºF.

Remove the tenderloins to a platter, tent loosely with foil and let them rest for 5 minutes.

Cut the tenderloin across the grain into 1/4″ medallions, plate on 2 corn cakes, and top with a good helping of the compote.

Serve and enjoy!

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