A few years ago, I was out to a French restaurant in another city with my parents. It was
near Valentine’s Day, and my father asked if a lot of people liked to celebrate the special day at their restaurant. The waiter rolled his eyes and laughed, “Oh yes. We like to call it amateur day.” Whether or not that specific waiter is representative of all restaurants’ mindsets, I have never found myself eating out on the 14th since. Paying for overpriced prix fixe menus is hardly romantic and, quite frankly, a little overrated.
The following dish is special without being too complicated, and makes enough that it could serve your best friends or just your loved one. Round out the meal with sautéed green beans, creamy mashed potatoes and your favorite wine.
- Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1 tablespoon of fresh chopped rosemary (dried is fine)
- 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter
- 1 lb of pork tenderloin
Cherry Love Sauce
- 1 jar of cherry preserves
- 1/4 cup of red wine vinegar
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.
Rinse the pork tenderloin and pat it dry with paper towels. Let it come to room temperature, then season the pork generously with sea salt, freshly ground pepper and rosemary on all sides.
Heat a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the butter to pan, and stir until melted. Add the pork tenderloin to the butter and brown it on all sides (it doesn’t need to be cooked in the middle at this point), and remove from heat.
Place the pork in a roasting pan or on an oiled baking sheet and roast at 375 degrees. The pork will be ready when a meat thermometer reads 160 degrees, about 35–45 minutes. When the pork is done cooking, cover with foil and let it rest in its juices for about 10 minutes so it can absorb some flavor.
While the tenderloin is roasting, place the cherry preserves in a small saucepan with the vinegar. Bring the pan to medium heat. Cook, stirring often, until the mixture reduces, about 10–15 minutes.
Slice the pork tenderloin and serve with the preserves on warmed plates. Serves two to three people. ■