Okay I know this sounds a bit quirky- kind of like the old ham in cola recipe (which BTW is yummy)- but these flavours also work very well together. What you want to use is the very best rootbeer you can find because you reduce it down for the sauce. Normally I would use homemade rootbeer made with Zatarain’s rootbeer extract but I was pressed for time so I used Virgil’s – which is an excellent hand-crafted rootbeer. I originally came across a recipe for Rootbeer Roast Tenderloin in a fun cookbook called “Romancing the Stove: Celebrated Recipes and Delicious Fun for every Kitchen Goddess” I modified it a bit so here is my version which I like to serve with the following quinoa dish and a green salad of Romaine, Spinach and Watercress with Avocado and a simple dressing of olive oil, sherry vinegar, Dijon and shallot- throw in a handful of pinenuts and a twidge of Parmesan and mmm:
Rootbeer Braised Pork Tenderloin
- 1 pork tenderloin, silver skin removed
- 1 Tablespoon crushed garlic
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil for marinating plus a little extra for searing the tenderloin
- 1 12ounce bottle of Virgil’s Rootbeer
- 1 white onion chopped
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 2 Tablespoons Port Balsamic Vinegar
Remove the silver-skin from the tenderloin. Place in a shallow pan or a Ziploc bag and rub with the olive oil and garlic. Let marinate in the fridge for an hour or so. Remove from the fridge and let warm up a bit while you prepare the rootbeer sauce. Place the rootbeer and the onion in a small heavy bottomed saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and let simmer until reduced by half. Heat a cast iron skillet or other heavy oven-proof skillet over medium high heat. Add a little olive oil to the pan and then try to remove any garlic clinging to the tenderloin so it doesn’t burn and sear the tenderloin on all sides. Brush a little rootbeer from the sauce pan on the tenderloin and cover and place in a preheated 300F oven for about 10 minutes. Meanwhile add the mustard and vinegar to the reduced rootbeer onion mixture. After the 10 minutes remove the skillet from the oven and add the rootbeer to the pan, replace the cover and return to the oven for about 25 minutes or until the interior temperature of the pork tenderloin reaches about 155F- it will reach the safe temperature of 160F while it rests. Remove from the oven and let rest for a few minutes. Slice into medallions and serve with the sauce from the pan.
Quinoa with Pistachios
- 1 cup Quinoa
- 2 cups chicken or vegetable stock
- 1/2 minced onion
- 1 small can sliced mushrooms or 1/2 cup sauteed mushrooms
- pinch salt
- 1 cup chopped shelled, roasted salted pistachios
- the zest of one lemon, wash before zesting
Rinse the Quinoato remove the saponins that coat it by rubbing it between your fingers in a fine meshed sieve under cold running water. Let drain. Heat a medium sized heavy bottomed saucepan over medium high heat. Place the quinoa in the saucepan and stir until it dries and pan roasts a bit. Carefully add the stock- it may bubble and spurt – to the quinoa and add the onion and mushrooms. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook for 15 minutes. Take off the heat, remove the cover and fluff with a fork. Add the chopped pistachios along with the zest before serving.
Hope you give it a try and enjoy!