Five-spiced pork tenderloin recipe

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  • Yield: 6 Servings


  • 2 whole pork tenderloins, trimmed of any fat or sinew (each about 1¼ pounds), preferably heritage pork
  • 2 tablespoons Five-Spice Powder, homemade or store-bought
  • 2 teaspoons of kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil, preferably expeller-pressed
  • ½ sweet onion, thinly sliced
  • 4 to 5 fresh figs, stemmed and quartered (about ¾ cup)
  • 3 to 4 fresh plums, pitted and cut into ¼-inch-thick slices (about ¾ cup)
  • 1 cup light red wine, such as Sangiovese or Beaujolais nouveau
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon soy butter or unsalted butter
  • ½ tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon leaves
  • Freshly ground black pepper
How to Make It
  1. Lay the tenderloins in a large glass baking dish and sprinkle with the five-spice powder and 2 teaspoons of salt. Rub 1 tablespoon of the oil into the meat, making sure the tenderloins are evenly covered. Cover the dish with plastic and refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to 6 hours.
  2. Heat a large sauté pan over medium-high heat and heat the remaining tablespoon of oil. When the oil is hot, sauté the onion for 3 to 4 minutes. Add the figs and plums and toss gently. Stir in the red wine and sugar and bring the wine to a boil. Cook until reduced by half, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the butter and tarragon, stirring to melt the butter. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cover and set aside.
  3. Prepare a gas or charcoal grill so that the heating elements or charcoal are medium-hot. Before you start the fire, rub the grate with a little canola oil to prevent sticking.
  4. Lift the tenderloins from the glass dish and grill for 2 to 3 minutes on each side, turning the tenderloins with long-handled tongs until nicely browned. Cover the grill and cook the meat for a total of 10 to 12 minutes for medium-done meat and 15 to 17 minutes for medium-well meat. Transfer the tenderloins to a cutting board and let them rest for about 10 minutes. (Alternatively, sear the tenderloins in a lightly oiled nonstick skillet over medium-high heat for 2 to 3 minutes on each side until nicely browned. Transfer the pork to a lightly oiled roasting pan and cook in a 425°F oven for about 15 minutes for medium done and 17 to 20 minutes for medium-well done.)
  5. Slice the pork into slices about ¼ to ½ inch thick. To serve, shingle 3 to 4 slices of pork on 4 to 6 plates and spoon the pan sauce over the meat.

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