Pork tenderloin with Caramelized Garlic and Orange Salsa
Sightly adapted from Yotam Ottolenghi
1 orange, half of the orange zested and the rest of the peel peeled and thinly julienned
2 tbsp dried mint
5 tbsp olive oil
sea salt and black pepper
2 pork fillets (about 850 g – appproximately 2 lbs), all sinew removed
5-6 heads garlic, cloves separated and peeled
20 g (about 4 teaspoons) granulated sugar
2 tsp balsamic vinegar
1 red chili pepper, finely chopped I used pinches of red pepper flakes)
10 g mint leaves, shredded (approximately one fresh package or bunch weighed out on a a scale)
1 tbsp lemon juice
Grate the zest of half the orange into a large, glass bowl big enough to marinate the pork in, add the mint, two tablespoons of olive oil, two teaspoons of salt and a teaspoon of black pepper. Mix well, add the pork, rub the seasoned oil into the meat, cover and refrigerate for two hours. I turn the pork in the marinade often.
Bring a pot of water to a boil, add the garlic and blanch for two minutes. Drain and repeat the blanching process once more. Dry the pan, pour in the olive oil and place on a high heat. Fry the garlic, stirring all the time, for four to five minutes, until it’s golden all over.
Add a tablespoon of sugar, the vinegar, about 6 tablespoons water and a quarter-teaspoon of salt to the garlic pan, bring to a boil and simmer on medium heat for five minutes, or until there’s hardly any liquid remaining and you’re left with just the caramelized garlic cloves in a thick syrup. Set aside to cool.
Use a vegetable peeler to shave off wide strips of the remaining orange skin, taking care not to take any of the bitter white pith with it. Cut the strips into 1 mm-wide slivers, and transfer to a small saucepan. Squeeze the juice from the orange and, if necessary, add water until you have 100 ml of liquid. Pour this over the orange skin in the pan, add the remaining sugar and bring to a light simmer. Cook for 12-15 minutes, until the syrup is reduced by about two-thirds, and set aside to cool.
To make the salsa, stir the chili pepper or flakes, mint and lemon juice into the garlic pot. Lift the orange strips out of their syrup, and add to the salsa.
Heat the oven to 350º. Place a large frying pan or oven proof sauté pan on a high heat, add a smear of oil, then sear the pork fillets for two minutes on each side, until nicely golden brown all over. Place on a tray or leave in oven proof sauté pan and roast for seven to 10 minutes, or until pink. Remove from the oven, cover with foil and rest for four minutes (the pork will carry on cooking in the residual heat).
Meanwhile, add any cooking juices from the pan to the garlic salsa pot and stir. Taste, and if it seems a little dry, add some of the sweet orange syrup. Take care, though: you don’t want the salsa to go too sweet.
Use a very sharp knife to slice the pork fillets into 1-2cm-thick medallions, arrange these on dinner plates and spoon the salsa on the side or on top.