This genius dish turns pork tenderloin into a melt in your mouth treat. Its’ crispy sweet topping is a perfect complement for pork.
Pick up a pork tenderloin at the farmers’ market and while you’re there, get fresh sage for this dish. Herbs are plentiful at the market.
This dish is so different and so delicious. You’ll fall in love when you cut into the medallion and the crust cracks. The meat will melt in your mouth under a crispy sugar coating.
The recipe from Milk Street Magazine has a trick. Use turbinado sugar.
Turbinado sugar is less processed. Made from the first press of sugar cane, it leaves the sugar with its original and natural molasses flavor. After boiled, crystals form. Moisture is removed through a centrifuge, think turbine. This sugar is light and tastes like caramel. It is drier than typical brown sugar. Turbinado sugar is prefect to use with fruit recipes. It may cause a cookie or cake to have a dry texture.
Surprisingly, this recipe is easy. Cut your tenderloin into 1 inch medallions and flatten with a mallet. Cook the pork in a skillet without flipping. Meanwhile, add together the turbinado sugar, fresh sage, cayenne pepper, and orange zest. Press the sugar mixture on the pork medallions. Place under a broiler for a few minutes. This is when the magic happens. The sugar topping forms a crispy caramelized topping that is so delicious. The result is restaurant quality, actually fancy restaurant quality. Make a sauce with fresh orange juice, sage and cider vinegar and pour over the pork medallions or serve over the sauce.
Yeah, you’ll be making it again.
- 2 pounds pork tenderloin, trimmed, cut into 6 pieces
- Kosher salt and black pepper
- ½ cup turbinado sugar
- 3, one-inch strips orange zest, chopped (1 Tablespoon) plus ½ cup orange juice
- 2 Tablespoons chopped fresh sage, divided
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 2 Tablespoons cider vinegar
- Heat the broiler to high with a rack 6 inches from the element. Pat the pork dry, cover with plastic wrap, then use a meat mallet to flatten the pieces to an even 1 inch thickness. Season both sides with salt and pepper. In a small bowl, use your fingers to rub together the sugar, orange zest, 1 Tablespoon of sage and cayenne. Set aside.
- In a 12 inch broiler safe skillet over medium-high heat the oil until just beginning to smoke. Add the pork and cook until deep golden brown on one side, about 3 minutes. Transfer the pork browned side up to a large plate, reserve the skillet. Use your hands to press the sugar mixture onto the tops of the pork pieces in an even layer. Return to the skillet, sugar side up. Set under broiler until sugar mixture is golden brown, 5 to 7 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through. Transfer to carving board. Let rest.
- Meanwhile, return the skillet to medium-high heat on the stove-top. Add the orange juice and remaining 1 Tablespoon of sage and cook, scraping up any browned bits, until the sauce is syrupy, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the cider vinegar. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Serve the pork over the sauce.