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Pork Medallions with Red Wine Juniper Sauce

Photograph by Reena Newman, props by Laura Branson

If you like gin, you will love juniper. Its crisp, piney, peppery taste has a hint of citrus and this bold red-wine juniper sauce smothered over simple juicy cumin-spiced pork is an impressive dish.

Zero Waste Tips:

Pork tenderloin, being so lean, is easily overcooked. This, again, is where I stress the value of a digital thermometer, which makes it so easy to cook meat properly.

Take the pork out of the oven once it registers 140°F (60°C) in the middle of the thickest part and let it rest for 5 minutes. The result will be juicy pork with the slightest blush of pink.

Food 911! What are juniper berries? Well, they are used to make gin, so we know they must be good for us. The berry, which is actually a seed cone of the juniper tree, is typically sold whole in the spice section of your grocery store. They look like big dark purple peppercorns and are easily crushed, which should be done just before using them. This helps to release the berry’s essential oils.


Pork Medallions with Red Wine Juniper Sauce

Christine Tizzard
If you like gin, you will love juniper. Its crisp, piney, peppery taste has a hint of citrus and this bold red-wine juniper sauce smothered over simple juicy cumin-spiced pork is an impressive dish.
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 20 mins
Course Main Course
Servings 4

Equipment

  • large ovenproof sauté pan, digital thermometer

Ingredients
  

  • 1 1/2 lb (700 g) pork tenderloin
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1-2 tsp (10 mL) ground cumin (or to taste)
  • 1-2 tbsp (30 mL) neutral flavoured oil
  • 5 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 cloves garlic smashed
  • 3 Tbsp (45 mL) butter divided
  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) red wine
  • 10 juniper berries lightly crushed
  • 1 cup (250 mL) beef or chicken stock

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 400 °F (200 °C).
  • Cut tenderloin into medallions (or small steaks) on the diagonal, about 1 1/2 inches (4 cm) thick. You should get at least 4 medallions and 2 smaller end pieces. Season with salt, lots of pepper and ground cumin.
  • Heat an ovenproof pan over high heat. Once hot, add the oil and sear the medallions, about 3 minutes per side. Once turned over, add thyme sprigs, garlic, and 1 Tbsp (15 mL) butter. Transfer to the oven for 6–10 minutes or until an internal temperature of 140°F (60°C) is reached. Smaller end pieces will cook more quickly, so remove ahead of time.
  • Remove pan from the oven, transfer pork onto a plate and let rest while making the pan sauce.
  • In the same pan over medium heat, add the wine, juniper berries, and stock. Liquids will immediately start bubbling and reduce. Add in 2 Tbsp (30 mL) butter to finish the sauce. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary with salt and pepper. Pour sauce over the medallions and serve.

FOOD 911

  • Pork tenderloin, being so lean, is easily overcooked. This, again, is where I stress the value of a digital thermometer, which makes it so easy to cook meat properly.
  • Take the pork out of the oven once it registers 140°F (60°C) in the middle of the thickest part and let it rest for 5 minutes. The result will be juicy pork with the slightest blush of pink.
  • Juniper berries are used to make gin, so we know they must be good for us. The berry, which is actually a seed cone of the juniper tree, is typically sold whole in the spice section of your grocery store. They look like big dark purple peppercorns and are easily crushed, which should be done just before using them. This helps to release the berry’s essential oils.
Keyword easy weeknight meals, juniper, pork tenderloin, red wine sauce

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