When people first learn that I trained professionally to be a chef, their eyes go wide and they look at me and say, “you must know how to make awesome sauces!”.
Sauce creation seems to be the one thing people hone-in on when distinguishing home cooking from restaurant cuisine. If you listen to people recounting their most memorable restaurant meals, they inevitably include a description of a fabulous sauce, either with the main course or dessert. A good sauce also happens to be the element of the meal that most home chefs think is beyond their grasp. Not so.
It is true that I learned to make some great sauces while at Le Cordon Bleu, and I do love how a well made sauce can really elevate a meal. What really gets me excited though, is to whip up a pan sauce that gives the impression that I slaved away at it for hours (yes, the very best sauces require hours, if not days to prepare from scratch, and in fact, the finest restaurants have a “saucier” on staff, whose sole reason for being is to manage the creation of a restaurants sauces), but in fact came together quickly with hardly any effort.
The honey mustard sauce in this pork dish is just such a creature, it comes together quickly, is beautiful to look at, and is packed with flavors that really work well with pork tenderloin, pork chops, or sauteed chicken. The recipe is from a Culinary Institute of America cookbook I have, entitled Gourmet Meals in Minutes , and is a family favorite.
- 2 (1 1/2-pound) pork tenderloins
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tablespoons minced shallots
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 2 tablespoons whole-grain mustard
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 2 1/2 tablespoons red-wine vinegar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon black peppercorns, crushed
- 1 1/3 cups vegetable or chicken broth
- Heat oven to 425 degrees. Place a rack in a roasting pan, lightly coat with cooking spray, and place in oven. Remove any excess fat or silverskin from tenderloins, and season with salt and pepper. Heat vegetable oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Sear meat until it is golden brown on all sides, approximately 5 minutes. Remove tenderloins and place on rack in roasting pan. Roast to 155 degrees for slightly pink. This will take approximately 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in same pan used to brown tenderloins, add garlic and shallots, and cook over medium heat until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add tomato paste, scraping up browned bits from bottom of pan. Sauté until tomato paste has slightly browned. Add mustard, honey, vinegar, thyme, salt, pepper, and broth. Bring to boil, then simmer until mixture reduces to a sauce consistency, about 10 minutes. Keep warm.
- Remove tenderloins from oven and let stand 5–10 minutes, loosely covered with foil, before slicing. Carefully skim and discard fat from pan juices. Pour degreased pan juices into sauce. Bring sauce to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer until slightly reduced. Slice tenderloins and serve with warm honey-mustard sauce.