We are huge fans of Ming Tsai in this household, so when I found his latest cookbook at a deep discount at our local (and sadly, closing) Borders Books, I grabbed it. The book, Simply Ming One-Pot Meals is chock full of Ming's trademark East-West recipes that are simple enough to cook on any given weeknight…huzzah.
This recipe jumped out at me when first flipping through the book because it pairs pork and sweet potatoes, a combination that is among our favorites. To this dynamic duo, Ming adds a seriously kickin' sauce that you'll want to pour on just about anything that used to moo, squawk, or oink.
Really, you will.
Thankfully, this sauce recipe is scaled to yield enough for a second go at this meal, so have a freezer bag handy and tuck some away for another day.
Cheers – Steve
- 2 medium pork tenderloins (about 2 pounds), silverskin removed
- 1/3 cup kosher salt, for brining, plus more for seasoning
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons coarsely ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons canola oil, plus more as needed
- 1 large sweet onion, minced
- 1/2 cup coarsely chopped dried cranberries, preferably Craisins
- 1/2 cup naturally brewed ponzu
- 3 medium sweet potatoes
- 1/4 - 1/3 cup orange juice (to taste)
- 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
- One 14-ounce can coconut milk, shaken
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter - divided
- At least 2 and up to 4 hours in advance, brine the pork: in a bowl large enough to hold the pork and the brine, combine the 1/3 cup salt, the sugar, and 8 cups of water. Stir to dissolve the salt and sugar, and add the pork. If the pork isn't covered, add more water and refrigerate for 2 to 4 hours.
- Peel and roughly chop the sweet potatoes, place them in a pan and cover with cold water. Bring the pan to a boil, lower the heat and gently boil until the potatoes are tender 15-20 minutes. drain the potatoes and return them to the pan. Place the pan over low heat and crush the potatoes with a masher. Add the orange juice and three spices, toss in 2 tablespoons of the butter and season to taste with salt and pepper. Remove from the heat and cover to keep warm.
- Heat the oven to 450 ℉.
- Rinse the pork and pat dry. Season lightly with salt and coat with the crushed pepper. Heat a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the oil and swirl to coat the bottom. When the oil is hot, add the pork and sauté on all sides, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer the pan to the oven and roast for 6 to 8 minutes for medium, or to an internal temperature of 150 ℉. Remove the pork to a cutting board and let rest for about 10 minutes, tented with foil.
- Add a touch more oil to the pan and swirl to coat the bottom. When the oil is hot, add the onions and dried cranberries and sauté, stirring, until the onions have browned lightly, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the ponzu, deglaze, and reduce the liquid by half, about 1 minute. Whisk in the coconut milk and season with salt and pepper. Let the sauce boil vigorously for another minute or two to thicken, remove from the heat, whisk in the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter and keep warm.
- To serve, cut the pork into 12 slices. Divide the sauce among four to six individual serving plates, top with pork slices and place a spoonful of the potatoes alongside.