While Pirate Caroline’s Wiki Chick’n last week looked delicious, and we have nothing against vegetables in their rightful place, we felt the need to balance all that excess nutritional virtue generated by the faux meat product with something unabashedly meaty. A few weeks back we anchored out together off our favorite Eastern Shore town of Oxford, and dinghyed ashore for a quick walk before returning to our galleys to prepare dinner, including this pork tenderloin main course. That we happened upon this street sign in this tiny town…well it just seemed like porcine kismet.
Back in the galley…your ingredients: two pork tenderloins (1.5-2 lbs total), 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1/2 cup apple jelly, 3 tablespoons cider vinegar, 2 tablespoons molasses, 1/3 cup rum, 3/4 cup dried cherries, 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard, 2 tablespoons fresh herbs (here parsley alternatively cilantro or sage), salt and pepper.
My recipe calls for apple jelly and I didn’t have any in the galley so I tasked a crewman — my brother — to grab some at the local grocery. Unable to find simple apple jelly, he returned with this rather more expensive but lovely apple cider jam, with chunks of apples and a tangy taste. I may never use plain apple jelly again! But you can…with little downside to the recipe. Feel free to call on brother Andy as crew if you’re ever in Istanbul.
Combine brown sugar, apple jelly or jam, cider vinegar, molasses, and rum in a pan wide enough to keep the liquid to about 1/2-inch depth. This will allow sufficient heat to reduce the glaze quickly without burning.
Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally until reduced and thickened, about 10 minutes on medium-low.
The reduction is ready when you pull the spatula across the pan and the glaze holds back momentarily, like this.
While the glaze is reducing, salt and pepper the tenderloins on both sides, and prepare them for the captain to grill. I like to hand them up to the cockpit on a foil lined pan or cutting board so that the captain can put them on the grill, simply crumple up the foil, and have the pan handy to hold implements and to remove the meat to when it is finished. On a boat it’s all about draconian efficiency.
Roughly chop parsley and cherries…
Add ad stir through with the mustard, off heat.
Here’s where the post gets silly for landlubbers…boat-only instructions. Tonight we were dining aboard Night Town, bringing the pork main course and dessert. Potlucks are a challenge under any circumstance — to prepare food and transport it and have it all arrive intact — but imagine having to transport it in a dinghy across open water, climbing up and down the transoms of both boats! I have taken to bringing glazes and gravies like this one in insulated travel coffee cups — retaining warmth, while tight-fitting lids can nestle in boat bags with (here) the ingredients for gingerbread cake for dessert.
But first, Captain Peter applies half of the glaze to almost-finished tenderloins on the grill, giving them another minute on the fire to melt the glaze onto the meat. Prior to glazing, he has cooked them over high heat until browned on all sides, about 12 minutes total.
Let them cool slightly, and wrap them for transport in foil.
Here they are wrapped and tucked amongst the dessert ingredients in a boat bag, ready to be hauled over to Pirate Caroline’s galley. I told you maritime dinner parties were unique!
When ready to serve, slice and top with remaining glaze, passing any excess at the table. Enjoy the rum-infused flavors of fall with warm sides and good friends. Keep tabs on us later for the dessert recipe — Gingerbread Cake with Caramelized Pears.