Grilled Pork Tenderloin with Ouzo-Plum Glaze! I mentioned last week that I was going to try and break out of the routine I felt stuck in on the grill. The breakout was in part inspired by a new cookbook we picked up: Mediterranean Grilling: More Than 100 Recipes from Across the Mediterranean by Diane Kochilas. With Zoë having spent several years working aboard cruise ships across the Med and me wanting to try something unique and different, this book seemed like a great fit.
To make this meal even better, Zoë did almost all of the work while I was off in the garage brewing all day! She prepped the dinner, the side and dessert while I played with my new mash tun and tried not to burn anything down. I later showed up to fire up the grill and mix her a martini (or two). Now that is cooperation.
As with any new ethnic cookbook, there is always something we don’t have. In this case it was the Ouzo. Ouzo is an anise flavored liquor that, not surprising since this is a Greek recipe, is popular in Greece. Fortunately, I always have room for a new bottle of booze on the bar, so neither finding, or picking some up, was a problem.
Grilled Pork Tenderloin with Ouzo-Plum Glaze
Adapted from Mediterranean Grilling By Diane Kochilas p. 124
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup strained orange juice
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
1 (2-pound) pork tenderloin
For the Glaze
2 cups coarsely chopped fresh pitted prune plums
1/2 cup sugar
2/3 cup Ouzo
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 large red onion, finely chopped
1/3 cup strained orange juice
4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
4 fresh sage leaves, chopped
2 bay leaves, cracked
4 whole cloves
Whisk olive oil, orange juice, and sherry vinegar in a small bowl and then pour into a plastic bag. Place the tenderloin in the bag, turn to coat, seal, and refrigerate for 2 hours.
Meanwhile…place the plums, sugar, and ouzo in a large bowl and let marinate, covered, at room temperature for 1 hour.
Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat and saute the onion until soft and lightly colored, about 12 minutes. Add the plums and their juices as well as the orange juice, balsamic vinegar, sage, bay leaves, and cloves. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low, season with salt and pepper, and cook the sauce uncovered for 35 to 40 minutes, or until it is very thick and jamlike in consistency. Remove the bay leaves and cloves. There will be more glaze than needed for the recipe; save the remainder in a lidded jar in the refrigerator or serve with the pork. We did both.
Here’s my part: heat the grill to medium and oil the grates. Remove the pork from the marinade and wipe dry. Season generously with salt and pepper. Place on the grill, and cook for about 10 minutes per side, turning every 4 to 5 minutes. Brush with glaze during the last 6-7 minutes of grilling. Let rest and serve.
The only thing better than dinner, was Zoë’s dessert. Based on an idea from Diane’s book, Zoë prepared a grilled banana split with nutella and crumbled biscotti. Is there really anything better than grilled bananas?
I am looking forward to exploring Diane’s book in greater detail. If the first few recipes are a glimpse of things to come, I am in good hands and excited about the new grilling challenges ahead!