Pork Tenderloin Medallions with Dried Cherries and Rosemary Port Pan Sauce

October 29, 2012

My oldest son asked for Weiner Schnitzel, which I made yesterday. But the problem is that pork tenderloins are only sold in 2-packs; so what to do with the second tenderloin? Today’s recipe is perfect: easy, delicious, family-friendly and can take as little as 35-minutes. Chris Kimball published this recipe 15-years-ago; in 1997; but the medallions were tender and flavorful. Chris Kimball recommends laying a ruler on your cutting board to ensure evenly thick slices.  Aside from a few technical problems, the result definitely satisfied everyone in the family. Overall, I’d give this recipe 4-stars as I prepared it today, but with a potential for 4-1/2 was a little more sauce.

Easy to make and delicious


  1. The biggest problem was too little liquid sauce. There were plenty of solids (dried cherries), but not enough liquid (port and chicken broth). In hindsight, I believe that my skillet may have been too hot, so that when I deglazed the pan all the liquid evaporated in just a few seconds. But I also increased the liquid components below as follows’ increase port from 1/3-cup to 1/2-cup, and chicken broth from 2/3-cup to 1-cup.
  2. The other indicator that my skillet was too hot was my vaguely smokey kitchen. It wasn’t too bad, so I didn’t notice it until afterwards. Next time I will pay more attention and turn down my skillet at the first sign of smoke.
  3. I did have trouble removing the silver-skin. It is more difficult on pork because of it’s small size, and I accidentally pulled off some meat in a few places.
  4. Chris Kimball says that you can also use dried cranberries (or chopped dried apricots) in lieu of cherries. My cherry-loving son means that I always try to have cherries in all forms in the house.
  5. I used my splatter screen to cover the skillet, which helped minimize the mess. Without that, you’ll definitely have a little more cleanup of your stove-top; medium/high with splatter screen.

Rating: 4-stars.
Cost: $8.
How much work? Low.
How big of a mess?  Medium.
Start time 6:15 PM. Finish time 7:15 PM.

Chris Kimball’s original recipe is here. The descriptions of how I prepared the recipe today are given below:

1 teaspoon table salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 pork tenderloin (about 1-1/4 pound)
2 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 cup port
1/2 cup dried sweet cherries
1 cup chicken stock
2 teaspoons minced fresh rosemary
Salt and ground black pepper

  1. Use a paring knife to loosen and remove the silver skin from the tenderloin. Lay the tenderloin on a cutting board, and slice into even 1″ medallions. Sprinkle both sides with salt and pepper. Use the flat side of chef’s knife to gently pound each medallion to 3/4″ thick.
  2. Place a regular 10″ heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-high burner, and heat olive oil until it begins to shimmer. Sear half the medallions for 2 to 3 minutes without moving, then flip using tongs. My stove took 3 minutes to brown nicely. Continue to brown the second side for another 2 to 3 minutes. If the oil begins to smoke, turn down your stovetop. Move cooked medallions to a clean plate and set aside while browning the second batch.
  3. While the pork is browning, roughly chop the dried cherries.
  4. Keep the skillet over medium-high burner, and use port and cherries to deglaze the pan. Chris Kimball says this will take 2 to 3 minutes, but my pan must have been too hot because it had reduced to 2 tablespoons in about 30 seconds.
  5. Increase burner to high, add chicken stock, rosemary, and any accumulated pork juices back to the skillet. Cook for 2 minutes until it becomes syrupy. Add 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon salt, and pepper to taste.
  6. Turn down burner to medium and add pork back to skillet. Simmer pork, flipping to coat, for about 2 minutes to reheat. Move to individual plates or a serving platter, and spoon sauce before serving immediately.

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