Serve Pork Tenderloin With Fruit For The Perfect Mixture Of Sweet And Savory

When you think about foods that pair well with meaty main courses, fruit may not be the first thing that comes to mind, but it should be — especially when it comes to pork loin. Many of us are more familiar with fruit and meat pairings in other forms: turkey legs with cranberry sauce, a whole roasted duck à l'orange, or the ever-controversial combination of pineapple and ham on pizza. Even if you're not wild about these examples, you ought to try pairing pork with fruits of all kinds, whether they're fresh, cooked, or dried. The cut is so versatile that you can use your favorite fruits to create a delectable dinner that appeals to you.

Compared to other types of meat, such as beef, pork has a milder flavor, yet fattier cuts also have a delicious richness to it them. Pork loin, in particular, has a naturally sweet taste and succulent texture that isn't too fatty nor too lean. The sweetness of fruit can amplify the meat's juicy qualities, while also balancing its savoriness. A pop of bright tang from berries, mango, or plums can prevent your pork loin recipes from tasting too one-note, while less tart fruits like apples add a mellow and comforting quality that's still plenty interesting.

Selecting and preparing fruit to pair with pork

You can find delicious fruit to accompany pork loin in any season of the year. Summer, with its stone fruits and berries such as peaches, plums, cherries, and strawberries, is an especially bountiful time to explore various combinations. These fruits have plenty of juice and a hint of tang, so it's easy to cook them into a succulent sauce for tender grilled or seared pork.

One of the more well-known pairings is pork with applesauce, which is best suited to the cooler months of autumn and winter, when apples are abundant and you're craving something cozy. For a lighter dish in warmer weather, you can instead opt for pork tenderloin with apple jicama slaw. These two options using just one kind of fruit show how fresh produce can impact not just the flavor of a dish, but the textures, too.

In contrast to a well-stewed fruit sauce or fresh fruit, try using quickly-cooked versions, like a lightly-roasted mango salsa or slices of sautéed pear. Dried fruits, like apricots or prunes, offer a chewy consistency and more earthy taste, and could go swimmingly with bacon-wrapped pork loin. Quick compotes, such as those made of cranberries or currants, provide enough sauciness but allow the fruit to retain its shape, creating delightful pops of juicy texture as you eat.

Ingredients to elevate pork with fruit

When pairing pork and fruit, it's important to think beyond balancing only the sweet and savory elements. Pay attention to all five key flavors, which also include sour, salty, and bitter. In particular, acidity is useful for building a sense of equilibrium in the dish and bringing out the best qualities of its ingredients. One easy option to add some kind of vinegar or citrus into a light marinade. Marinate the pork before roasting it and topping with lemon slices or another fruit. A reduction of balsamic vinegar — which is both sweet and acidic — is an excellent addition to pork tenderloin with raspberries.

For complexity and a bit of bitterness, you can also add an alcoholic component into your meal. With its sweet and smoky taste, bourbon is particularly well-suited for pork. For a special summertime dinner, try making pork tenderloin with blackberry bourbon barbecue sauce. If you'd rather avoid alcohol, herbs like fresh sage or rosemary can add depth of flavor when finely chopped and combined with extra virgin olive oil. Cook the meat in the herbed oil, or drizzle it over the dish just before serving as a final touch on your fruit-forward masterpiece.