Sweet-hot is a combination we like, so when looking for something new to try in The Big Green Egg, I opted for the first recipe I found when opening the eponymous cookbook. It has one of those spoiler-alert titles we sometimes find in cookbooks, really outlining our shopping list: "Chili-Spiced Pork Tenderloin with Caramelized Blackberry Sauce."
I started up the Egg so that it could reach 400F when I was ready. Then I went into the kitchen. I selected two pork tenderloins, brushing each with olive oil and sprinkling with chili powder, salt, and pepper. Honestly, I did not use a brush -- I just drizzled the oil on, and then rolled the tenderloins on a large plate, sprinkling as I turned them. Worked fine.
I set that aside and started working on the sauce. I had considered starting the sauce after I put the pork on the grill, but I decided not to, because the recipe is vague on grilling time, but implies (correctly) that it is fairly quick.
L.O.V.E. blackberry-ginger balsamic (the recipe simply calls for balsamic, but we knew how to make this even better) and chicken stock, along with an 8-ounce jar of Al's Blackberry Moonshine Jelly we had bought directly from the jellyman at the Coastal Wine Trail Festival just hours before. (Again, the recipe had simply called for blackberry preserves.) I brought all of this to a low simmer and left it on very low heat, covered, for 15 minutes while I cooked the pork.
With the Egg at 375, I put the tenderloins on the cast-iron grill-top for 5-minutes per "side." This was an occasion when I'm really glad that I follow my friend Rob's advice, using tongs for everything. The tenderloins would have been difficult to manage otherwise, but were very easy to turn this way. I mentioned the vagueness of the cooking time, which is something I am seeing more often in recipes, probably for food-safety reasons. It took 15-20 minutes, I'd say, to reach the desired 145F internal temperature. Having never cooked this kind of meat before, I was grateful to have an excellent thermometer (crazy-expensive but worth it for serious cooks), as I would have probably overcooked it otherwise.
Once the meat was ready to rest for a few minutes before slicing, I finished the sauce, which simply meant removing it from heat and stirring in 2T butter and a bit of salt and pepper. We ended up with a small pitcher of sauce -- way too much and way too thin for the purpose. The directions call for keeping it covered during the simmer and do not call for any kind of thickening ingredients. Next time, I think I'll try reducing it just a bit by cooking it ahead of time, uncovered.
Key words: next time. This was delicious, and I'll either try it again or will turn to one of the many tenderloin recipes on the Big Green Egg web site.