M. Andrew Gordon

Lemongrass Pork with Rhubarb Sauce

In Uncategorized on June 11, 2010 at 4:45 pm

Lemongrass Pork with Summer Squash and Gingered Asparagus

For anyone who regularly reads JustAddBacon, it comes as no surprise that pork is fairly close to being considered my favorite of the big three meats (beef, chicken, pork).  Lamb might give it a run for its money, duck is a weakness, most game is stunningly delicious, and let’s not forget all manner of things from the ocean.  But from the American meat section’s big three meats, pork is probably my favorite.  Pork tenderloin, however, is a curious cut of meat because unlike, say, pork shoulder, it is tender from the start and doesn’t need any lengthy braising or smoking to become tender.  And, unlike pork shoulder or a well-marbled pork chop or even just pork loin, tenderloin is not the most flavorful of cuts.  This, however, is a bit of a strength in my opinion, as I think the tenderloin reacts quite well to marinades, glazes, and rubs.

Here, I wanted to impart the pork with some characteristic southeast Asian flavors such as lemongrass and ginger.  It was a stroke of good luck that I was also looking to use up some rhubarb that was in the refrigerator.  While rhubarb mainly finds its way into desserts using copious amounts of sugar, I have lately been fascinated with using it in less traditional ways.  By gently poaching the rhubarb in sweetened water, a solution much less sweet than simple syrup, it allows for the tart vegetable to be just lightly sweetened.  Care is needed with this step, as the rhubarb can quickly cook and break down to a mushy consistency which I did not want.

Other than taking the time to let the meat marinate and using a watchful eye with the rhubarb, this is an easy meal to prepare and was certainly just different enough to warrant making its way onto these pages.

Lemongrass Pork with Rhubarb Sauce

  • 2 stalks lemongrass, chopped
  • 1 lime, quartered lengthwise and chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 inch piece of ginger, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • ½ cup tonic water
  • 1 ½ pound pork tenderloin
  • 2 cups rhubarb, cut into 1-inch pieces (about 3 large stalks)
  • 2 cups water
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ½ small red onion, diced (reserve remaining half for other use)
  • 1 carrot, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons lime juice
  • Hot sauce
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  1. In large bowl, combine lemongrass, chopped lime, garlic, ginger, 2 tablespoons honey, fish sauce, 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar, and tonic water.  Mix together.  In baking dish or plastic bag, place tenderloin and pour marinade the meat.  Turn several times to completely coat the tenderloin.  Let marinade for 6 hours or overnight.
  2. While meat is marinating, combine water and sugar in small saucepan and heat over medium-high heat, stirring, until sugar dissolves.  Add rhubarb and cook, just until water begins to boil.  Rhubarb should be soft but not mushy.  Using slotted spoon, transfer rhubarb to bowl and add remaining tablespoon of honey and tablespoon of vinegar.  Add onion, carrot, lime juice, and several dashes of hot sauce and mix well.
  3. Preheat oven to 425°F.  In large cast iron skillet (or other oven proof pan), heat butter over medium-high heat.  Add tenderloin and cook for about five minutes, turning several times to brown the meat.  Transfer to the oven and cook for about 15 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 145°.  Transfer meat to platter and tent with foil.
  4. Place skillet on stove over high heat.  Add rhubarb mixture and stir to deglaze the pan.  Turn off heat.
  5. Slice tenderloin and serve with the rhubarb sauce.
  1. […] cooled roll in half, brush inside with Chipotle Mayonnaise, stuff with thinly sliced Lemongrass-Ginger Pork, rhubarb sauce, and […]

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