When the farmer’s market presents you with fresh grown cherries, you make something delicious with them. I really have no idea how the idea for the cherries and stout popped into my head but I’m sure glad it did. I’m also glad my friend Clayton over at Small Batch Liquors (best store ever) recommended Freedom Stout by Kettle & Stone Brewing Co. To me, this brew is exactly what a classic stout should be: it explodes with aromas of toasty chocolate malts (who doesn’t like chocolate combined with cherries?) and tastes so smooth. It’s almost like dessert in a glass. Thank goodness I didn’t use the whole bottle in the recipe and had enough leftover to treat myself to a glass….or two.
Mustard Seed & Rosemary Encrusted Pork Tenderloin:
2 pork tenderloins
3 tbsp brown mustard seeds
3 tbsp yellow mustard seeds
2 sprigs of rosemary – leaves removed and chopped
¼ tsp granulated garlic
Plain bread crumbs
Cherry-Stout Compote :
1 lb cherries
1 cup stout
2 tbsp sugar
1 sprig rosemary
1 large pan that can go in the oven (no plastic or rubber)
A cherry pitter
Wash the cherries and remove the stems.
Next, using the cherry pitter, remove all the pits.
This is a pretty fun activity for kids to do and frees up your hands for other things – which is why I put the girls I was babysitting to work. Make sure they do it over a trash can because the pits need somewhere to go and cherry juice is sure to make the kitchen look like a crime scene. When the cherries are ready, put them in a medium sized pot.I chose to give mine a rough mashing, just so they were slightly macerated. You can do whatever your little heart desires.
In with the cherries, pour 1 cup of Freedom Stout, 2 tbsp of sugar, and add the sprig of rosemary (it will add flavor but you’ll remove it at the end).
Give the pot a stir and then crank up the heat until it begins to boil. After this, reduce it to a simmer and let it slowly reduce. I’d say cooking like this for about 40 minutes is good but you be the judge – when it starts to look thick, it is finished, so remove the rosemary stem. In the mean time, get started on the pork…
Preheat the oven to 400°F and then start working on the tenderloins. In a pan, on med-high heat, toast the mustard seeds until they become fragrant – mine smelled toasty.
Next, you need to crush them a bit. A mortar and pestle would be amazing but I was cooking where I was babysitting so there was no mortar and pestle available (as I’m sure is the case in most homes). Instead, I put the seeds in a strong Ziploc bag (double bagging might even be smart) and smacked them a bunch with a rolling pin.
Don’t expect them to get completely ground up with this method, but some good breakage will do the job just fine. After they have received their beating, combine the mustard seeds with the chopped rosemary and granulated garlic. Coat the tenderloins with olive oil and then give them a massage with the herb/spice mix.
Shake a light layer of bread crumbs over the meat to cover up any remaining bare areas.
Heat up a large, oven safe pan (all metal, no plastic on the handles) – it must fit both tenderloins – on med-high heat until it is smoking. Next, add a tiny bit of olive oil then sear all sides of the tenderloins until they are crispy and light brown.
When you get to the last side that needs to be seared, pop the pan in the oven.
Cook the tenderloins until they reach 155°F in the middle – it should take about 15-20 minutes but use a thermometer! When they have reached 155°F, take them out of the oven and let them rest for about 15 minutes before slicing.
Top the pork with the cherry stout compote and serve with any leftover Freedom Stout.