Extra. That’s what your friends will call you when you make a “stone fruit relish”…..(call it a “stone fruit compote” to really get them going). Their taunts will stop when they taste the complex, and subtle flavors of cooked, summer fruits, paired with the creme de la creme of pork; the tenderloin.
FOR THE TENDERLOINS:
- One to four pork tenderloins; 2-3lbs each. A standard grill will fit anywhere from two to four good sized tenderloins
GET CHEFFY TIP! Wanna glaze up your pork tenderloin in something sweet and spicy? Pork loves to dressed in tangy, sour/sweet flavors of fruits, vinegars, horseradish, maple syrup, honey, and black pepper. Create a quick glaze for your tenderloins by combining 1/4 cup maple syrup, with 1-2 tablespoons dijon mustard. Add 1 tablespoon brown sugar, 1 teaspoon of minced garlic, and 1/2 tablespoons ground black pepper and stir to combine. Taste for intensity (you may like your glaze hotter with more mustard, or sweeter with more brown sugar), and adjust as needed.
Failing that, try our Asian Inspired Glaze used for our chicken kebabs! Your favorite jarred barbecue sauce, or store bought glaze, will also work. We grilled three tenderloins and did a different glaze on each one.
FOR THE RELISH:
- 2-4 Large Peaches, Plums, or Nectarines, halved, with their pits removed
- 1 pound cherries pulled apart with their stems and pits removed.
- 1 small red onion or 1/2 of one medium red onion
- 1 tablespoon of chopped rosemary
- 1-2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon melted butter
- 1-2 teaspoons sugar, honey, or other sweetener
- 1 teaspoons ground black pepper
1A. FOR A CHARCOAL GRILL:
Light a 3/4 full charcoal chimney. After about 15 minutes, you’ll begin to see light, gray ash appearing along the edges of your coals. Dump your coals into your pit, banked onto just one side of your grill. Your goal is to create a “hot-zone” and a “cool zone”.
1B: FOR A GAS GRILL:
Turn all burners of your gas grill on high, and close the lid. Allow your grill to heat up, 5-10 minutes, before opening the lid, and scraping down the grates. Once your grill grates are clean, turn off one side of your burners completely and reduce the heat of your second side to medium.
- While your coals and grill heat, begin by de-pitting your cherries. A knife works but, given their size, a cherry can easily be pitted with your hands; don’t worry about crushing or mangling the fruit with your hands as the cherries will be blended into a food processor later.
- Place your pitted cherries into the bowl of your food processor and set aside. Slice your peaches, pole-to-pole, to halve them. You can remove their pits now or allow them to cook and soften on the grill to be removed later. Chop your small onion in half, and remove any outer layers of inedible skin. If using a larger onion, only use 1/2 of the large onion in this relish, saving the rest. Set aside your chopped onion and fruit on a sheet tray.
- After you’ve lit your coals/burners, remove your pork from the fridge, and allow it to sit outside the fridge for 10-15 minutes.
- Melt your tablespoon of butter, and brush all cut sides of your onion and fruit. Bring your fruit out to your grill and place directly over your hot-zone coals. Your fruit will begin to develop grill marks in as little as 2 minutes. Using a spatula and tongs, check your fruit at the 2 minute point to determine if you’re developing the color you’d like. Your fruit should have distinct grill marks, on it, but will still be raw on the underside. Flip your fruit, and allow to cook over your hot-zone for another 2 minutes. After another two minutes in the hot-zone, move all fruit, and onion, away from your coals/burners onto the cool side to continue cooking in the indirect heat.
- If using a glaze for your pork, prepare your ingredients now; again your favorite jarred BBQ sauce will work beautifully here as well. Take your pork tenderloins, and pat them dry with paper towels. Coat your tenderloins in a thin film of oil and bring them out to your grill. Carefully place your tenderloins directly over your coals/burners in the “hot zone” of your fire. Cover the grill with a lid. If using a charcoal grill, ensure that the lid vent is fully open, and directly over your tenderloins. This will help keep the coals hot, while the lid traps heat, creating an oven-like atmosphere. Your fruit, and onion, should still be cooking in the cool zone of your grill away from the coals/burners.
- After two minutes, check your tenderloins using a spatula and tongs. You’ll want to see light/medium grill marks appearing on your pork. If no grill marks have appeared, cover, and allow to sit over the heat for another 1-2 minutes. Once your tenderloins have achieved grill marks, flip them over so their uncooked side now faces down, and your first, grill-marked side faces up. Brush your glaze, or favorite BBQ sauce, onto the side with grill marks. Cover with a lid again and let cook for another 2-3 minutes.
- Continue the process of flipping and glazing every 2-3 minutes, until all sides of your tenderloin have achieved grill marks and are properly glazed; another 12-15 minutes. At this point, your tenderloin should look beautiful and glazed, but won’t be fully cooked. Bring your tenderloin(s) off of the direct heat, and over to the cool side of your grill with your cooking fruit and onions. Cover and cook for another 5-10 minutes (for a total of 20-25 minutes) until the internal temperature has reached 145. Remove the pork, and the fruit, carefully from the grill. Tightly cover the tenderloins with foil and allow to rest for 5-10 minutes.
- While the pork rests, remove any remaining pits from your peaches/plums/nectarines, and remove any skins with a paper towel. Place your cooked fruit in your food processor with your pitted cherries, rosemary and black pepper. Pulse the fruit 5-10 times until a cohesive mixture is formed; larger chunks of fruit should still remain. Taste your relish at this point. It may need sugar, vinegar, or salt, depending on the ripeness, and sweetness level of your fruit. Continue to add incremental amounts of sugar, vinegar, and salt, and pulse to combine, until you’re pleased with what you have. Transfer to a bowl.
- After 5-10 minutes of resting, slice your pork tenderloin, and serve with the relish. This dish works will with potato salad, coleslaw, or baked sweet potatoes.
GET CHEFFY TIP!– Cooking pork is a matter of contention in the culinary world. The USDA’s guidelines, linked here, advise that pork be cooked to a minimum of 145 degrees. This was recently lowered from the more standard 160 degrees.
Allowing your pork (or any meat, fish, poultry) to rest is essential. Cover your cooked pork tightly with tin foil to begin “carry-over-cooking”. Even when removed from the heat, the internal temperature of a cooked dish will continue to rise. Allow a minimum of 3 minutes, and preferably 5-10 minutes, of “rest” time under tightly wrapped tin foil to allow the temperature to equalize, and the carry-over-cooking process to complete.