I absolutely love cherry season! It sounds dorky, but it’s true. I look forward to it all year and it doesn’t last very long, so it’s important to make the most of it while it’s here. Cherries are such a special, sweet, succulent fruit. And they always remind me of the happiest time of year, the beginning of summer. We usually think of cherries as a dessert item, (mmm..I do love a good cherry pie), but I love to come up with savory ways to use these sweet/tart treats. And one of my favorite ways to do that is to make a super easy Cherry Port Sauce served over Pork Tenderloin.
This time, I’m serving it with goat cheese gratin. And though gratin is typically served in the winter, with heavier fare, it also makes for a wonderful summer dish because it can be made ahead of time and serves as the perfect summertime side for all kinds of grilled meats.
Pork Tenderloin with Cherry Port Sauce and Potato Goat Cheese Gratin
For Pork and Sauce
- 1 16 ounce pork tenderloin
- 2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) chilled butter, divided
- 1/4 cup finely chopped shallot (about 1 large)
- 1/2 cup low-salt chicken broth
- 8 halved pitted fresh bing cherries
- 1/4 cuptawny Port
- 1 tablespoon honey
For Potato Goat Cheese Gratin
- 2 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 large Yukon gold potatoes
- 1 tsp. fresh thyme leaves, plus extra leaves for garnish
- 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
- Freshly ground pepper, to taste
- 3 oz. crumbled cold fresh goat cheese (about 3/4 cup)
- 2 cups heavy cream
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Oil an 8-inch square baking dish with the olive oil.
Using a mandoline or a large, sharp knife, slice the potatoes paper-thin.
Arrange the potato slices, slightly overlapping them, in the prepared baking dish. Drizzle them evenly with heavy cream. Sprinkle evenly with the goat cheese, thyme, salt and pepper. Arrange another layer of potato slices on top, again overlapping them slightly. Again drizzle evenly with heavy cream and sprinkle evenly again with the goat cheese, thyme, salt and pepper. Repeat this process in this order until you have completely filled the baking dish and make sure to sprinkle some extra cheese and thyme on top.
Bake the gratin until tender, about 1 hour and 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and let stand for 15 minutes before serving. The moisture in the dish will thicken and be reabsorbed by the potatoes.
While the gratin is baking, make the pork tenderloin and sauce.
Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in heavy oven-proof skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle pork with salt and pepper. Add pork, and cook, turning so that it is browned on all sides, about 10 minutes total. Transfer to the preheated oven and cook for about 10 minutes. The transfer to a cutting board and let stand for 10 minutes.
While the pork is in the oven, add shallot to skillet and stir over medium heat 30 seconds. Add broth, cherries, Port, and honey. Increase heat to high and boil until sauce is reduced to glaze, stirring often, about 3 minutes. Whisk in 1 tablespoon cold butter. Season sauce to taste with salt and pepper.
Cut the gratin into squares and place in the center of each plate. Slice the pork crosswise into medallions, and place three on top of each serving on gratin. Drizzle the cherry sauce on top of the pork and serve with a side of grilled asparagus.