Tamarind is a pod containing sticky, tart pulp and large seeds. Tamarind paste is more convenient, as it's seedless. Buy it at Asian, Latin, or Indian markets. Or substitute 2 tablespoons lime juice for less-complex flavor.
1 1/2 teaspoons butter
1 cup chopped onion
1 tablespoon grated peeled fresh ginger
1 serrano chile, seeded and minced
3 cups chopped pineapple
1/4 cup light brown sugar
2 tablespoons gold rum
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
1 tablespoon sweet chili sauce
1 tablespoon lower-sodium soy sauce
1 teaspoon rice vinegar
2 teaspoons tamarind paste
2 (1-pound) pork tenderloins
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon canola oil
How to Make It
To prepare chutney, melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add onion, ginger, and chile to pan; cover and cook 6 minutes or until onion is tender. Uncover. Stir in pineapple and next 3 ingredients (through 1/4 teaspoon salt); bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer, uncovered, 20 minutes or until pineapple is tender, stirring occasionally. Cool 20 minutes; stir in cilantro and red pepper.
Preheat oven to 400°.
To prepare pork, combine chili sauce and next 3 ingredients (through tamarind), stirring to combine. Reserve half of soy mixture. Heat a cast-iron grill pan over medium-high heat. Sprinkle pork with 3/4 teaspoon salt and black pepper; coat pork with oil. Add pork to pan; sauté 4 minutes on 1 side or until browned. Brush pork with half of soy mixture; turn pork over. Place pan in oven; bake at 400° for 16 minutes or until a thermometer inserted in the thickest portion of pork registers 155° (slightly pink). Remove pork from pan; let stand 10 minutes. Brush pork evenly with reserved soy mixture. Slice pork crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick medallions. Serve with chutney.
If you don't care to use the rum in the chutney, you can substitute 2 tablespoons of pineapple juice.
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Found this very tasty. Could not find tamarind in the 2 stores I checked so I subbed lime juice as recommended. The pork itself was good but nothing to write home about, but the pineapple chutney was what really made the dish.
The Tamarind Pork is nice, but absolutely not the take-away from this recipe. The Pineapple-Ginger Chutney is a stand-alone keeper that after your first make you'll want to pair with other dishes on your own. If possible, fresh pineapple is the way to go as it allows for a longer cooking time and thus a better reduction. Let it sit for at least 6 hours if you can to really infuse all the flavors and make sure it's room temp when used.
I've made this twice now, once with pork and another time a slight variation using skin-on chicken breasts. It's definitely the salsa that really shines - deliciously fresh and sweet but with enough kick to make it interesting & a nice compliment to pork/chicken. Pictures of my attempt w/ chicken are here: http://www.frenchponytail.com/2011/04/a-springtime-pineapple-massacre/
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