One more year, Christmas is here with visitors, gifts, decorations—and, needless to say, food. It’s the perfect time of year for a roast, the highlight of so many cuisines. So for those of you who are bold enough to meet the challenge, steer away from traditional dishes and explore new horizons, we propose a recipe from Santi Taura, one of the most prominent members of a new generation of Mallorcan chefs. The tenderloin roast he prepares is a cut of pork, a meat that has been neglected for quite some time and only recently began to make its comeback thanks to nutritionists’ new discoveries. Spain boasts several magnificent pig breeds—not only the renowned Iberian pig, but also a variety that is scarcely known outside the Balearic islands: the Mallorcan black pig, used to make the best sobrassada sausages.
Mallorcan pork tenderloin with grape juice and cinnamon sauce
Ingredients (serves 4):
2 Mallorcan pork tenderloin (or else Iberian pork tenderloin), with any remains of sinewy layer removed Pepper, oil, and salt
For the celeriac purée:
½ celeriac root, peeled and diced
30 g butter
200 ml heavy cream
Salt and pepper
For the grape juice and cinnamon sauce:
2 cloves garlic
1 celery stalk
2 cinnamon sticks
500 g grapes
30 g sugar or honey
100 ml balsamic vinegar
½ l red wine
2 l meat broth
Oil, salt, and pepper
Place all the ingredients in an ovenproof dish and bake at a medium setting (about 160ºC) until the celeriac is soft and has blended in with the other ingredients. Remove from the oven and beat to a fine purée.
Grape juice and cinnamon sauce:
Sauté the vegetables (a small amount) in oil until soft. Add the grapes and continue to sauté while crushing them with a spatula. When most of the grapes are crushed, add the spices, sugar or honey, balsamic vinegar and wine; simmer and reduce to half. Next, add the meat broth and reduce until the flavor is rich. Adjust seasoning, strain, and if the sauce is too thin, thicken with a bit of cornstarch.
Rub the tenderloins with salt and pepper. Sear on all sides in a pan over high heat. Then place in an ovenproof dish and roast for a few minutes (the time will depend on how well done you like the meat). Next, remove from the oven and set aside for about 5 minutes before serving.
Slice the tenderloins and serve with the sauce, which must be very hot, with a side portion of celeriac purée. Optionally you can garnish the dish with herbs (finely chopped chives, fresh mint leaves, etc.)
Enjoy this delicious recipe and Merry Christmas!
Photographer: Adrian Pedrazas