Grilled pork tenderloin loves a fruity a sauce, and when cherries are in season, they’re a perfect match. This easy sauce capitalizes on peak season cherries that require little to enhance their sweet, juicy flavor, so it comes together in just 10 minutes (okay, once the cherries are pitted–but a cherry pitter makes quick work or that!) Since their season is far too short (depending on where you live, roughly from May to August), now’s the time to enjoy fresh cherries to their fullest. The pork tenderloin also cooks quickly and the smoky, charred exterior adds so much flavor and texture, making this dish a can’t miss for either a weeknight dinner or causal gathering.
1 lb. pork tenderloin, trimmed
2 Tbs. olive oil
1 tsp. dried thyme
½ tsp. chipotle chile powder
Salt and fresh ground black pepper
¼ cup finely chopped onion
2 1/2 cups cherries, pitted and halved
3 Tbs. ruby port
2 Tbs. chopped fresh basil, plus more for garnish
Preheat a gas grill to medium-high or prepare a medium-hot charcoal fire.
Brush the pork with 1 Tbs. of the oil. Mix the thyme, chipotle powder, 1/2 tsp. salt, and 1/4 tsp. pepper and rub it over the pork. Grill the pork, covered, flipping once or twice, until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part registers 145°F., 12 to 16 minutes. Transfer the pork to a clean cutting board and let rest for 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat the remaining 1 Tbs. of oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring often until softened, about 2 minutes. Add the cherries and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the port, increase the heat to high, and cook for 1 minute. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in herbs and 1/4 tsp. salt.
Slice the pork and stir any juices into the cherries. Serve the pork with the cherries. Garnish with more basil, if desired.
If you don’t have a cherry pitter, try using a skewer or chopstick to remove the pits. Insert the point of the skewer into the stem end and gently work it down and around the pit until it loosens enough to be pried out.
Another method to try, unbend a paperclip into an “S” shape. Work one end of the clip down into the stem end of a cherry until you can hook under and pull out the pit.
Keywords: pork with cherries