Our friend Ziggy, as it turns out, has a sour cherry tree on his farm. He invited me to go pick some fruit and sure enough, among the peacocks and chickens, turkeys and quails, bee boxes (for honey) and wild berries, stands a tree overflowing with small, bright red cherries. I stood on the ladder he provided, picking a basket of these gems thinking I’d try to make some kind of dessert with them, but my mind took me to a familiar and comfortable place. Fruit and meat. So here is a recipe I found from a 1997 Gourmet Magazine. A very successful recipe. The cherries lose most of their sour and develop a savory. This is what being patient in sauce reduction is all about! Enjoy!
1 large onion
2 pounds boneless pork tenderloin
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1/2 cup Tawny Port
1/4 cup fresh orange juice
1 1/2 Tsp. red wine vinegar, or to taste
2 cups fresh or frozen pitted tart cherries (about 1 1/4 pints fresh, picked over)
1/2 Tsp. caraway seeds
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
Coarsely chop onion. Pat pork dry and season with salt and pepper. In an ovenproof large heavy skillet heat oil over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking and brown pork. Transfer pork to a plate and in oil remaining in skillet cook onion over moderate heat, stirring, until golden. Add Port, orange juice, and vinegar and simmer, stirring, 2 minutes. Add fresh or frozen cherries, caraway seeds, pork, and any juices that have accumulated on plate and bring to a boil.
Transfer skillet to middle of oven and roast pork 30 minutes, or until meat thermometer registers 155 degrees F. Transfer pork to cutting board and let stand, loosely covered with foil, 10 minutes.
While pork is standing, simmer sauce, stirring until slightly thickened and reduced to about 1 1/2 cups. Cut pork into 1/2 inch thick slices and spoon sauce over it.