The following recipe comes to us from Atlanta based Chef – Kevin Gillespie of the restaurants Gunshow, Revival and Communion. The dish can also be found in his book, Pure Pork Awesomeness.
Classic steak Diane is served with a sauce of sautéed and cooked-down onions, garlic, whiskey, stock, cream, and crushed green peppercorns. Unlike black peppercorns, the green ones have a bright fruitiness to them. I love the same sauce on pork. I brine the tenderloin first to keep it juicy and then grill it whole. The grilling only takes about 10 minutes, and while the meat’s resting, you make the sauce.
Serving Size: 4
¼ cup packed light brown sugar
¼ cup kosher salt
1 pork tenderloin, about 1 ¼ pounds
1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon grapeseed oil or canola oil
Ground black pepper
1 carrot, peeled, cut into ¼-inch dice, about ½ cup
2 stalks celery, cut into ¼-inch dice, about ½ cup
1 small onion, cut into ¼-inch dice, about 1 cup
¼ cup bourbon or rye whiskey
1 ½ cups Chicken Stock
¼ cup heavy cream
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon jarred green peppercorns, crushed
1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley
In a small saucepan, combine the brown sugar, salt, and 2 cups water. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring to completely dissolve the sugar and salt. Remove from the heat and pour into a large metal bowl. Stir in ice cubes until the mixture is cooled. It should take about a quart of ice cubes. Pour the brine into a gallon-size zip-top bag and add the pork. Squeeze out excess air and brine the meat for 1 hour.
Remove the pork from the brine and pat completely dry. Brush the tenderloin with 1 tablespoon oil and season on all sides with pepper.
Heat a grill to medium heat. Grill the pork, with the grill top closed, for 5 minutes, then flip and grill for 5 minutes more, and repeat on the final side until the interior temperature reaches 145°F. If using a grill pan, heat over high heat, and grill the pork covered with a domed lid for the same times. Transfer the pork from the grill to a plate and tent with aluminum foil to keep warm. The pork will cook a little more as it rests. The pork needs to rest for about 15 minutes before slicing. Make the sauce during that time.
Heat a skillet over high heat, add the remaining 1 teaspoon oil to coat the bottom of the pan, and swirl until shimmering. Add the carrots, celery, and onion, lower the heat to medium, and cook, tossing occasionally until the onions are translucent and soft, about 3 minutes. Remove the pan from
the heat, add the whiskey, and carefully tilt the pan away from you, toward the flame (if you have a gas stove), to ignite the whiskey. You can also use a long match to ignite the whiskey. Toss the vegetables and agitate the pan until the flames burn out. Add the stock and cream, bring to a boil, and continue to cook until the liquid is reduced in volume by half, about 5 minutes.
Strain the sauce into a bowl and discard the vegetables. Return the sauce to the skillet, and stir in the mustard and peppercorns. Return the sauce to high heat and bring to a simmer. Remove from the heat, swirl in the parsley, and add salt and pepper to taste. Serve a spoonful of sauce over each slice of pork.
Try making this recipe with pork leg fillet too. The back leg of a pig has a cluster of muscles and connective tissue holding the meat to the bone. You can use your hands to separate all the muscles, using a knife only when necessary. Just take out any of the whole muscles from the leg; for this recipe, you want a piece that weighs about 1¼ pounds. Trim off the silverskin, tendons, and ligaments, because these cause toughness. Trim off any excess fat too. You’ll be left with a long, beautiful, boneless, lean piece of meat.