It is no secret that I was a huge fan of his cookbooks back in college and my early twenties. They were the first cookbooks I ever bought for myself. Those books would never fly today. They were compact mass-market paperbacks (I bought my first copy at Kmart), dense with text, with no glossy photos, no step-by-step instructions, and no easy page turning. Somehow I learned to cook from those books. Maybe Smith knew he didn't need all the bells and whistles to make his recipes doable and tasty. I know I say this all the time, but I miss that crazy old pervert!
I was having a craving for that recipe recently. I hadn't made it in quite some time. I guess everyone has become too health conscious. Plus my husband won't touch it. (Pork and dairy? Am I trying to kill him?) I decided I wanted to make it again, but find a way to make it a little less rich and also cut back on the number of servings since I would be the only one eating it.
My solution was simple. I used a pork tenderloin instead of a larger roast. I eliminated the cream. I also sliced the grapes in half (Smith doesn't tell you to do this in the original recipe) so they would release more of their juices. In the end I sprinkled a few toasted pine nuts on top, because everything tastes better with toasted pine nuts on top. I still used Smith's marinade though. There is nothing that this marinade won't make more delicious.
Pork Tenderloin with Grapes and Wine
- 1 pork tenderloin
- 1/4 cup brandy
- 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
- 4 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1 onion, cut into chunks
- 4 cloves of garlic, lightly crushed
- 1/4 cup olive oil (plus 2 Tbl more for frying)
- Salt and pepper
- 1 Tbl butter
- 1 cup white wine
- 2 grapes, halved
- 2 Tbl pine nuts, lightly toasted
Heat remaining olive oil and butter in a large pan over medium heat. Sprinkle the tenderloin with salt and pepper and brown really well on all sides. Get a good crust on it.
Add grapes and wine to the pan. Bring to a simmer. Simmer the tenderloin for another 30 minutes or until meat is no longer pink. Remove from heat and let rest a few minutes. Slice and serve topped with grapes and sauce and a sprinkling of pine nuts.