If you grew up eating pork chops with store-bought applesauce, consider this a serious (yet totally familiar) upgrade.
We love pork tenderloin for entertaining and Sunday-night suppers because it’s a fast-cooking, affordable, lean protein option for those days when we need to get out of a chicken rut. It also goes beautifully with sweet and tart flavours, like those found in persimmon.
Our flatbread recipe required that our persimmons maintain their structural integrity, but we want them to take on a texture like apples for this dish, which is why we’re switching gears and using Hachiya persimmons for this sauce. We’re pairing them with sprightly ginger and tangy rice wine vinegar to breathe new life into this neutral “other white meat.” Trust us, this persimmon sauce will make you never want to buy applesauce again.
Preheat oven to 400°F. Mix together broth, tamari, sugar, tomato paste, ginger, garlic and vinegar; transfer to a resealable bag with the pork tenderloin. Let marinate in the fridge for 2 hours. Bring pork to room temperature and pat dry. Season with salt and pepper.
Heat 1 tbsp (15 mL) of the olive oil in a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Brown pork on all sides; transfer to a plate. Return pan to heat and add remaining olive oil over medium heat. Add shallots and ginger; sauté until soft and fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add persimmons and nestle pork in the middle. Mix cornstarch with 1 tbsp (15 mL) of the chicken broth. Add remaining chicken broth, vinegar and tamari to pan, along with the cornstarch mixture.
Transfer pan to oven and cook for 10 to 12 minutes or until an instant-read thermometer reads 145°F. Let rest for 5 minutes before slicing.
Serve pork with persimmon sauce, topped with cilantro and sesame seeds.
Nutrients per serving: 376 calories, 27 g protein, 11 g fat (2 g saturated fat), 45 g carbohydrates (5 g fibre), 64 mg cholesterol, 890 mg sodium.
Tip: When hard and under-ripe, the Hachiya persimmon is unbearably astringent. Let it ripen in front of a sunlit window or in a paper bag with a banana or an apple and you’ll be rewarded with a gooey, honey-like treat. Seriously, you can dig into the flesh with a spoon and eat it like a Jell-O cup—it’s that good.