An easy and elegant main dish, pork tenderloin with blackberry wine sauce uses fresh or frozen berries. I used dark purple, finger staining, sweet summer blackberries. Everywhere at the markets it was blackberries. With blackberries piled high at the market, a jar of good blackberry jam in the pantry, and a friend who said something about making a blackberry sauce, it all came together.
Pork Tenderloin with Blackberry Wine Sauce
Pork and fruit are a classic combination. Think of prosciutto and melon, ham and pineapple, pork roast with apples, peaches, figs or cranberries. Whether dried fruit or fresh, pork and fruit compliment each other beautifully. Why not blackberries? It works.
Blackberries, Sauce and a Test Buddy
I’d been making this new blackberry wine sauce for a few weeks with great results and couldn’t wait for someone else to try it out. Then I got an emergency cooking email from a friend. She needed a menu for a dinner party, fast. Not too difficult, had to be delicious for her special guests. I had my test buddy. I recommended pork tenderloin because it is easy and fast to prepare and lends itself to a variety of fabulous sauces.
Easy Sauce – Blackberries, Wine, Jam & Vinegar
This sauce is a gorgeous deep purple with a chunky texture from the berries. The flavor is not too sweet, tempered by shallots, garlic, sweet vinegar and red wine. Its easy to make and leftovers will last a week in the refrigerator. For the fruit spread, I use a low sugar jam from Mountain Fruit in Chico, California. Their jams explode with pure fruit flavor. Find them at Whole Foods and many other grocers or online. Choose a dark berry flavor such as boysenberry (a hybrid black berry), blackberry, blueberry or even olallieberry.
A Tip for Cooking With Wine
Instead of opening a big bottle to cook with I use the mini airplane sized bottles. They are available at the grocery store in 4 packs for an inexpensive price. You can open just what you need. I used Merlot in this recipe, but other dry red wine like a cabernet will work fine.
Berries and Vinegar Options
If fresh blackberries are not available, frozen and thawed work too. For vinegar, use either Balsamic or splurge on Star Blueberry Balsamic from Vom Fass. These incredible fruit vinegars are made in Germany. They are pricey but worth it. The blueberry also works with salmon, duck, even ice cream and yogurt. It's so delicious you can taste it right off the spoon. It is seasonal, so if it's not available try another fruit vinegar such as cherry, fig or raspberry. You can also find blueberry balsamic vinegar online here.
How to Trim Pork Tenderloin
For tips on trimming pork tenderloin, see photos in this post.
Party Success Report
The centerpiece of Christine’s menu was this pork tenderloin with blackberry wine sauce. She emailed me after the party and told me two guests admitted they never really ate pork tenderloin, only to happily enjoy second helpings. Now that’s what I like to hear! For another terrific pork tenderloin and sauce dish try this recipe with a maple rosemary glaze.
- 1 ½-2 pounds pork tenderloin preferably organic
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped shallot 1 medium shallot
- 2 small garlic cloves chopped fine
- 2 cups dry red wine
- 8 ounces blackberries fresh or frozen, thawed
- 4 tablespoons blackberry fruit spread
- 1½ tablespoons Balsamic or blueberry vinegar
- 1 tablespoon warm water
- 1 teaspoon arrowroot starch for optional thickening
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- Salt, ground black pepper, granulated garlic
- Remove pork tenderloin from the refrigerator and unwrap about 45 minutes ahead of time to get the chill off. With a thin, sharp knife, slice off any silverskin and any extra fat. Set aside until ready to sear and roast.
- Start the sauce. Place a small saucepan (2 quart) over medium-low heat and add olive oil. When oil is warm, add the shallot and cook until it’s a light golden color, about 2 minutes. Add garlic and cook 1 minute. Add wine and bring to a boil. Reduce wine by half, to about one cup.
- Turn heat to low and add the blackberries, jam and vinegar. Stir and cook a few minutes until the sauce is thickened, breaking up the blackberries with a fork. If you want the sauce thicker, mix the arrowroot starch and warm water together in a small bowl and stir into the sauce. Turn heat off and allow the sauce to hold while you cook the pork tenderloin.
- Pre-heat oven to 375°F degrees. Cover a rimmed baking sheet with foil or parchment. Drizzle pork with two teaspoons olive oil and roll the pork around to coat it, then sprinkle salt, pepper and granulated garlic. Heat a skillet or sauté pan over medium heat until hot. Sear the pork until golden brown on all sides. Place the pork on the foil-covered baking sheet and place in the oven. Roast until the pork reaches 145 degrees internally, about 6-8 minutes. Oven timing varies. Measure it with a digital thermometer. Allow the pork to stand for a few minutes to absorb the juices. Then slice and offer the blackberry wine sauce beside the pork tenderloin.