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Fun With Food: Chai Brined Pork Tenderloin with Apple Chutney

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Don’t let all the steps fool you – it’s a really simple recipe and you can make the chutney ahead of time. Allow a full day to marinate the pork if you want the best flavor.

2 tsps black tea leaves
1/2 tsp black peppercorns, crushed
3 c. unsweetened apple juicePork-w-chutney
6 whole cloves
3 tbsp kosher salt
1 bay leaf
3 tbsp brown sugar
2 (1-pound) pork tenderloins, trimmed

2 c. unsweetened apple juice
2 tsps black tea leaves
1 tsp butter
1 tsp olive oil
1 1/2 c diced onion
4 c. diced peeled Rome apple (3 large)
1/2 c. golden raisins
2 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp cider vinegar
1 tsp minced peeled fresh ginger
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp coarsely ground black pepper
1/8 tsp ground cardamom
1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
Dash of ground cloves

Remaining ingredients:

1 tsp olive oil
1/2 tsp white peppercorns, crushed
1/2 tsp black peppercorns, crushed

To prepare brine, place 2 tsps tea leaves on a double layer of cheesecloth. Gather edges of the cheesecloth together, and tie securely.

Combine 3 cups apple juice and next 5 ingredients (through bay leaf) in a large saucepan, and bring to a boil. Cook for 1 minute, and remove from heat. Add cheesecloth bag; cover and steep 5 minutes. Discard cheesecloth bag. Cool to room temperature. Pour liquid into a large heavy-duty zip-top plastic bag. Add pork tenderloins to bag; seal and marinate in refrigerator 8 hours or overnight, turning the bag occasionally.

To prepare chutney, bring 2 cups juice to a boil in a large saucepan. Remove from heat. Stir in 2 tsps tea leaves, and steep for 2 minutes. Strain juice mixture through a sieve into a bowl; discard solids. Reserve juice mixture.

Heat butter and 1 tsp oil in pan over medium-low heat. Add onion; cook for 20 minutes or until golden brown, stirring frequently. Stir in apple; cook 5 minutes. Add reserved juice mixture, raisins, and next 8 ingredients (through ground cloves). Bring mixture to a boil over medium-high heat; reduce heat to medium. Cook 30 minutes or until apple is tender and mixture is thick. Remove from heat.

Preheat oven to 350°.

Remove pork from bag; discard brine. Pat pork dry with paper towels. Brush pork with 1 tsp oil; sprinkle on all sides with 1/2 tsp white peppercorns and 1/2 tsp black peppercorns. Place pork on a broiler pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 40 minutes or until a thermometer registers 160° (slightly pink). Place pork on a platter, and let stand for 5 minutes. Cut pork across the grain into thin slices. Serve with chutney.

Yield: 8 servings (serving size: 3 ounces pork and about 1/3 cup chutney)

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