Blueberries really are the #1 Super Food. Let's face it, naturally blue food is quite scarce on this planet and is one of the reasons blueberries are so unique. It has been found that blueberries contain one of the highest levels of antioxidant activity in comparison to all other fruits and vegetables. It's truly a food we should eat more often.
Blueberries dark, blue color comes from a pigment called anthocyanin, which are full of polyphenols. The darker blue color means the polyphenol count is higher, making the antioxidant more powerful. Blueberries have been found to slow aging, fight disease, protect against bladder infections, have anti-inflammatory effects in regards to heart disease and cancer and can help improve brain-function. Do you really need anymore convincing?
I am so lucky to live here in the Willamette Valley of Oregon, where the cool climate allows these berries to grow so beautifully and prolifically. We love going to the u-pick farms and spending the morning picking the plump little guys off the bushes. They are nothing like what you find in the stores, these berries are humongous! And we love them. Love them!!
It's really a shame that when we think of blueberries, we immediately go to...muffins, oatmeal, ice cream or pancakes....not that there's anything wrong with those, I just think we can be even more creative....
So in comes this Blueberry-Bacon Barbecue Sauce. Wow, it's fantastic. I still had blueberries left-over from our summertime blueberry picks and wanted to use them up...but in a creative way. I was craving sweet and savory, and this sauce was born. In a way, it has a little of a relish-esque texture, as you can taste the little bits of bacon in there. It's tangy, smokey and sweet all in one, and pork tenderloin is the perfect vehicle to inhale this sauce with...in fact it's perfect.
And since we're talking about healthy choices, let's note, pork tenderloin is full of B vitamins, has less saturated fat and is much cheaper than say, beef tenderloin. Truly, this is the perfect meal. You must make it soon, for your health of course.
Pork Tenderloin with Blueberry-Bacon Barbecue Sauce
For the sauce:
Adapted from Cuisine at Home
3 slices thick cut bacon, diced (I used my favorite local bacon from Carlton Farms)
1/2 cup minced shallots
1 jalapeno, seeded and minced
2 cups fresh blueberries
1/2 cup packed golden brown sugar
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 Tablespoon Dijon stone ground mustard
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
For the pork:
From Noble Pig
2 (1-1-1/4 pounds) pork tenderloins (2-2-1/4 pounds in all)
Fresh ground pepper
1 Tablespoon olive oil
Fry bacon on low until slightly crispy; remove bacon to a paper towel leaving the bacon grease in the pan. Saute shallots and jalapeno in the bacon grease over medium heat until soft, about 2 minutes. Add blueberries, sugar, vinegar, mustard, garlic powder, salt, lemon juice and cooked bacon. Simmer until blueberries have split and sauce thickens slightly, about 3 minutes.
Transfer mixture to a blender or food processor; pulse until pureed. Return sauce to pan so you can warm it slightly when the meat comes out of the oven.
For the pork, remove the silver skin, if any, from the pork tenderloin and season the meat generously with salt and freshly ground pepper.
Preheat oven to 425o F. Heat a large oven proof skillet (if you don't have an oven proof skillet use a regular one, you will just have to transfer pork to a baking tray or dish for the oven) over high heat, then add oil. Add pork and sear on all sides, turning meat with tongs, about 2 minutes total.
Place meat thermometor in the thickest part of the tenderloin and place skillet or baking tray into the oven. Cook until thermometor reads 155o F (about 20 to 25 minutes) depending on the thickness of the tenderloin.
During the last 5 minutes of cooking, brush a little of the sauce on the tops of the tenderloins, just enough to adhere to the meat. Serve the rest of the sauce on the side.
Remove tenderloin from the oven and loosely tent with foil and let sit at least 5 minutes before cutting on a diagonal into 1/2" thick pieces and serve.
~If you don't have a wireless meat thermometor, I highly suggest getting one. Your pork tenderloin will NEVER be dry. Worth every penny!!
Dinner was really good.
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