This Tamarind and Onion Roast Pork Tenderloin is both simple and exotic. The onions make a chutney-like accompaniment that would sit nicely next to all sorts of grilled and roasted delights.
Chili-garlic sauce is slightly salty, spicy, and pungent; it can be found in the Asian foods section of many supermarkets and at some specialty foods stores and Asian markets.
- ¼ cup tamarind paste
- water (as needed)
- ¼ cup honey
- ¼ cup chile-garlic sauce (see notes)
- 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (divided)
- salt and black pepper (as needed)
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 pork tenderloin (about 1 pound, tied to ensure even cooking)
- 3 tablespoon canola oil (divided)
- 2 red onions (peeled, halved, and thinly sliced)
Make the marinade: Mix the tamarind paste with enough water to make a smooth syrupy liquid. Set aside.
Place half of the syrupy tamarind mixture in a large bowl, add honey, chili-garlic sauce, ground cardamom, ground cumin, ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, a teaspoon of salt and a good grind of black pepper. Add the pork, rub the marinade into the meat, then cover and refrigerate for at least two hours.
Roast the pork: Preheat the oven 450 degrees F.
Meanwhile, make the tamarind onions: Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the onion and stir to coat with oil. Stir in salt and black pepper to taste, and add remaining ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes. Cook stirring often until softened and beginning to lightly brown at the edges, about 8-10 minutes. Stir in brown sugar and remaining tamarind mixture until the liquid begins to bubble. Remove from heat, cover and set aside.
Heat remaining 1 tablespoon of oil in a large frying pan on high heat. Lift the pork from its marinade, then sear on all sides for about four minutes. Transfer the meat to a roasting tray, spoon over some of the marinade and roast for about 10-15 minutes, depending on how well done you like your pork. Remove from the oven, cover with foil and leave to rest for five minutes before slicing.
Serve with the warm tamarind onions.