Last winter I had a discussion with my brother in law (who is a chef) about reductions. How do you make one? What’s the point?, etc. After some explaining, I found out that a reduction was simply cooking most of the water out of a sauce to make a thicker sauce and, uh, reducing it. I’m pretty sure I sounded stupid asking simple questions, but I’m ok with it. Unfortunately, my brother in law’s visit was too short for any hands on lessons, so I have continued little afraid of reductions. My concern was that if I boiled a sauce for a really long time I would succeed in making a nasty scorched mess instead of a beautiful fancy pants reduction (I watch a lot of Food Network, they always seem to be making reductions and sounding all hoity-toity about it).
Well, the fear of reductions ends now. I recently saw this recipe for pork chop marinade at Elly Says Opa! The recipe looked very tasty and I was interested in using ginger root for the first time (note: make sure you have a grater besides a rotary cheese grater…this only makes a huge frustrating mess). In my hasty speed reading, however, I missed the part of the recipe where it mentioned making a reduction of the reserved marinade. So, late one night, I reread the recipe as I was preparing the marinade and found myself facing my reduction fears. And I have to say, those fears were unfounded. I ended up with a beautiful and tasty reduction and the only scorching was because I had the burner too hot and allowed the reduction to boil over onto the burner…sad. Luckily, I was nearby and was able to save most of it, but I did have a nasty mess to clean up. Moral of the story: watch you burner, keep it on medium.
I hope you enjoy this pork loin as much as I did. It was moist and tasty, and by marinating it overnight, the flavors were able to really sink into the meat. Enjoy, have fun, and remember, reductions aren’t as scary as you might think!
Ginger Marinated Pork Tenderloin
2/3 + ½ cup low sodium chicken broth, divided
¼ cup low sodium soy sauce
¼ cup brown sugar
3 tbsp ketchup or 2 tbsp tomato paste
3 tbsp finely grated, peeled fresh ginger
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp vinegar
1 pork tenderloin
1 tbsp olive oil
Whisk together 2/3 cup chicken broth, soy sauce, sugar, ketchup, ginger, garlic, and vinegar. Pour into a resealable bag and add the pork. Place in the refrigerator and marinate overnight or at least 2 hours, turning occasionally.
Bring tenderloin to room temperature, about 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 475 degrees
Pat the tenderloin dry, reserve marinade. Season tenderloin with salt and pepper. Heat a large, ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat and add the oil. Place tenderloin in the skillet and sear on all sides, about 5 minutes total.
Place the tenderloin in the oven to finish cooking. Set timer for 15 minutes and check the temperature. Keep cooking at 10 minute increments, until pork reaches an internal temperature of 150 degrees. The total time will depend upon the size and thickness of the tenderloin. I used a pork roast, so it was thick, and took about 30 minutes to cook.
Place tenderloin on a platter. Tent loosely with foil and let it rest for 10 minutes before slicing.
Meanwhile, pour marinade through a strainer and into a saucepan. Add the remaining ½ cup of chicken broth and bring to a boil. Boil until reduced to 1/3 cup, 10-15 minutes. Serve the sliced tenderloin with the sauce.