Pork and fruit are natural partners. The flavors of the beautiful ruby-red pluot sauce in this dish are lively and intriguing; the honey-vinegar-ginger combo works beautifully with the sweet-tangy pluots. And the sauce does double duty as a marinade, too. The pluot sauce would also be great for ribs or served over vanilla ice cream.
|2 pounds||trimmed pork tenderloin|
|2 cups||Pluot Sauce (divided)|
|1/4 cup||extra-virgin olive oil|
|1||clove garlic (finely minced)|
|2 teaspoons||dried thyme|
|Salt and freshly ground black pepper|
|8||ripe pluots (about 2 1/2 to 3 pounds, pitted and roughly chopped)|
|1/4 cup||mild honey (such as Tupleo)|
|2 teaspoons||peeled and grated fresh ginger|
|1 tablespoon||golden balsamic vinegar|
|1||star anise pod|
Place the pluots, honey, ginger, vinegar, and star anise in a medium-size nonreactive saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook over low heat until the pluots are completely soft, 15 to 20 minutes.
Transfer the mixture to a food processor, blender, or food mill. Discard the star anise pod. Purée until the mixture is smooth. Transfer the pluot sauce to a clean container and refrigerate if you’re not using it within 3 hours.
Place the pork in a shallow baking dish just large enough to accommodate the meat. Season all sides of the pork with salt and pepper. Rub the meat with the thyme.
In a small bowl whisk together 1/3 cup of the pluot sauce, oil, and garlic. Add the marinade to the pork, turning the meat so that all sides are covered. Cover the baking pan with plastic wrap and refrigerate the pork for 4 to 8 hours, turning the meat once or twice during that time.
Heat the barbecue or a ridged grill pan on high heat. Cook the pork, turning frequently to cook all sides, until it’s cooked through to your liking or until it registers at least 140 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of the meat. Let the meat rest for 10 minutes before slicing.
Reheat the remaining pluot sauce until hot and serve it on the side with the pork.