A tournedo is a portion of meat taken from the most tender part of the animal. The term often refers to beef tenderloin but can also be cut from fish or, as in this case, pork.
I found this recipe one Saturday morning while watching Jacques Pépin and his daugher cooking on PBS. While the exchanges between them can be awkward to watch, they do make some great food…or at least he does. He never skimps on the cream and most of his dishes come together quickly.
The original recipe calls for using pork loin chops, but I prefer using pork tenderloin cut into medallions. They plate well and are easy to sear without overcooking. I also used regular brandy since I didn’t have any Calvados, a French apple brandy (Applejack is the American version). The flavor was great with the regular brandy, but I’m interested to see how the apple brandy will change the dish. Enjoy!
- 12 ounces large pitted prunes
- 1 tablespoon peanut oil
- 1-2 pork tenderloins, cut into medallions, or 6 boneless pork loin chops
- 1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
- 1 tablespoon chopped shallots
- 1 tablespoon scallions, sliced
- 2 tablespoons Calvados or Applejack
- 1/2 cup chicken stock
- 3/4 cup heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon potato starch, dissolved in 1 tablespoon water
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon rind, sliced
1. Put the prunes in a saucepan, cover with cold water, and bring to a boil. Take off the heat, cover, and allow to cool in the cooking liquid.
2. Preheat the oven to 150 degrees.
3. Melt the oil in a large heavy skillet. Sprinkle the chops on both sides with the salt and pepper and cook over medium-high heat for 3-5 minutes on each side until just cooked through. Place on a platter and keep warm in the oven.
4. Add the shallots and scallions to the pan and cook for 1 minute.
5. Add the Calvados or applejack and stock and bring to a boil. Add the cream, bring to a boil, and cook for 1 minute. Stir in the dissolved potato starch and bring to a boil. If the sauce seems too thick, add a little more chicken stock to thin it; if it is too thin, reduce it for a few more minutes. Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper if needed. Stir in the lemon rind.
6. Place the pork on a plate and top with prunes and coat generously with the sauce. Serve with mashed potatoes and pan-seared brussel sprouts!
This recipe comes from Jacques Pépin’s program Essential Pépin.