Adapted from The Elements of Taste by Gray Kunz and Peter Kaminsky (Little, Brown and Company, 2001). Copyright 2001, Gray Kunz and Peter Kaminsky.
Serves 4 to 6
Our first try with this recipe was good but incomplete. All that salt and the sharpness from the whiskey fairly cried, "Give me something tangy and sweet to cut the strong briny pork!" There just happened to be a few ripe pears in the fruit bowl. We cut them in slices, as you would for a tarte tatin, and cooked them quickly in some white vinegar and refined sugar. It was just what was called for.
Combine the vinegar and sugar in a saucepan. Add the pears. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until the pears are barely tender, 2-3 minutes. Taste—the pears should be both tangy and sweet—and add a pinch of sugar if necessary. Set the pears aside in a warm place.
Cut the pork into medallions approximately 3/4 inch thick. Marinate the pork in the Bourbon Mustard Brine in refrigerator overnight.
Heat the oil in a cast-iron skillet over medium heat. Pan-roast the pork, turning once or twice, until it is well browned on all sides, about 7-10 minutes. (Be careful: the honey in the brine can burn quickly so you must keep turning the meat.)
Put two medallions on each warm plate. Place the pears so that a few slices sit on the pork and a few alongside it on the plate.
Bourbon Mustard Brine
Makes about 2-1/4 cups
Combine the ingredients. Mix well then refrigerate until needed.
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