Don’t you just love spring? I know we Manitobans love the winter, hardened to it by our way of life, but spring is something quite apart. The melting of the snow, the garden coming to life, the birds greeting us in the morning with their melodious outpourings.
Spring surely is a time of new beginnings. Venturing into the greenhouse and starting seeds – that’s my way of knowing spring really is here. The smell of the soil always brings on my smile: happy pheromones.
With the warmer weather always comes the joy of being able to sit outside for lunch. Here is a sandwich I much enjoy in that happy setting. I hope you like it also.
1 medium pork tenderloin
1 small red onion
3 tablespoons olive oil
½ cup red wine vinegar
Fresh-ground sea salt and fresh-ground black pepper
4 ciabatta buns
Butter (for spreading)
2 cups fresh cranberries
2 tablespoons confectioners sugar
Pre-heat the oven to 300 C. This is one of the easiest roasts you will ever have to prepare. Wash the pork tenderloin. Place it in a roasting pan. Spoon the olive oil over the roast. Season with fresh ground sea salt and fresh ground black pepper.
Cover the pan with foil and place in the oven. Roast for 1½ hours. Remove from oven and check to ensure the pork is cooked throughout.
Remove from the roasting pan and leave it sitting on the carving board, still wrapped in the foil.
Wash the cranberries thoroughly, place them in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Add the sugar and stir continuously until the sugar dissolves and is absorbed into the cranberries. Remove from the stove, pour into a glass bowl and leave to cool.
Pour the red wine vinegar into a medium-sized bowl. Peel and finely slice the red onion and add to the vinegar. Mix in well, ensuring all the onion pieces are covered by the vinegar.
Now comes the fun part. Begin by slicing each bun into equal halves and spreading butter evenly across each bottom half, topping this with some fresh cranberries. Carve and pile three slices of the warm pork on each of these buttered bun portions and then dress with the sliced onion, drained of excess vinegar. Sprinkle a little fresh ground black pepper and sea salt over this and finish by adding the top portion of the buns.
Now sit back and enjoy. The warmth of the pork, the sweetness of the cranberries and the tartness of the red onion will combine in a mouth-watering taste experience.
Ian Leatt, a chef earlier in his early career, is general manager of Pegasus Publications Inc.