Hazelnut Pork Tenderloin and Valtellina Superiore
Stuck in Valtellina
Continuing on with our virtual exploration of Valtellina, I found a good looking recipe for chestnut coated pork tenderloin. In my quick tour around my usual local shops, I was unable to find chestnut flour, but hazelnut flour was available, hazelnut it is! We’ll pair the pork with a very nice introduction to Valtellina red wines, the Nino Negri “Quadrio” Valtellina Superiore. Priced at <$20, Quadrio is an excellent introduction to the Valtellina approach to Chiavennasca (aka Nebbiolo). The local rules require Valtellina Superiore to be at least 90% Chiavennasca, with up to 10% “other” grapes. Quadrio is made with 10% Merlot, which softens the wine just a bit.
Still on our Valtellina Superiore kick, here’s a nice inexpensive choice: Nino Negri Quadrio
Nino Negri “Quadrio” Valtellina Superiore DOCG 2009 ($16)
Eye: Clear, pale ruby color with an noticeable orange rim.
Nose: Bright aromas emerge from the glass, leading with cinnamon, sage and evergreen needles. Red fruit underneath, but not fruit forward.
Mouth: Firmly structured with lively acidity and medium+ tannins. Long finish dominated by the cinnamon & evergreen, the tannins linger.
Easily recognizable as Nebbiolo, the wine was very nice with the hazelnut coated pork tenderloin. Since the sauce wasn’t fruity, it seemed appropriate that the wine was also not overly fruity.
Hazelnut Coated Pork Tenderloin
Recipe credit goes to La Ribunta Agriturismo by way of The Italian Farmers Table, an excellent book full of local recipes from Agriturismo’s all over Northern Italy.
- 1 Pork Tenderloin, around 1.5 lbs. Trimmed of excess fat and silverskin
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup hazelnut flour (I used Bob’s Red Mill)
- 4 Tbsp unsalted butter, divided
- 1/2 cup white wine
- 1 Tbsp honey
- 1 Tbsp finely chopped fresh sage
- 1/4 cup chicken broth
- Salt and pepper the pork tenderloin
- Pre-heat oven to 400° F
- Pre-heat a cast iron or oven safe skillet over a medium flame on the stove
- Spread the hazelnut flour out on a plate
- Generously coat the pork tenderloin in hazelnut flour
- Melt 2 Tbsp butter in the skillet and immediately place the pork in the skillet, browning well on all sides, about 8 minutes total.
- Put the skillet with the pork tenderloin into the oven.
- Cook for about 20 minutes, until the tenderloin has reached an internal temperature of 150° F.
- Set the pork aside on a plate, cover with foil to keep warm
- Put the skillet back on the stove over a medium heat.
- Pour in the wine and stir, scraping up bits from the pan. Reduce volume by about 1/2
- Pour in the honey and stir, mixing well.
- Add the chicken broth, and reduce the liquid by about half.
- Lower the heat on the skillet
- Add the last 2 Tbsp of butter, and stir well to melt and mix.
- Slice the pork into medallions, spoon sauce over the pork and serve!