2 May 2012

Thai spiced roast Pork Tenderloin with Rhubarb sauce & roasted Five Spice Butternut Squash

So you'll remember my saying that hubby has taken on the mantle of Sunday Roast Chef?  Well, he explains a bit more about it below, then takes you through this fantastic roast.

Don't be scared of the rhubarb sauce - honest!  This roast dinner was truly one of the best roast dinners I've had.  Yes, it was out of the ordinary - but the pork was softly tender and tasted just fabulous, the butternut squash was delicious and the rhubarb sauce just brought everything together.  Think "rhubarb with a savoury Chinese twist" and it might not seem quite so strange.  I went back for more sauce and was furiously trying to think of how I might use the leftovers of sauce the next day - right up until I discovered there weren't any leftovers!

The only element on the plate that seemed a little out of place - and only in my opinion, everyone else was quite happy with them - were the carrots.  They seemed just that little bit too "English" to me, which is odd considering how you find carrot in so many stir fried recipes.  Perhaps it was their shape that did it.  Maybe if they'd have been ribbons, they'd have fit a little better.  Maybe it was just my tastebuds that didn't fancy carrots that day!

I'm very much looking forward to this coming Sunday!

Oh, and I've been invited to include this blog post in Delectable Musings "Seasonal Eats" listings - which I was very happy to do.

Right then, over to hubby ....

Marinated pork fillet before cooking
A few weeks ago, Jenny and I embarked on a voyage of discovery with a plan to have a roast dinner, every Sunday.

What makes it a voyage of discovery is that we wanted to explore both traditional and not-so traditional recipes while trying out some techniques that were a bit outside my comfort zone.  I would say that my cooking expertise is around the level of 'enthusiastic amateur' and so this week's offering definitely qualified in both the not-so traditional and the outside the zone categories! 

Anyway, without much more of an ado, here's the recipe, which I've split into three elements which I hope will be easy to follow.  While the recipe might look a bit daunting, please don't be put off.  The vast majority of the work here is in the preparation and all of this can be done well ahead of cooking.  Once your oven is pre-heated, the whole meal takes only thirty minutes to cook with absolutely no rushing around to be done (don't tell that to the family though)!


For the Tenderloin :

Ingredients :

450 - 500g Pork Tenderloin Fillet, cut into three equally sized pieces
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 tsp grated ginger
1 tbsp red Thai curry paste
1 tbsp light soy sauce
1 tsp sesame oil
2 tsp Muscovado sugar
1 fennel bulb, cut into wedges
1 red pepper, deseeded and cut into 1cm strips
1 red onion, peeled and cut into wedges (leaving the base of the onion untrimmed will prevent the wedges from falling apart).
Method :

1.  In a bowl make the marinade by combining the garlic, ginger, curry paste, soy, sesame oil and sugar and mix well.  Add the pork pieces to the marinade, ensuring each piece of pork is well coated.  Cover the bowl with a double layer of clingfilm before putting into the fridge for at least 8 hours, or preferably overnight.

2.  Prior to cooking, arrange the red pepper, fennel and onion in a deep roasting dish and drizzle with vegetable oil.  Give the vegetables a bit of a swirl in the oil to ensure an even coating and then arrange the marinated pork portions on top of the vegetables.

3.  Roast in a pre-heated oven at 190c for 30 minutes.
Pork tenderloin following roasting

For the Rhubarb Sauce :

Ingredients :

450g rhubarb, cut into chunks
3 banana shallots, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed
30g butter
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tbsp honey
 juice of 1 lemon
2 tsp fresh thyme, chopped.

Method :

Rhubarbly tangy & gorgeous!
1.  In a small saucepan, melt the butter and then saute the shallots and garlic until soft.

2.  Add the rhubarb and cook for a further two to three minutes.

3.  Stir in the vinegar, sugar, honey, lemon and mustard and cook until the rhubarb has completely disintegrated.  Once this stage has been reached, add the thyme and season with salt & pepper.

4.  Cook the sauce for another few minutes before passing through a fine sieve to remove any bits.

For ease of preparation, the sauce should be made ahead of time and then reheated for serving.
Butternut squash before roasting


Ingredients :

1 butternut squash (about 850g)
30g butter
30g brown sugar
1 tsp Chinese five spice
1/2 tsp salt.

Method :

Roasted butternut squash at 12 o'clock!
1.  Peel the squash and cut into bite sized chunks before placing in a bowl.

2.  In a saucepan, melt the butter over a medium heat and add the sugar, stirring until dissolved.  Now add the five spice powder and the salt and stir until nicely mixed.

3.  Pour this mixture over the chopped squash and mix well until all of the squash chunks are completely coated. Spoon the chunks evenly onto a roasting tray, leaving any excess butter mixture behind.  The squash also takes 25-30 minutes at 190c and so can be put into the oven, on a lower shelf, at the same time as the pork (above).

At serving time, arrange the roasted pepper, fennel and onion onto warmed plates.  Slice each pork portion into medallions and lay these artfully on top of the vegetables.  Serve with the five spiced butternut squash and some peas & carrots before ladling the warm sauce generously over the pork.

Prepare to accept the adulation of the masses.

Printable version


  1. I was looking for a new way to use rhubarb which is in season for me right now and got lucky to stumble across your post that outlines an entire meal! This looks delicious. I would love for you to link up this recipe on my Seasonal Eats May roundup <a href="http://delectablemusings.com/2012/05/seasonal-eats-sheet-may-2012.html>found here</a>, which highlights posts about using seasonal ingredients in great recipes.

  2. Hi Jenny
    I wonder why I could never succeed making this Thai spiced roast Pork Tenderloin with Rhubarb sauce & roasted Five Spice Butternut Squash
    How did you do it? I'll try again for sure and this time I'll refer to your recipe as my guide :)
    Thanks also for the tempting food photos. Looks like they were made by professional. Have you ever heard about food photography site called http://www.foodporn.net ?
    Your pics should be on the Food Porn home page, that's for sure!

    1. Hello Lisa and many thanks for your kind words. Well, as for how we did it - it's all there in the blog post above! Follow the recipe(s) and you, too, could be tucking into this lovely combination come next Sunday. :)

      Thanks for the heads up regarding the foodporn site - it looks great and I'll have to get hubby to investigate as he's the blog photographer in 90% of occasions.

  3. Hi, this looks great. I'll go9ng to follow your recipe for sure. Happy cooking. Andrew

    1. Thank you Andrew! It was quite a lot of work but so successful. :) I hope you like it - and come back to let me know how you got on!


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