Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Pork Tenderloin Asado (Pork Tenderloin with Tomato-Pineapple Sauce)

I was a tad lost what to serve as another dish for a get-together several months ago, and I had a few pork tenderloins waiting in the fridge.

I am always apprehensive when making something with pork tenderloin, especially after that one experience when we overcooked pork tenderloin and ended up with gray cardboard. That was probably the only time I experienced meat that was actually inedible.

That was a couple of years ago and I believe it was a jerked pork tenderloin. I was so looking forward to having it for dinner. When I came home, I was terribly disappointed that the pork was left in the oven to dry. There was some stomping and sulking involved that day, although the more mature side of me realized that, of course, it was an accident.

For this pork tenderloin asado, I was careful not to overcook the pork.

[ts] Pineapple juice for the sauce.

I came across a recipe for "asado" on Cookmobile's site. The recipe called for using pork loin, so we had to make adjustments in the method to ensure that our tenderloins would be perfectly cooked.

[ts] The pineapple chunks had nowhere to go, so we decided to use them as well, giving them a buzz before we did.

Although I have often heard the term "asado" in Filipino cookery, I have no fixed idea of what "asado" should taste like.

See, it seems to me that the word is used to mean different pork dishes altogether.

There's a siopao filling that we call "asado," which is a sweet-ish, brown-ish braised pork that's somewhat similar in taste to char siu, although without the more star anise-y, licorice-y aspect of char siu.

But, there's also another "asado" I came across that are thin slices of pork that are sometimes red-ringed, recalling char siu, but not at all similar in taste to char siu.

Anyways, I am getting confused just trying to distinguish and describe their different flavours, especially as it has been quite a number of years since I've had both versions of Filipino "asado."

[ts] The tenderloins were seasoned, then browned.

When I came across Lalaine's recipe for asado, I wondered what kind of asado it would be.

I knew it wasn't going to be like siopao asado and I secretly hoped that it would be the other asado that I ate in Ongpin restaurants back in Manila.

[ts] The tenderloins braised in pineapple juice, the puréed pineapple chunks, some canned tomatoes, a little soy sauce, a few dried bay leaves, a lot of minced garlic, and some chopped onions.

[ts] After braising, the tenderloins were pulled out and sliced. What a nice pink; not overcooked!

[ts] To give the sauce a certain richness, we whipped out the liver spread! I was quite scared at this point, as I hate liver. But, JS insisted that we not omit this step. I guess I should be grateful that we didn't use "real" liver. I whisked the liver spread into the sauce.

[ts] The liver-enriched sauce, poured over the sliced pork tenderloins.

I can't quite say it is "the other asado", but I do like this dish. It was very flavourful, with bright, sweet notes coming from the pineapple and a very umami background coming from the liver spread. The liver spread really added that je ne sais quoi that made the whole dish for me.

[eatingclub] vancouver Philippine food

Recipe from The CookMobile
Pork Asado (Braised Pork Loin in Tomato-Pineapple Sauce)

Enjoyed this post? Why not subscribe to our blog? Subscribe via reader or subscribe via email. Thank you!


  1. Oh, I imagine this sauce being a little sweet & a little salty which I love

  2. Pork and pineapple are a great combination and this looks really good!

  3. kat:
    And it had great depth or "umami" too, rounding out those weet and salty flavors.



LinkWithin Related Stories Widget for Blogs