Pan-Roasted Pork Tenderloin with Radishes, Potatoes and Lemon-Butter Sauce with Honey

I love weekend lunches. I’ll spend the morning thinking about what we have in the fridge, what I feel like eating, and which recently encountered recipe I most want to try out.

Last week, I had been dreaming about a lemon sauce, so on the weekend I set about trying to find out where such a sauce would do the most good. We had radishes from our farm box, and I’d bought some mini potatoes that were, in the back of my mind, destined to be fried. This seemed as good an opportunity as any to use those things. After a couple of weeks of lots of rain, my otherwise somewhat neglected basil plants had come to life again, so I thought that basil would be a good choice for an aromatic in this dish.

I wanted to add some meat as well, but nothing of what was unfrozen really appealed except for a pork tenderloin. Pork though, how was that going to taste with the lemon sauce, which was after all the entire reason for making this dish. Everything else would work together, I decided – the lemon with the basil, and the basil with the radish, and the radish with the potato, and the potato with the pork. But the pork with the lemon? And then I realized that all it needed was some sweetness. After discarding the idea of sugar as too plain and boring, I settled on honey, and I’m really glad I did.

The sauce was made just by reducing lemon juice with garlic, whisking in melted butter in a slow drizzle, and then finishing with honey and salt. Finishing isn’t quite right, but I’m missing an English word to properly describe this action. In Danish, what I did is described as ‘smage til’, which translates to ‘tasting to’. The phrase evokes multiple steps of tasting, evaluating, and adjusting. Which is what I did, and how I ended up with much more honey than I had anticipated. But it was worth it, because it tasted so good with everything. The sweetness enhanced the flavor of the pork, and the slight bitterness from the honey and the radishes melded wonderfully with the spice of the basil.

I had absolutely intended to post the recipe for this dish, but my plans were thwarted by lazy note-taking, vague self-assurances that ‘I would be able to remember this recipe, it was so simple’, and a busy week at work. So if you want to make this, take some creative licenses! Make something out of what you can find in your fridge and herb garden, and just add some honey to your sauce!

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