Pork tenderloin with caramelised garlic and orange salsa

The rich sweetness of the cooked garlic is all you want with the succulent yet lean nature of the pork loin. The salsa would also work well with chicken, lamb or even Brussels sprouts.

4 people

Serving size


1 orange
2 tbsp dried mint
2 tbsp olive oil 
2 pork fillets, sinew removed (850g net) 
5-6 heads of garlic, cloves removed and peeled (300g net of cloves) 
3 tbsp olive oil 
20g caster sugar
2 tsp balsamic vinegar
1 red chilli, finely chopped
10g mint leaves, shredded
1 tbsp lemon juice
Maldon sea salt and black pepper


  1. Grate the zest of half the orange into a large, non-reactive mixing bowl. Add the mint, olive oil, 2 teaspoons of salt and 1 teaspoon of black pepper. Mix well, add the pork fillets and rub the ingredients into the pork well. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours.

  2. Meanwhile, bring a pot of water to the boil, add the garlic and blanch for 2 minutes. Drain and repeat the blanching process once more. Dry the pan, and pour in the olive oil. Put in the garlic and fry on high heat, stirring all the time, for 4-5 minutes until golden on all sides. Add 1 tablespoon of the sugar (15g only), the vinegar, 90 millilitres of water and ¼ teaspoon of salt. Bring to the boil and simmer on medium heat for 5 minutes, or until hardly any liquid is left, just the caramelised cloves in a thick syrup. Let cool.

  3. Use a peeler to shave off wide strips of the remaining orange skin, avoiding the white pith. Cut the strips into 1-2 millimetre thick slices, or julienne, and place them in a small saucepan. Squeeze the orange and, if necessary, make the juice up to 100ml with water. Pour over the skins, add the remaining sugar and bring to a light simmer. Cook for 12-15 minutes, or until the syrup is reduced to about a third, set aside to cool.

  4. To make the salsa, stir the chilli, mint and lemon juice into the garlic pot. Add the orange strips without the syrup but keep it.

  5. Preheat the oven to 180C.

    1. Place a large frying pan on high heat. Sear the pork fillets for 2 minutes on each side, until golden brown. Place on a tray and roast in the oven for 7-10 minutes, or until pink. Remove from the oven, cover with foil and rest for 4 minutes. Meanwhile, add any cooking juices to the garlic salsa and stir. Taste, and if a little dry, add some of the sweet orange syrup (watch out it doesn’t go too sweet). Use a sharp knife to slice the pork into medallions, 1-2 cm thick. Arrange these on plates with the garlic salsa on the side or on top.