In the pre-war days with kitchens cooking for the upper class, there was scarcely a shortage for venison, duck, pheasant or goose.  At Downton, Mrs. Padmore directed her kitchen staff with the typical stalwartness of a cook in those days, presenting mouthwatering dishes to the well dressed awaiting in the upstairs, opulent dining room.

However, acquiring venison filet nowadays might prove somewhat challenging, so in this case I am substituting with a gorgeous pork tenderloin.  The sauce is very Steak Dianish and pairs criminally well with the pork.  Here, the subtle flavor of the green peppercorns imparts incredible fruitiness and paired with the other ingredients it makes this sauce decadence personified.  Don’t stop at just serving it with pork, try it over steak or chicken.  It’s such a winsome combination that it is equally luxurious poured on grilled vegetables mounded over polenta.

1 pork tenderloin – about 1 ½ LBS – trimmed and silver membranes removed

¼ cup of kosher salt

½ cup of brown sugar

1 bay leaf

1 TSP of mustard seeds

Mirepoix – 1 carrot, 1 stalk of celery, 2 small shallots – minced very small

¼ cup of bourbon or whiskey

¼ cup of 1/2 and 1/2

Cracked black pepper

2 TSP of Grey Poupon

¼ cup of Marsala wine

1 TBSP unsalted butter

½ cup of low sodium chicken stock

1/2 TSP Organic Better Than Bouillon Roasted Chicken Base

1 TSP green peppercorns drained

Minced parsley for garnish


In a small saucepan add the 2 cups of water, 1/2 cup sugar, 1/4 cup of salt, bay leaf and mustard seeds to make the brine.  Bring to a boil and cool.  Place the loin in a Ziploc bag with the brine for about 1 hour.  Remove and pat completely dry.

Rub with olive oil and fresh cracked pepper all over.   Heat a grill pan to medium and sear the pork for 5-6 minutes per side.  Remove and tent with foil to keep warm.

In a medium sauce pan, add the olive oil and sweat the veggies for about 4-5 minutes.  Since the mirepoix is chopped very small, it will make for short cooking time.  Remove from the heat, add the bourbon and ignite with caution to burn off the alcohol, using a long lighter.  Toss the veggies around till the flames die down, add the stock, marsala wine, half and half, and reduce by half.  Strain the sauce, if you prefer it smooth and add it back to the pan.  Stir in the mustard, green peppercorns and 1 TBSP of butter and cook further for 1 minute.  Adjust seasonings and serve garnishing with parsley.


Brines are essential to breaking the down the connective tissues but most importantly it draws moisture into the meat so that the end result is succulent and juicy.  This is a quick brine and can be used for pork chops (loin or bone-in).  The larger cuts such as pork butt and shoulder need to marinate longer.  There are a myriad of aromatics that pair well – star anise, juniper berries, lemon grass

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