Pork that packs a punch
It was only a few years ago that I started appreciating pork tenderloin all because I kept seeing it in the Barefoot Contessa cookbooks. Let’s face it- it’s not the most attractive piece of meat at the butcher’s shop and pork can be intimidating to cook. I regret that it took me so long to appreciate this cut of meat because it has become an absolute favorite of mine. I have three equally wonderful pork tenderloin recipes that I make, and each time I make one of them, it becomes my new favorite! Then I make one of the others, and that one becomes my favorite! The struggle to pick an actual favorite of the three is real! Currently though, I’m on the Cider Roasted Pork Tenderloin kick. It is so, so good! And it hits all my marks for a best recipe- Unique and surprising ingredients, make ahead, and insanely tasty. What’s not to love?
It all starts with a mortal and pestle to grind up fennel seeds, peppercorns, coriander, and cinnamon. These spices might sound intimidating to some people, but they shouldn’t. This dish is totally approachable and the spices need to be strong to round out the sweetness of the hard cider and maple syrup.
After combining the spices with remainder of the ingredients, all you have to do it leave the pork to marinate in a large plastic bag for 8-24 hours. This means you can assemble this dish a full day in advance, which I think is awesome!
Charm them with Chutney.
However, every meat needs a sauce. Or in this case, a chutney. I tried Ina’s plum chutney and surprisingly, I really did not like it. At all. But I liked the texture and I get what she was going for. So I turned to one of my own recipes and the combination was truly spectacular. Cherry chutney- now that’s where it’s at! The chutney can also be made in advance, up to three days, so all you need to do is reheat slightly, and serve alongside the pork. Anyone can do that!
Bring it all together.
It’s time to eat and all that needs to be done is to preheat your oven, pat dry the pork, and roast for 20 minutes. Reheat your chutney while the pork is resting, slice and serve. It doesn’t get much easier than that for such an elegant and impressive dinner.
This pork tenderloin recipe is truly very delicious, and easy! What a winning combo that is! If you like this recipe, you should also check out the recipe for Prosciutto Wrapped Pork Tenderloin with Apple Chutney which, although more work and a bit more difficult, is also incredible superstar recipe.
- 1 12-ounce bottle hard cider, such as Crispin
- 1/4 cup pure Grade A maple syrup
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon whole fennel seeds
- 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
- 1/2 teaspoon whole coriander seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 2 pork tenderloins 1 to 1 1/4 pounds each, trimmed
- 1 1-inch piece fresh ginger, thinly sliced
- 1 1/2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh rosemary leaves
- Good olive oil
- Chutney for serving
Combine the cider, maple syrup, and 3 tablespoons of salt in a 4-cup glass measuring cup.
With a mortar and pestle, grind the fennel, peppercorns, coriander, and cinnamon together and add to the cider mixture.
Place the tenderloins in a 1-gallon Ziploc bag and pour in the marinade. Add the ginger and rosemary, squeeze the air out of the bag, seal, and refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight.
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
Remove the tenderloins from the marinade and dry them well with paper towels. Discard the marinade.
Place the tenderloins on a sheet pan and rub them all over with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, then sprinkle with 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper.
Roast for 20 to 25 minutes, until a meat thermometer inserted in the center reads 125 degrees.
Remove from the oven and cover the pan tightly with aluminum foil. Allow to rest for 10 minutes. Cut the tenderloins diagonally into 1/2-inch-thick slices, sprinkle with salt, and serve warm with chutney.
- 1 tablespoon good olive oil
- 1/4 cup small-diced shallots 1 large shallot
- 1 1/4 pounds frozen pitted dark cherries – defrosted.
- 1 Granny Smith apple peeled and 1/4-inch-diced
- 0.25 cup dark brown sugar lightly packed
- 0.25 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
- 2 tablespoons Port wine
- 1 tsp chopped rosemary or more to taste
- 1 3-inch cinnamon stick
- 1/8 tsp ground clove
- 1/8 teaspoon ground mace
- 1/8 tsp red pepper chili flakes
- 1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
Heat the oil in a medium (10-inch) ovenproof sauté pan over medium heat.
Add the shallots and cook over medium-low heat for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until tender.
Add the cherries, apple, brown sugar, orange juice, Port, cinnamon, clove, mace, red chili pepper flakes, rosemary and salt.
Bring to a boil on top of the stove, place in the oven, and roast for 25 to 35 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the liquid is reduced and syrupy.
Remove from the oven and discard the cinnamon stick. (Be careful of hot pan handle!) Mash the fruit roughly with a dinner fork.
Let cool and store. (A mason jar is perfect for storing 3-5 days.)