Listen, I don't make pork often in our house - more often than not, it comes out too tough, or doesn't have enough flavor, or is too dry. To top it off, Frank doesn't love it in general, so I just tend to not buy it, and we still with what we like - chicken, steak or seafood. But when we ventured to the store this past weekend, and Frank suggested I buy a pork tenderloin, I jumped at the opportunity to make something new - I love trying new recipes, and whats the worst that happens, it sucks and we just eat the sides or make breakfast instead - brinner, amiright?
Anyway, I spent a good chunk of yesterday thinking about how I was going to prepare this pork tenderloin - I love the challenge, don't get me wrong, but even with the idea of brinner in my head, I still don't want to make a dinner that sucks. That being said, I started poking around online at various recipes to see if anything sparked my interest. I found a recipe by the goddess herself, Ina Garten that involved marinating in some cider, and I knew exactly what I needed to do. All recipe creation is, is taking inspiration, mixing a bunch of random ingredients together and hoping for the best. If you know what flavor combinations you like, odds are good you can come up with something - so off into the kitchen I went.
I had one can of a hard cider in my fridge, but it didn't feel like that enough would be flavorful. So I added wine, red wine. Because who doesn't love anything marinated in wine? I added in some seasonings - rosemary, cinnamon, a little honey to sweeten, salt, pepper and garlic. One ingredient from the recipe I found that I thought I should add - minced ginger. I wish I could have marinaded this for longer, but the flavor, trust me, just smells like fall. I let the pork marinate in this for about 3 hours, but I would recommend doing for at least 8 if not overnight.
When I was ready to start cooking, I took the meat out of the marinade, and placed it in a large baking dish - I surrounded it with diced brussel sprouts and with a quick drizzle of EVOO, and a dash of salt and pepper, I popped it into the oven at 425 degrees.
While that was cooking, I decided I needed more to top off this pork (especially if it didn't come out amazing!) I thinly sliced one apple with my mandolin, and added to a hot pan with EVOO. After about 3-5 minutes and the apples began to brown and become soft, I poured in the remaining marinate - AKA wine soaked apples. I brought to a slow boil, lowered the temperature, and allowed the liquid to cook down the entire time the pork was in the oven.
After about 30-40 minutes, the smells coming out of my kitchen were heavenly. The pork was perfectly cooked - juicy, flavorful, and topped with the sweet apple 'chutney' it came out so much better than I expected. I'm lucky to have even gotten a picture, because we ate it so incredibly fast. I would highly recommend giving this one a whirl for an easy dinner this week.
Fall Harvest Pork Tenderloin with Red Wine Apple Chutney
Prep Time: 10 minutes (plus at least 3 hours to marinate)
Cook Time: 40 minutes
1 lb pork tenderloin
1 12 oz can hard cider
½ cup red wine
1 tablespoon ginger
1 tablespoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons rosemary
1 teaspoon garlic
¼ cup maple syrup or honey
Salt and pepper to taste
1 thinly sliced apple
Mix together all ingredients excluding the apple in a large bowl. Allow pork to marinate for at least 3 hours, but preferably 8 hours or overnight.
Remove meat from bowl and place in a large baking dish. Surround by veggies of choice, drizzle with olive oil and a little more salt and pepper.
Place in oven at 425 degrees for about 30-40 minutes until meat thermometer reads at 145. Remove from heat and allow to rest for 5-10 minutes before slicing and serving.
If making the red wine apple chutney - slice an apple thinly on a mandolin.
Over medium high heat, saute apple in a little olive oil for 3-5 minutes until softened and browned. Pour in remaining marinade and bring to a boil.
Lower heat, and allow to slowly simmer/low boil for the remainder of the time the meat is in the oven to allow to thicken. Serve on top of the pork for an extra added spice.