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Apple Pork Tenderloin

  • By Pam Langord

Apple Pork Tenderloin

We made this with local hard cider and granny smith apples. Absolutely delish!
Print Pin
Course: Main Course
Keyword: apples, pork
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients

  • three large apples such as Gala
  • pork tenderloin – about 2 lbs piece to serve 4
  • two medium sized onions
  • vegetable cooking oil and butter
  • brown sugar salt & pepper, ground cinnamon and one cinnamon stick (optional)
  • 2 lbs pork tenderloin (plain, not pre-marinated)
  • 3 apples large (Gala or similar)
  • 2 onions medium-sized, yellow or red
  • 3 tbsp cooking oil
  • 3/4 tbsp coarse salt
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 stick cinnamon (optional)
  • 12 oz pumpkin ale or apple cider or apple juice
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp butter cut in 4 slices

Instructions

  • apple cider/juice or pumpkin ale – you can make this dish year round and use apple cider or apple juice but when in season – we recommend pumpkin beer.
  • Mix the salt, pepper and ground cinnamon to create a rub for the pork tenderloin and set aside.
  • Peel and slice the apples (leaving the skin on a few slices is a good way to add a varying texture element; optional). Be sure not to slice them too thin because they will turn to mush during cooking.
  • Thinly slice the peeled onions.
  • Before you proceed with the steps involving the apple pork tenderloin, we recommend that you remove the silverskin.
  • The silverskin is that thin, white membrane layer you can see in the ingredients picture above that covers the side toward the end of the pork tenderloin. It is helpful to remove it because it shrinks with heat and pulls on the pork causing it to twist in a bow shape.
  • Season the tenderloin liberally but not excessively on all sides with the salt, pepper and cinnamon rub.
  • Heat your cast iron skillet over medium high heat and add a tablespoon of cooking oil.
  • Then sear the pork tenderloin on all sides – about one minute per side. This will create a ‘seal’ and lock its juices in, ensuring it remains moist and flavorful during the cooking process.
  • Once the pork is seared remove it and set it aside while you turn your attention to the apples and onions.
  • Add a bit more cooking oil to the same skillet and cook the onions until translucent, then add the apples and mix them with the onions. Saute for 2 minutes.
  • Add the cinnamon stick (if using) then sprinkle brown sugar and stir.
  • Next comes our favorite moment – pour that pumpkin beer (or apple cider/juice) to deglaze the pan and form the base of the delicious sauce in which the dish will bake. Just love the sight of how the beer bubbles up … and the aromas, too.
  • Finally place the seared pork tenderloin back in the skillet and bake at 375 F.
  • Apple pork tenderloin ready for the oven
  • The pork should be done in about 20 mins (a bit longer if you have a larger piece).
  • Pork tenderloin doesn’t have to be cooked to 155 F like most other cuts or pork.
  • Look for internal pork tenderloin temp of 140-145 F when measured with food thermometer in the center of the meat.
  • Once out of the oven add the butter cut in small pieces on top of the apples and let it melt while you allow the pork to rest a little bit.
  • Take out the meat to slice it and baste the apples with the sauce in the pan (made silkier from the melted butter). Return the sliced pork to the skillet and serve.
  • OVEN BAKED
  • Turn the oven on to 375 F.
  • Peel and slice the apples and onions (apples not too thin, onions thinly sliced).
  • Mix the salt, pepper and ground cinnamon to create a seasoning.
  • Remove the silverskin from the pork tenderloin (see post for details) and season it liberally with salt, pepper and cinnamon.
  • Heat 1 tbsp of cooking oil in an appropriately sized skillet over medium high heat. Sear the seasoned pork on all sides, allow 1 to 1 1/2 minutes per side. Remove it from the skillet and set aside.
  • Lower the heat to medium and add 2 tbsp of cooking oil to the skillet. Saute the onions until translucent (5 mins).
  • Add the apples, stir and saute for 2 mins. Add the cinnamon stick (if using) and sprinkle the brown sugar. Stir.
  • Pour the pumpkin ale or apple cider to deglaze the pan, stir for about 1 min and remove from heat.
  • Place the pork tenderloin in the center of the skillet and bake for 20 minutes or until the internal temperature measured in the center of the meat registers 140-145 F.
  • Take out of the oven and place the slices of butter over the apples. Let the pork rest for 3-5 mins while the butter is melting. Take the pork out and slice it and then either add it back to the skillet to serve family style or serve on individual plates with a drizzle of the skillet sauce and spoonful of the apples and onions.
  • SLOW COOKER
  • Season and sear the pork tenderloin as described above. Place in the slow cooker.
  • Toss the sliced apples and onions in brown sugar and 1 tbsp of oil and surround the pork with them.
  • Add the pumpkin ale or apple cider/juice. Scatter the sliced butter around the pork.
  • Cook on high for 2 hrs or until the internal temperature registers 140-145 F. On slow allow up to 4 hours, more if your pork is larger.

Notes

TIP: Pumpkin beer as the liquid of choice adds so much flavor. It is rich with intense spice notes and sweetness and beautifully brings out the flavors of the pork.
NOTE: If cooking a larger piece of pork tenderloin you definitely need to use a larger heavy bottomed skillet and increase the rest of the ingredients (simply click on the servings number in the recipe card below and slide the bar, the ingredient amounts will adjust.
Using pumpkin ale versus apple cider or apple juice adds an amazing complexity of flavors and aromas and really elevates the dish.
Chef note: 140 - 145 F is a safe pork tenderloin temp. No need to cook it to 155 F internal temperature as required for other cuts of pork.
Best served with rice or over mashed potatoes.