This was the centerpiece of Jenny’s feast the other evening. The picture may not look it (I need to work on my color correcting skills), but this was one wonderful bit o’ pork – and easy to toss together, too!
Especially easy when you ignore some of the recipe directions 😉
We found the recipe using the epicurious.com app for iPhone while strolling the aisles of Roche Brothers market in Natick (I miss the uplighting) and tossing goodies into our carriage. Pork tenderloin – check (AND on sale!); Granny Smith apples, check; apple cider, check; fennel – WHOA NOW – let’s just stop with the crazy talk!
Ermmm, y’see, I LOATHE fennel. It’s right down there with pumpkin and raspberries in my book (yeah, yeah, yeah – I’m a bad amurikan, whatever, getoverit).
With a fast bit o’ seasoning negotiation, we decided to substitute the hated, detested, NASTY fennel (you know I don’t really care for it, right?) with peppercorns. Moving on.
The recipe also called for searing the tenderloin in a bit of olive oil before roasting; and a fine suggestion it was, too.
We had a few other things to do, so; feeling wild and reckless, we omitted that step (and the lovely bit o’ crust it would have yielded) and opted for a slightly longer roasting time. Still made for a darned fine main course.
In any event, here’s the recipe as downloaded from the nice folks at epicurious. Follow it as is; or step out on to your own glorious path…
•1 large pork tenderloin (about 14 oz)
•3 tbsp olive oil, divided
•2 tbsp whole grain Dijon mustard (I really like Maille)
•2 tsp fennel seeds – Ermmm – see above
•1 large onion, sliced
•2 medium Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, sliced 1/4 inch thick
•1/2 cup dry white wine or apple cider
Preheat oven to 450° and season the pork with salt and pepper.
Heat 2 tbsp oil in large nonstick ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Add pork and sear until all sides are brown, turning occasionally, about 5 minutes. Transfer pork to plate. Cool slightly. Spread mustard over top and sides of pork; press fennel seeds into mustard. Add remaining 1 tbsp oil to skillet. Add onion slices and apples; sauté over medium heat until golden, about 5 minutes. Spread evenly in skillet and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place pork atop apple-onion mixture.
Transfer skillet to oven and roast until apple-onion mixture is soft and brown and meat thermometer inserted into center of pork registers 150°F, about 15 minutes. Transfer pork to platter and tent with foil. Let stand 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, pour white wine over apple-onion mixture in skillet. Stir mixture over high heat until slightly reduced, about 2 minutes – I would BET that this would have been wicked tasty. Except, we forgot this step (AND the cider) until the next morning. Oh well, it was still a mighty good dinner – and since it was a new recipe – no one missed the sauce.
Cut pork on diagonal into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Spoon apple-onion mixture onto plates. Top with pork and serve. Umm, yeah. We didn’t do this either – we sliced the pork and arranged all on a large platter that was then presented to the crowd around the dinner table. Worked a treat for us, but you do what you feel is best.