Thursday, October 16, 2014

Pork tenderloin and apples with cider glaze

Apple cider glaze is amazingly good with pork roast, pork chops and chicken breast. Most recipes direct you to begin with fresh apple cider, then reduce it in a heavy skillet under high heat. A sweetener, such as maple syrup or honey, blends well with the succulent flesh of the meat. Vinegar or wine, mustard and herbs balance the flavor.

Last year I started reducing fresh unfiltered apple cider until it had a syrupy consistency. I've added it to homemade hotcake syrup, roasted Brussels sproutsapple mahogany sauce and apple glaze. I typically purchase the cider in half-gallon bottles and reduce it over high heat to one-quarter its beginning volume (see recipe below). Apple cider is at its peak in the fall.


The recipe for apple mahogany sauce lists several ideas for a sauce such as this one. You can substitute pork chops or chicken breasts for the tenderloin. Saute the meat in a cast iron skillet or grill over hot coals as desired. Brush sauce on the meat during the couple minutes of cooking.

2-1/2 pounds pork tenderloin
Kosher salt and ground black pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1-1/2 cups apple cider reduction (click for recipe)
2 medium Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and sliced, 3/4-inch thick
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

Rinse pork and pat dry. Season with salt and pepper. Coat all sides with thyme and rosemary. Melt butter in a 12-inch Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add pork and cook until browned on all sides.

Place lid on oven and arrange 10 charcoal briquettes under and 19 on lid (heat for 400 degrees F.). Cook 20 to 25 minutes until pork reaches 145 degrees on an instant-read thermometer. Note size and shape will influence cooking time. Place pork on a platter and rest 10 minutes. Pour off any moisture (and reserve for future application, if desired).

Combine cider reduction, vinegar and mustard. Add apples and cider mixture to Dutch oven. Cook over medium heat until apples are al dente and sauce has thickened to glaze consistency. If needed, thin glaze with a small amount (1 tablespoon or less) to apple cider or reserved moisture. Meanwhile, slice pork 1/2-inch thick. Spoon sauce over pork and place apples on either side. If desired, sliced pork can be served from Dutch oven (as pictured).

Makes 6 to 8 servings. Serve with roasted Brussels sprouts and rice pilaf.

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