This recipe is perfect for a day when you have little time to cook and a lot of chores to do as you just put it together and let the oven do the rest.
The braising method consists of searing the meat, adding liquid and simmering in a covered pot on low heat. Think crockpots and Dutch ovens. I usually cook my pot roasts in the oven using the braising method and with an inexpensive cut of beef. The Reluctant Gourmet has some great ideas and information on the braising method of cooking.
Pork tenderloin is already a nice tender cut of meat so it will not need much time in the oven but oh, yum, does it taste good after simmering in that flavor-based apple cider. Half-way through the cooking I added the apple quarters so they were slightly firm when the pork was finished. Had I added them in the beginning they would have been a mushy mess. I actually browned the pork and prepared the dish up to the point of adding it to the oven, then I went shopping. Just before dinner time I popped it into the oven to finish it. Easy dinner!
After removing the pot from the oven and transferring the pork and apples to a serving pate, I covered it with foil to keep warm while resting. In the few minutes that the pork was resting I reduced the cider-herb liquid to a sauce that was poured over the pork. This was all served with mashed potatoes and a simple arugula salad with pine nuts and lemon juice for a dressing
- 1 pork tenderloin, 1½ pounds
- ¼ cup flour
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 cup fresh apple cider
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed or minced
- 1 shallot, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons grainy mustard
- 2 tart-sweet apples, un-peeled but cored and cut into quarters
- 1 tablespoon butter
- Preheat the oven to 350°F
- Add the flour, salt and pepper to a shallow dish and whisk together. Add the tenderloin, turning to coat it completely, shaking off any excess.
- In a heavy-bottomed pot or Dutch oven, over medium-high heat, add the olive oil and when it is hot add the pork and sear, turning to brown on all sides, about 4-5 minutes. Transfer the pork to a plate lined with paper towels to absorb any oil.
- Add the shallots and garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes. Add the cider, scraping the bottom to remove any browning bits. Add the rosemary, thyme and mustard to the skillet, increase the heat and bring the mixture to a boil, stirring often. Return the pork to the pan, cover and transfer to the oven and cook for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and add the apple quarters and continue to cook, covered, in the oven for an additional 15 minutes until the apples are slightly soft but still firm and the pork registers 145°F on an instant-read thermometer.
- Transfer the apples and pork to a plate and allow to rest for 10 minutes.
- While the pork is resting, place the pot over medium-high heat and bring the liquid to a boil, if it is very thin then allow it to reduce by ⅓, whisk in the butter to make a glossy sauce. Transfer the sauce to a dish or pitcher.
- To serve: Place the pork onto a cutting board and slice crosswise into 8 slices. Arrange the slices of pork on a serving platter with the apple slices and spoon the sauce over the pork.