Happy Winter Solstice! I made something homey and satisfying for the shortest day of the year.
Pretty easy to make, pork tenderloins lend themselves to a variety of dishes. I particularly like slicing them for a stir fry, but I like eating thick slices from the whole tenderloin best. I just don’t care for the splattering oil during the browning process. It gets on everything—my glasses, shirts, hands and arms, the stove and floor, and I think it travels in the air to places I’m not thinking of. Aprons don’t help my sleeves, but they do prevent those annoying stains on the front of a black or navy t-shirt that you don’t see until it comes out of the dryer, all set in. I spend a lot of time fighting those stains before the shirt becomes a new fishing t-shirt. I guess I should be embroidering over the stains. Anyway, back to the recipe.
I’m marinating the whole tenderloins for a few hours in a simple marinade of garlic, garam masala, and olive oil. Garam masala, with its cinnamon, is a nice compliment to both the pork and the apples I’ll be sautéing with it. For a side dish, I’m baking sweet potatoes and then mashing them. There is no added sugar in any of these dishes, as we tend to appreciate the natural sweetness of things like apples and sweet potatoes, without adding to them.
Here’s a quick video on how to trim a pork tenderloin:
The following recipe is for one tenderloin, even though I clearly made two in my photo.
Roast Pork Tenderloin with Sautéed Apples
1 pork tenderloin, trimmed of fat and connective tissue
2 cloves grated garlic
1 tablespoon garam masala
1/4 cup olive oil plus 1 tablespoon for browning meat
3-4 medium apples, peeled and cored, cut in slices, rings, or small chunks (I like chunks, but my husband says they look too much like potatoes that way)
2 tablespoons butter
- Marinate tenderloin in mixture of garlic, garam masala, and 1/4 cup olive oil in a plastic bag or shallow dish in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to a few hours. Remove from refrigerator and bring to room temperature before cooking.
Preheat oven to 400°-425°
- In large sauté pan, preferably one you can also put in the oven, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over high heat. Season marinated pork tenderloin with salt and pepper and brown on all sides, about 10 minutes. Place pan in preheated oven for about 20 minutes or until meat reaches an internal temperature of 145°-150°. Take pan from oven and remove tenderloin to a cutting board to rest for 10 minutes while you sauté the apples.
- Place pan in which you cooked the meat over medium high heat and add the butter and apples. I kept my apples in a bowl of acidulated water, so they carried over enough moisture after draining to deglaze the pan. Sauté until any moisture evaporates and apples are tender and a little browned. The apples pick up the flavorings from the cooked meat, but you could add a little more garam masala, if desired.
- Slice the tenderloin in 1-1 1/2 inch slices. The meat should be a little pink. Serve with the apples.