Marinated Apple and Pork Tenderloin ~In Michigan, we are blessed with an abundance of apples. I don’t know what it is but every fall if I go to an orchard or a cider mill with my family and it just feels right. Sometimes when you’re in the middle of something as wonderful as Michigan’s apple harvest, you forget how really awesome it is. Apples and pork work well together — plain and simple. But today’s recipe will layer the flavors of apple throughout the dish. First, we’ll brine a pork tenderloin in apple cider and then serve it with apple chips and a velvety, buttery apple sauce.
- 2 pork tenderloins
- 2 quarts apple cider
- ½ cup kosher salt
- 24 black peppercorns
- 24 coriander seeds
- 1 bunch thyme sprigs
- 2 quarts cold water
- 2 cloves
- 2 star anise
- 1 large Yukon gold potato, peeled and chopped
- 1 shallot, peeled and chopped
- 3 Michigan tart green apples, chopped
- 3 Michigan sweet red apples, chopped
- 1 quart Michigan apple cider
- 12 coriander seeds
- 2 to 4 tablespoons whole butter
- Apple Chips:
- favorite apple
- 1 cup simple syrup, see note
- Trim the pork tenderloins and remove the silver skin. Set aside. In a large pot, add the apple cider, kosher salt, peppercorns and coriander seeds and bring to a simmer. Turn off heat. Add thyme and let sit 15 minutes. Whisk in the cold water. Allow mixture to cool. Add the pork tenderloins and refrigerate overnight. Remove pork tenderloins from the brine and discard brine. Pat pork dry with towel.
- Season pork as you see fit (remember the brine seasoned the inside of the pork so don’t over-season the outside.) Oven roast or grill your pork tenderloin until it reaches an internal 135-140 degrees, about 15 minutes, depending on size and how it is cooked. I don’t recommend pan-searing with this brine because the residual sugars from the apple cider will caramelize too fast and the tenderloin will get too dark. Remove from oven or grill and let it rest. The pork will continue to cook and the internal temperature will come to 145 degrees. Slice and serve with applesauce and garnish with apple chips.
- Wrap and tie the cloves and the star anise in a piece of cheesecloth and place in a heavy sauce pot, along with all the other ingredients except the butter; bring to a simmer. Slowly cook until the potatoes are cooked through. Turn off heat and let rest 10 minutes. Remove cheesecloth and blend sauce in a blender or with immersion blender. If too thick, add little water. For a rustic look, serve as is. For a refined look, strain sauce through fine mesh strainer. Return the mixer to a clean saucepan and bring just to a bubble. Whisk in butter and season with salt to taste.
- Apple Chips:
- Preheat the oven to 200 degrees. Thinly slice apple on mandolin. Place a silicone baking sheet on a sheet pan. Dip the apple slices in simple syrup. Wipe off excess syrup and lay on silicone baking sheet. Cover with second silicone baking sheet. Place sheet pan in oven for 1½ hours. Start peeking after 1 hour just to make sure they are OK and that they are not browning.
- Next, take apple slices off tray and lay on cold counter until cool before serving.
To make simple syrup, cook equal parts sugar and water over medium heat until sugar is dissolved. Cool and refrigerate.
Recipe Image Source: Benjamin Miller