When it comes to creating a perfect harmony of flavors, few combinations can beat the classic pairing of tender pork with the sweet and slightly tart taste of apples.
This Apple Pork Tenderloin recipe is a delightful marriage of succulent pork and the natural sweetness of apples, resulting in a dish that’s not only comforting but also elegant enough for special occasions.
Let’s dive into this delicious and savory recipe that will surely become a family favorite.
Table of Contents
Ingredients for Apple Pork Tenderloin
The star of this dish, the pork tenderloin, is a lean and tender cut of meat. Its mild and slightly sweet flavor provides the perfect canvas for absorbing the seasonings and infusing the taste of the other ingredients. When cooked to perfection, it boasts a delicate, melt-in-your-mouth texture that is both comforting and satisfying.
Apples, the co-star in this culinary duo, bring a symphony of flavors. The choice of apple variety is crucial to the dish. Sweet varieties like Gala or Honeycrisp are preferred for this recipe, adding a natural sweetness that intensifies during the cooking process. The apples also lend a hint of tartness, providing a beautiful balance to the richness of the pork. As they sauté and caramelize, their natural sugars deepen, imparting a delightful, slightly caramelized note to the dish.
Olive Oil and Butter
The olive oil used for searing the pork lends a subtle, fruity undertone, enhancing the overall richness and moisture of the dish. The addition of butter further enriches the flavor profile, contributing a creamy and luscious element to the apple sauce, making each bite a luxurious experience.
Garlic, Thyme, and Rosemary
Minced garlic, dried thyme, and rosemary are the aromatic heroes of this recipe. The garlic infuses a bold, pungent aroma and taste, elevating the overall savoriness. Dried thyme adds a warm, earthy flavor, while rosemary contributes a pine-like, slightly peppery taste, enhancing the complexity of the dish and providing a fragrant backdrop.
Chicken Broth and Apple Cider
Chicken broth enriches the apple sauce with a savory depth, adding complexity and melding the flavors seamlessly. The apple cider or apple juice, on the other hand, brings a fruity and tangy note, enhancing the natural apple sweetness and contributing to the beautiful glaze that coats the tenderloin.
Brown Sugar (optional)
For those with a sweet tooth, brown sugar can be added to the apple sauce. It not only amplifies the sweetness of the apples but also introduces a caramelized richness, creating a luxurious, syrupy texture that complements the tenderloin exquisitely.
The tender, succulent pork infused with the sweet, slightly tangy apple sauce creates a symphony of flavors, making each bite a celebration of taste and texture. Whether for a special occasion or a comforting family dinner, this dish promises to satisfy the most discerning palates with its divine fusion of ingredients and flavors.
Cooking Apple Pork Tenderloin for Dinner
1. Preparing the Pork Tenderloin:
- Preheat the oven: Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C).
- Season the pork: Season the pork tenderloin with salt and pepper, ensuring it’s evenly coated.
- Sear the pork: Heat olive oil in an oven-safe skillet over medium-high heat. Sear the pork on all sides until it’s nicely browned. This helps to lock in the flavors and juices.
- Add herbs and garlic: Reduce the heat to medium and add minced garlic, dried thyme, and rosemary to the skillet. Sauté for a minute until the garlic becomes fragrant.
- Prepare the baking dish: Transfer the seared pork tenderloin to a baking dish.
2. Creating the Apple Sauce:
- Sauté the apples: In the same skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Add thinly sliced apples and sauté until they are slightly caramelized and tender.
- Add sweetness: If you prefer a slightly sweeter sauce, stir in brown sugar at this stage. However, this step is optional, as the natural sweetness of the apples is often sufficient.
- Add liquids: Pour in apple cider (or apple juice) and chicken broth, stirring well to combine. Let the mixture simmer for a few minutes until it thickens slightly and forms a delicious apple sauce.
- Pour over the pork: Pour the apple sauce over the pork tenderloin, ensuring it’s well coated.
3. Baking the Dish:
- Bake in the oven: Place the baking dish in the preheated oven and bake for about 20-25 minutes, or until the internal temperature of the pork reaches 145°F (63°C).
- Baste the pork: Occasionally spoon the apple sauce from the dish over the pork during baking to keep it moist and flavorful.
4. Serve and Enjoy!
- Rest and slice: Once baked, remove the dish from the oven and let the pork rest for a few minutes. Slice the pork into medallions.
- Serve with apple sauce: Arrange the sliced pork on a serving platter, spooning the apple sauce generously over the top.
- Garnish and savor: Garnish with additional thyme or rosemary for a visual flourish. Serve this delightful Baked Apple Pork Tenderloin with your favorite sides and savor the harmonious blend of flavors.
Printable Recipe for Apple Pork Tenderloin
- 1.5 lbs pork tenderloin
- 2 apples, thinly sliced
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp butter
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 1 tsp dried rosemary
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1/2 cup chicken broth
- 1/4 cup apple cider or apple juice
- 2 tbsp brown sugar (optional)
- Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C).
- Season pork with salt and pepper.
- Sear pork in olive oil in an oven-safe skillet.
- Add garlic and herbs, then transfer pork to a baking dish.
- Sauté apples in butter until tender.
- Add sugar and liquids (apple cider, chicken broth) to apples.
- Pour apple mixture over pork.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes at 375°F (190°C), or until pork reaches 145°F (63°C) internally.
- Rest and slice pork.
- Serve, spooning apple sauce over slices. Enjoy!