Cider-Brined Pork Tenderloins with Roasted Apples
It's worth taking the time to brine this tender pork dish overnight, since the brine imparts tangy, sweet flavor to the meat.
- 2 cup apple cider
- 2 thyme sprigs
- 3 Tbsp sorghum syrup or pure maple syrup
- 0.75 cup chicken stock
- 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 Pound medium carrots, cut crosswise 1/4-inch thick
- 2 Honeycrisp or Pink Lady apples—peeled, cored and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 2 Tbsp fresh orange juice
- 1.5 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 large shallot, minced
- 0.25 cup plus 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 2 tsp black peppercorns
- 2 tsp coriander seeds
- 1 tsp crushed red pepper
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- Kosher salt
- 4 cup ice
- 2 1- to 1 1/4-pound pork tenderloins
- 2 Tbsp canola oil
- In a large saucepan, combine the cider, cinnamon, peppercorns, coriander, crushed red pepper, garlic and 3 tablespoons of kosher salt and bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the salt. Remove from the heat, add the ice and let cool completely. Pour the brine into a bowl and add the pork tenderloins, then cover and refrigerate overnight.
- Preheat the oven to 450°. In a small saucepan, combine the vinegar with the shallot, thyme and sorghum syrup and bring to a boil. Simmer over moderately high heat until reduced to 1/4 cup, about 3 minutes. Add the stock and simmer until reduced to 1/2 cup, about 5 minutes; discard the thyme sprigs. Whisk in the butter and season lightly with salt; keep warm.
- On a large rimmed baking sheet, toss the carrots with the apples, orange juice and olive oil; season with salt. Roast in the lower third of the oven, stirring once, until tender and browned in spots, about 25 minutes.
- Meanwhile, drain the pork tenderloins and cut them in half crosswise; discard the brine. Pat the pork dry and season lightly with salt. In a large cast-iron skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the canola oil until shimmering. Add half the pork and cook over moderately high heat, turning, until browned all over, about 10 minutes. Transfer the pork to a rimmed baking sheet. Wipe out the skillet and repeat with the remaining 1 tablespoon of canola oil and pork. Roast the pork in the upper third of the oven for about 12 minutes, until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the meat registers 140°. Transfer the pork to a work surface and let rest for 10 minutes.
- Slice the pork and transfer to plates. Drizzle the sauce on top and serve with the roasted carrots and apples.
Recipe Credit: Hugh Acheson
Image Credit: Christina Holmes