Roasted Pork Tenderloin w/ Apples and Fennel

Apple Tenderloin-0009
Roasted Pork Tenderloin with Apples and Fennel
Original Source: Eating Well (September/October 2007)
Estimated Time: 45 min

My Active Time: 20 min.
My Total Time: 45 min.

Dish Usage: Low

This week was Apple-Palooza at our local Sunflower Market, with all apples selling for 57 cents a pound.  Needless to say, I got a little bit apple happy (happly?) when I went shopping today and came home with 5 different kinds of apples.  My next stop was to the Internet to find a good recipe to use them in, and since I love roasted apples and pork tenderloin, this was a natural choice.  I made a few changes to the recipe here and there that I thought worked pretty well.

2 large Braeburn apples
1 Rome apple
1 large fennel bulb
1 red onion
2 teaspoon salt (divided)
1.5 teaspoons rosemary
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 pork tenderloin (about 1 lb)
1 teaspoon sage
2 cloves minced garlic
A few grinds of pepper
3 tablespoons cider vinegar

1.  Preheat the oven to 475 deg F.

2.  Using your handy dandy apple corer, chop each apple into eight wedges.  You can also slice it up by hand, of course, but then you’re not as cool as me.  Also, the original recipe only called for the 2 Braeburns, but when I saw them amidst all the fennel and onions on the baking sheet, I thought they looked a little lonely, so I added the Rome. 

3.  Toss the apples, fennel, and onion on a baking sheet with 2 tablespoons of the oil, a teaspoon of the salt, and the rosemary.  The original recipe only called for one tablespoon of oil, but since I’ve had problems with onions burning many times, I decided to add an extra tablespoon to be safe.  I also added the salt and rosemary.

4.  Roast the apples and veggies for 20 to 25 minutes.  For me, this turned into a balance between keeping the apples tender and keeping the onions unburned, and 22 min was just about right.

5.  Season the pork with a teaspoon of salt and a few grinds of pepper.  I added the sage and garlic too.

6.  Heat the remaining tablespoon of the oil in a dutch oven or oven-proof skillet and sear the pork on one side for about 2 min.  Then flip it over and stick it in the oven for 12 to 14 min.  If you don’t have an oven proof skillet, I would recommend searing it on the other side for 2 min and cutting the time in the oven down by a minute or two.

7.  Once the pork comes out of the oven, set it aside to rest for 5 min and add the vinegar to the pan.  Scrape up the brown bits and pour the mixture over the apples.

I thought the pork turned out great.  It was somewhat pink and very tender and juicy inside, but it was clearly done.  Sometime I have that “Do I need to cook this more?” moment when I’m working with tenderloin, but I managed to hit the sweet spot with this one.  The roasted apples were also tasty, but I didn’t feel like the fennel or onion added much.  I got a little bit of fennel flavor, but it couldn’t compete with the apple, and I didn’t taste the onion at all.

Apple Tenderloin-0010Overall, though, I thought it was a great recipe.  The pork was delicious, I didn’t have to use too many dishes, and it was pretty quick to make.  One of the commenters on the original recipe mentioned that they substituted butternut squash for the onion, and I think I’ll definitely try that next time.

Serves: 4
Nutritionals: 329 calories, 13.4 g fat, 28 g carb, 25 g protein, 6 g fiber