Tomorrow is Apple Cider Day. It also happens to be a Friday. Since I’ll be sharing an amazing Fabulous Fish recipe for a Catholic Friday tomorrow, I thought it would be nice to share something with Apple Cider today.
We’ll get to today’s recipe in a moment. Today is our son’s birthday. I am so proud of the man he has become, the father and grandfather. Happy Birthday!
Now where were we? Oh yes – I can remember when cutting down a Christmas Tree was a huge family event. One thing the Tree Farm often offered was Hot Apple Cider. Granted, apples are forever joined to fall anyway, but there’s something about apple cider that says you have arrived – it is officially The Homey Season.
I love cooking with apples and apple ciders in the fall. The house smells wonderful and I feel all warm inside. It seems to me that our lives have changed so much. Childhoods have changed – far too structured, or not structured enough and the simple pleasures are falling by the wayside. Those with means feel the need to get their kids in all sorts of organized activities, and most of those center around competitions. It takes a lot of disposable income – sign up fees, uniforms, equipment, travel expenses. Were we so bad off with our little community events, no uniforms, and not the best equipment? We had time to go fishing or pick apples or just hang out. Home was a safe place, filled with so much love. And great home-cooked meals were a part of that simple childhood. Today parents are far too busy shuttling their kids from one organized event to the next that sitting down to a meal as a family has suffered. While I can remember attending football games in high school, and watching my brother play baseball down the street, what a remember the most are those times spend around the table. Simple things like cooking together, setting the table, washing the dishes. Home. What I remember the most is home.
Here’s to fall, to simple times and family values!
Apple Mash Roasted Pork Tenderloin
1 lb Pork Tenderloin
Olive Oil as needed
Salt to taste
Black Pepper to taste
1-1/2 tablespoons Fresh Thyme
1 tablespoon Dijon Mustard
2 Golden Delicious Apples
1 White Onions
1/4 cup Apple Cider
1/2 cup Chicken Stock
2 tablespoons Butter
Heat oven to 425 degrees.
Trim each tenderloin of any silver skin if necessary. Pat pork dry with paper towels; rub with one tablespoon of the oil; season with salt and pepper. Heat a tablespoon of oil in a large cast iron skillet over medium heat. When the oil is hot and shimmers, add the pork tenderloin. Cook, occasionally turning, until evenly browned on all sides; about 12 minutes total.
While the pork cooks, pluck thyme leaves from sprigs, chop. Set aside 1 teaspoon of thyme. Mix remaining 2 teaspoons of thyme with mustard in a small bowl, season with pepper and set aside.
Core and slice apples, set aside. Peel onion, slice into rounds and set aside.
Transfer tenderloin to cutting board. Tent to keep warm and set aside.
To the now empty skillet, add a couple of teaspoons of oil as needed to coat the bottom of the skillet. Let the oil warm for a minute or two. Add the apples and onions. Cook, occasionally stirring, until lightly browned around edges, about 5 minutes. Stir in reserved teaspoon of thyme. Remove from heat. Add apple cider and set pan aside.
Use a pastry brush to lightly coat the seared pork all over with the mustard-thyme mixture. Place the seared pork tenderloins on top of the apples and onions. Place in the heated oven.
Roast tenderloin for about 12 minutes or until an internal thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the tenderloin registers between 145 and 150 degrees. Transfer the pork to a serving platter and cover with aluminum foil. Let rest about 10 minutes.
While the pork rests, place the pan with apples and onions back onto the stove over medium heat. Add chicken stock; use a wooden spoon to scrape the pan, lifting any brown bits from the bottom. Bring to a simmer and cook until reduced by half. Gently mash apples into the liquid to create a paste. Add butter and stir until melted.
Slice pork tenderloin into 1-inch slices. Spoon “Apple Mash” on either side of the pork. When serving, top sliced pork as desired with apple mixture.
Great with Red Smashed Potatoes and Green Beans.