Fighting the dinner drag can be a challenge. I often get in a rut preparing the same foods the same way. When I get bored with the meals I’m serving, I know my family has to be too. Serving a family favorite a new way generates a spark at the dinner table that changes the mood of everyone gathered. This pork tenderloin is an easy, elegant way to set the stage for an enjoyable family meal. Serve it with a side of mashed sweet potatoes and sautéed green beans, and you could have a new family favorite!
Pork Tenderloin with Cranberry Apple Cider Sauce
2 pork tenderloins (~ 3/4 pound)
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 teaspoons butter
2 Granny Smith Apples (~ 1/2 pound), peeled, cored and cut into 16 wedges
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
2/3 cup unfiltered apple cider
1/2 teaspoon cornstarch (or arrowroot)
1 tablespoon water
2 teaspoons cider vinegar
1/4 teaspoon black pepper (for sauce)
Preheat oven to 425ºF. Season tenderloins with black pepper, if desired.
Heat oil in a 12-inch, non-stick skillet over medium high heat. Place tenderloins in skillet and brown on all sides, about 5 minutes total.
Transfer skillet to oven, with rack placed in upper third of oven. If handles are not oven proof, wrap handles in a triple layer of foil with shiny side out. Roast until thermometer inserted diagonally into center of meat registers 155ºF (about 12 -15 minutes).
Transfer meat to a platter. Cover loosely with foil and allow to stand for 15 minutes before slicing.
While meat is standing, place butter in skillet used to cook pork and heat on medium high.
Once butter is melted, sauté apples and cranberries until apples are tender and golden brown (about 5-7 minutes). Transfer to a plate.
Add broth and cider to skillet. Bring to a boil over high heat. Meanwhile, whisk cornstarch and water in a small bowl. Whisk cornstarch mixture into sauce and boil until thickened and reduced to about 1cup, approximately 5 minutes.
Remove from heat. Stir in vinegar, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper and juices that have accumulated on platter.
Cut pork into 1/2-inch slices. Arrange on slices on platter. Top pork with sautéed fruit. Drizzle sauce over pork and serve.
**Pork tenderloin is a lean protein choice as well as a good source of B vitamins and minerals such as selenium and zinc.