Roast Pork Tenderloin, with Apples

by Cat, Nov 2013 (Image, right, from Wikimedia Commons)

American Pork Cuts

American Pork Cuts

See also: Brining PorkDanish Roast Pork (Svinesteg)Glazed Pork Roast with Yams, Parsnips & PearsHome-rendered LardChicken Normande (with Apples & Brandy)Chicken Cutlets with Apples in Cider Sauce

While pork was a frequent item for the family dinner when I was a kid, as an adult, I don’t eat a lot of pork, maybe once a month. This is because I’m concerned about the parasites. I purchase my pork at my local grocer who buys 4-H pork raised by local farm kids; if I ate more pork, I would purchase a half-hog from a local farmer. See sidebar, below for more.

It occurs to me that many pork recipes have a lot in common with chicken recipes, and this one is no exception; it is similar to a couple chicken recipes on my site: Chicken Normande (with Apples & Brandy) and Chicken Cutlets with Apples in Cider Sauce.

Related recipes on other sites (see links in reference section below): 1. Tuscan Roast Loin with Yellow Potatoes, Fennel, & Parsnips; 2. Spice-Crusted Roast Pork Tenderloin; 3. Coriander-Crusted Roast Pork Tenderloin.

Bistro Pork Tenderloin, with Apples

This recipe is adapted from Fine Cooking (4), originally by Arlene Jacobs. Granny Smith apples are a great cooking apple, and are recommended for this dish; but you can use any cooking apple, such as the MacIntosh from the tree in my yard.

I specify home-rendered lard as the fat for searing the tenderloins not only because lard is a great cooking fat for high heat, but also because home-rendered lard is the real, unadulterated deal. Commercial lard has been hydrogenated and likely contains partially-hydrogenated trans fats which are known to be quite harmful over the long term. If you don’t have home-rendered lard, you can use palm oil or coconut oil, or reserved bacon fat. See Good fats for cooking for more.

I’ve not made this with tenderloin, but I have made it with pork chops, braising it on stovetop, and that was delicious.

Serves 4 – 6.Pork info-box

Ingredients & Equipment:

  • 2 pork tenderloins (about 1 lb each)
  • 2 Granny Smith Apples
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 7 Tbsp unsalted butter, divided
  • 1 Tbsp Rapadura sugar
  • Unrefined Sea Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp home-rendered lard
  • 2 large shallots, finely minced
  • 1/4 cup Calvados or Cognac (apple or plain brandy can also be used)
  • 1/4 cup home-pressed apple cider
  • 1/2 tsp fresh thyme leaves
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • bowl for brining
  • cast iron skillets: one 8”, one 12”


  1. Brine pork (Refer to Brining Pork for instructions). I recommend adding apple cider/juice to the brine (as part of the water) for this recipe.
  2. Preheat oven to 400° F, with rack in center of the oven.
  3. Prep: Peel, core and cut each apple into eight wedges; rub edges with cut side of lemon as you go.
  4. Juice lemon half and set aside. Mince shallots finely; set aside.
  5. Sauté apples in 2 Tbsp buter with sugar in small skillet over mdium-high heat, turning halfway, until soft and a rich amber color, about 8 minutes (lower heat if they start to burn). Set aside and keep warm.
  6. Pork: Pat tenderloins dry and season generously with pepper (and salt, if you didn’t brine first).
  7. Heat lard in large ovenproof skillet (DO NOT USE non-stick) over medium-high heat until very hot. Sear pork on all sides until nicely browned, about 5 min total.
  8. Put skillet in oven and roast until 140° – 145° F in the center, about 10 – 15 minutes. Remove from oven; transfer meat to a warm plat, tent with foil and let rest 10 min. Do not clean the skillet.
  9. Sauce: Set skillet over medium heat and add 2 Tbsp butter to melt. Add shallots and cook until soft and translucent, about 3 min. Remove from heat and add Calvados.
  10. Return to stove, raise heat to medium high, and boil until Calvados is almost gone, 1 – 2 min. Add cider & thyme. Simmer until reduced by about half, 2 – 3 min. Add cream and cook over very low heat until golden, about 5 min. The sauce should coat the back of a spoon.
  11. Cut remaining 3 Tbsp butter into 1/2 inch cubes and swirl into sauce. Season to taste with salt, pepper and reserved lemon juice.
  12. Serve; Slice pork and serve with warm apples and sauce.


  1. Wonderful Wonderful Danish Cooking, by Ingeborg Dahl Jensen

Related Recipes, Other sites:

  1. Tuscan Roast Pork with Yellow Potatoes, Fennel & Parsnips (
  2. Spice-Crusted Roast Pork Tenderloin (
  3. Coriander-Crusted Roast Pork Tenderloin (


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