There’s no better meat-and-fruit pair than pork and apples. Granted, it’s a small category, but this duo is a classic. I know what you’re thinking, but it’s not limited to pork chops and applesauce. This simple, spiced pork tenderloin pairs beautifully with thinly-sliced apples sautéed with shallots in butter, hard cider, and thyme. The tenderloin, sliced thinly and coated in a mixture of cinnamon, smoked paprika, nutmeg, and a pinch of cayenne, cooks up in just minutes in the pan. This is a meal that can be ready in 20 minutes flat—or less, no foolin’.
The spice mixture is savory and a tad spicy, and the apples are sweet, tart, and buttery. I love the contrasting and complementary flavors and textures. This is just a classic, simple meal that comes together in no time at all, so it’s great for weeknights. The only issue I had with this recipe is that the portion is pretty small, so make sure to serve this along with a hearty side or two, like mashed potatoes and roasted veggies. Or, for the big eaters in your family, you can simply double the portion size. Enjoy!
Spiced Pork Tenderloin with Sautéed Apples
Adapted from Cooking Light
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ⅛ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ⅛ teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
- 1 pound pork tenderloin, trimmed and cut crosswise into 12 pieces
- Cooking spray
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 cups thinly sliced unpeeled Granny Smith apples
- ⅓ cup thinly sliced shallots
- ⅛ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ cup hard apple cider*
- 1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme leaves
- Heat a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Combine first 5 ingredients; sprinkle spice mixture evenly over pork. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add pork to pan; cook 3 minutes on each side or until desired degree of doneness. Remove pork from pan; keep warm.
- Melt butter in pan; swirl to coat. Add apple slices, shallots, and ⅛ teaspoon salt; sauté 4 minutes or until apple starts to brown. Add apple cider to pan, and cook for 2 minutes or until apple is crisp-tender. Stir in thyme. Serve apple mixture with the pork.
*I used Angry Orchard hard cider, but you can certainly substitute regular, non-alcoholic apple cider.