The Subtext: We’re cleaning out the freezer in anticipation of the holiday cook/bake-and-freeze season, using up some forgotten frozen items. Pork tenderloin, you’re up!
Why This Recipe: Comfort food with a healthier twist. Familiar flavors and a few surprises too. If you do the prep work the night before (marinate the pork up to 24 hours and chop the cabbage) this beautiful all-in-one dinner can be on the table in about 30 minutes after a long day at work.
The Playlist: I’m in a Hurry – by Alabama. Nuff said.
In this particular case, the meat gets nice and tender thanks to a lengthy soak in the marinade. I used beer in the marinade (along with soy sauce, brown sugar, and more) but you can substitute another liquid if you prefer – apple juice, orange juice, cold coffee, or broth would all work well. We grilled the tenderloin. Alternatively it may be seared on the stovetop and then finished in the oven.
I don’t often cook cabbage at home but the addition of chopped apples has me rethinking my ways. Those little pops of sweetness add so much to the dish. I’m a big fan! To save even more time, don’t bother peeling the apples first.
Click the photos to enlarge them and read the captions.
|Printable Recipe- Marinated Pork Tenderloin with Red Cabbage and Apples|
|File Size:||566 kb|
Recipe is a mash-up of two others from Bon Appetit and Cabot Cheese
- 1-2 pork tenderloins
- 1 (12 ounce) bottle of beer (light to medium bodied) – you can substitute 12 ounces of another liquid such as apple juice or coffee
- ½ cup maple syrup
- ¼ cup freshly squeezed lime juice
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- ½ medium red cabbage, cored, cut into ½-inch strips
- 1 apple, peeled, cored, and chopped (Note: peeling is optional IMO)
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 cup water
- Salt & pepper
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- Prep the pork tenderloin(s) by trimming any silverskin, if necessary. (Silverskin is the sinewy white-silver connective tissue found attached to certain cuts of meat. This does not dissolve during cooking and must be removed in advance for the meat to become tender.)
- Combine all marinade ingredients in a bowl. Add pork to the marinade, cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours and up to 24 hours, turning/stirring the mixture a few times during the marinating process. There are a few ways to do this:
- A) Marinate the pork in the bowl you’ve mixed the marinade in; just be sure it’s deep/wide enough so that the pork is covered with liquid
- B) Transfer the meat and marinade to a long, shallow pan ensuring that the pork is covered with liquid
- C) Transfer the whole shebang to large plastic gallon bags (1 bag per tenderloin if you are cooking multiples). Squeeze out the air, seal the bags, and refrigerate.
- About 20 minutes before you’re ready to cook the meat, take the pork out of the fridge so it can lose the chill before cooking. Remove meat from the marinade, pat dry, and set aside.
If cooking on a grill:
- Preheat grill with two zones: one side should be hot for searing the meat, and the other side should be low or no heat for indirect cooking.
- Sear the tenderloin(s) over direct heat until browned on all sides, about 8-10 minutes.
- Move the tenderloins to the indirect side of the grill and cook with the grill lid closed until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the pork reads 140° - about 10-15 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 400° F.
- Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat.
- Add pork tenderloin(s) and sear until browned on all sides, about 8-10 minutes.
- Transfer skillet to the oven and roast until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the pork reads 140° - about 10-15 minutes.
- No matter how you cook it, it is important to let the pork rest undisturbed for 10 minutes before slicing.
- Meanwhile melt butter in another large skillet over medium heat. Add cabbage, apple, bay leaves, 1 cup of water, salt and pepper to taste. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the cabbage is wilted – about 15-20 minutes. Add 1 teaspoon vinegar and stir to combine.
- Slice pork and serve with the cabbage/apple mixture and optional sauce. I found the meat to be juicy and flavorful even without the sauce, so suit yourself.