Friday, February 14, 2014

Apple Roasted Pork Tenderloin

After several times cooking pork tenderloin in the crock pot, I decided to try it out in my dutch oven. The nice thing about the crock pot is you can go to work and come home to a delicious dinner, but the meat will be sometimes a little too tender. I think this is a great way to cook pork if you are wanting to shred it. My new favorite method is in the dutch oven. You can get a nice sear with only using one dish and the meat stays together. The only thing you need to be careful about is making sure not to over cook the pork, or it will dry out.

First you want to get that tenderloin seasoned. I used salt, pepper, and Trader Joe's South African Smoke which is just paprika, salt garlic and basil. Bring your dutch oven to medium-high heat with a few tablespoons of vegetable oil. Add the tenderloin and sear both sides for about 2 minutes each. During the last minute, add chopped garlic.

Proceed to add the remaining seasonings, cumin, cinnamon, rosemary and thyme. As well as the beef stock and apples. I recommend peeling the apples before adding them, I messed up on this part. Apple peels will not break down and you'll be left with chewy bits of skin. If you want the apples to be a little crunchy, don't add until last 10 minutes of roasting time.

Cover the dutch oven and bake for 20-27 minutes at 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Check the tenderloin for an internal temperature of 145 degrees. Let rest for 3-5 minutes. I found a very helpful chart on proper cooking times and temperature for pork here.

While the meat is resting, mash up the apples with the broth to make a delicious sauce to serve with the pork. If you left the apples on the firmer side then simply use as is.

Your pork should be nice and juicy and not falling apart. How do you prefer your pork tenderloin? Crock pot or dutch oven?

Apple Roasted Pork Tenderloin
1-2 pound pork tenderloin
3 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 apple (used Braeburn), peeled and sliced
1 cup beef stock
1/4 teaspoon Trader Joe's South African Smoke (basil, paprika, garlic, salt)
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon rosemary
1/4 teaspoon thyme
pinch of cinnamon
salt & pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Coat tenderloin in salt, pepper and South African Smoke seasoning blend. Bring a dutch oven to medium-high heat with 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil, add the tenderloin. Sear each side for 2 minutes. Add chopped garlic for the last minute. Add stock, apple and the rest of the seasonings. Bring to a boil then cover and place in the oven for 20-27 minutes. The pork should reach an internal temperature of 145 degrees.

Remove the tenderloin and let rest for 3-5 minutes. Mash the apples with the broth until mostly smooth. Slice the tenderloin and serve with sauce.

If you want the apples to still be firm instead of mashed into the sauce, add to the dutch oven during the last 10 minutes of baking.

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