As you may have noticed, I don’t post many meat recipes on the blog.
There’s a simple explanation for that!
I just don’t eat all that much meat. Breakfasts and lunches for me are vegetarian about 98% of the time, and I only cook meat for dinner – on average – twice a week. Typically our meats of choice are chicken and turkey, but pork is probably my favorite out of the three “white meats”. Bacon makes its way into some of the meals I make because – let’s be honest – bacon makes almost everything taste better, but the pork cut that I most often use is the tenderloin.
Tender (as the name suggests), juicy when cooked correctly, flavorful, and lean, pork tenderloin is a delicious & impressive meal centerpiece. Doesn’t it look elegant sliced and arrayed in a fan?!
Once upon a time I would have been terrified of serving pork tenderloin at a dinner party (not that John and I host those very often) but ever since I bought a digital meat thermometer, I harbor zero anxiety about over-cooking and drying out the meat.
Let me take this opportunity to mention that pork should be light PINK in the center! Don’t be scared. It’s not undercooked… I promise. If your pork is beige or grey throughout – it’s overcooked; no good.
This tenderloin was seared in a skillet, basted with a maple & Dijon glaze, and roasted on a bed of sweet potatoes and apples. Pork is traditionally served with applesauce, and the apple slices in this recipe are an updated – and I think preferable – version of the classic pairing.
Sweet potatoes go with just about any- and everything, so that addition was a no-brainer.
The only trick is to roast the apples and sweet potatoes halfway before adding the pork to the party, as the meat takes less time to cook than the fruit & veg.
The sweet & tangy glaze from the pork seeps down into the sweet potatoes & apples, which brings the whole dish together.
Rounded out with a green salad (tossed with dried cranberries & dressed with a homemade Dijon maple vinaigrette), this is a comforting yet light meal that is easy enough to make on a weeknight but special enough to serve for the holidays.
Roasted Maple-Dijon Glazed Pork Tenderloin with Sweet Potatoes and Apples
yield: 4 smallish servings
- 1 pork tenderloin (about 1 lb)
- 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil, divided
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 Tbsp coarse ground Dijon mustard
- 1 Tbsp + 1 tsp pure maple syrup, divided
- 2 Tbsp apple cider
- 1 large apple (I used Honeycrisop) peeled, cored, and sliced into eighths
- 1 large sweet potato, peeled & cut into 1/2 inch thick wedges
- Preheat oven to 425°F.
- Toss the sliced apples and sweet potatoes with 2 tsp olive oil & 1 tsp maple syrup, and season with salt & pepper; spread evenly in the bottom of a baking dish large enough to hold the tenderloin (I used an 11 x 7 inch dish). Place in oven and set timer for 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, season the pork tenderloin generously all over with salt and pepper. Heat remaining 1 tsp olive oil in a large skillet set over medium-high heat. When hot, add in the pork and sear on all sides, about 6 minutes total, until golden brown. Remove from heat.
- Stir together the mustard, remaining 1 Tbsp maple syrup, and cider in a small saucepan set over medium-low heat. Bring to a simmer, and cook, stirring, until slightly thickened, about 3-5 minutes. Remove from heat.
- After the pork has rested for a few minutes, brush all over with the mustard/syrup/cider glaze. At this point, the timer for the sweet potatoes and apples should be about to go off. Remove baking dish from the oven, stir contents gently, and nestle the coated tenderloin on top of the apples and sweet potatoes.
- Roast until a thermometer inserted into the pork tenderloin reaches 140°F, about 20-25 minutes. The pork will continue to cook as it rests, so the temperature will reach 145°F – which is the new USDA temperature minimum for lean cuts of pork. Remove from oven, cover with foil, and let sit at room temperature for 10 minutes.
- Remove the tenderloin from the baking dish and slice. Serve with the apples and sweet potatoes.
Nutritional Information Per Serving:
290.4 calories, 9.2 grams fat, 2.4 grams saturated fat, 1.7 grams fiber, 32.7 grams protein