Making this succulent Maple, Mustard and Apple Glazed Pork Tenderloin served with piping hot, flaky and just a touch sweet Cider Biscuits, was, to me, like the beginning of a horse race when the announcer shouts, “And they’re off!”. I felt the adrenaline again— the “runner’s” high if you will. A high that has been sorely lacking for about eight long weeks.
Since early August, So. Cal. has literally been a hot and humid mess. You would have thought we were in Texas minus the ten gallon hats and large open spaces. I am a true blue California girl who has no business complaining about weather but will do so anyway, because when one is used to paradise, it is quite the reality check to be rudely thrown into weather He!!.
I have not wanted to cook or bake or do much of anything if you must know the truth, and then it happened. I felt a tinge of a breeze, a definite ten degree drop in temperature, and an inspiration to whip up something Fall inspired and actually use my oven.
And wow, was this meal ever the proper introduction to Autumn. It was literally Autumn on a plate with the juicy pork tenderloin having been bathed in Apple Cider, then brushed down with maple, mustard and herbs. And to top it off, I just knew I had to bake…baking after all is one of the loves of my life, and we have been sadly separated lately. So apple cider biscuits were definitely in order although I did consider whipping up my famous sweet potato biscuits.
When I served this for dinner last night, there were “oohs” and “aaaahs” and “Are you sure it’s Tuesday? You usually only make fancy dinners on Sunday.” I may have had the fam. fooled, but this is one of those ridiculously easy meals that looks as if you spent hours toiling over the stove. You will spend about 40 minutes tops preparing the entire meal and that’s including the home made cider biscuits if you are not a newb to the kitchen.
Yeah, I am totally in the mood now, and I ain’t looking back so please, please, please Mr. Weather Guy…keep the temps a droppin’ and let me continue to enjoy Fall (those of you who live near me, I am fully aware of the predicted spike in temps this weekend, but I am really trying to work it and sway the weather Gods in my favor).
In Junior High School, when my best friend and I were literally aching for sunny weather for some event we were hoping to go to, we woud do a “rain dance”. I wish YouTube existed back then, we surely would have went viral with our crazy dance. And no, I’m not on drugs, just an FYI. We would do a rain dance because above all else we were believers in Murphy’s Law. Therefore, we would do the rain dance with full expectations of sunshine…and the funny thing is I can never ever remember it not working for us.
Hopefully, where you are the weather is fully cooperating with the entering of Fall, and you will get a chance to enjoy some blustery days, watch the leaves turn and make this Autumn inspired meal.
Maple Mustard Glazed Pork Tenderloin with Caramelized Apples
This recipe is inspired by Cooking Light’s Version but majorly Geni-fied
Serves 4-6 people
2 (1/2 -1lb)Pork tenderloin roasts
1 c. apple cider,
1/4 c. Dijon mustard
3-4 T. pure all natural maple syrup
1 T. apple cider vinegar
1/4 c. apple butter or apple sauce
1 T. fresh rosemary, finely chopped
1 tsp. dried tarragon
salt and pepper
3 Granny Smith apples
1 T. maple syrup
To make the pork: First marinate the pork by gently poking holes all over the tenderloins with a fork and marinating them in the Apple Cider in a ziploc bag. Add 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp freshly cracked pepper to the marinade. Leave in the fridge for at least two hours and up to a day.
Preheat your oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit and line a broiler pan with aluminum foil coated with cooking spray. Cut slits in the foil to allow fat to drip off into the broiler pan.
Prepare the glaze. In a small bowl, whisk together Dijon through apple sauce and add rosemary and tarragon and whisk. Salt and pepper your tenderloins.
Heat a large nonstick skillet with 1 T. Canola oil until hot on medium high heat. The skillet should sizzle when the pork is placed down on it for a proper sear. Sear pork tenderloins on all sides…just about 30 seconds on each side or until it looks golden, and mildly browned.
Pour 1/2 of the glaze into a liquid measuring cup or small bowl. Use one portion to baste the roasts with (on all sides). Give them a good glazing with a basting brush. Put your roasts on the prepared and lined pan, season with salt and pepper, and roast for 10 minutes and then baste more of the glaze on using the same glaze that you basted from before. You want to keep one bowl of glaze absolutely free of any raw pork juice so leave it aside for later. Keep roasting the pork another 15 minutes or until the pork reaches 160 degrees F. Usually, I just do a peek test. I cut a small slit open of the fattest tenderloin. If it is a light pink, it is good and done. Pork should not be red or deep pink but a mild pink is great…makes it more juicy.
During the last five minutes of roasting the pork, cut your granny smiths into eighths (wedges…leave core out obviously). In a medium saute pan cook apples (dry at this point) over medium-high heat for a couple of minutes, stirring occasionally. Add a tablespoon of maple syrup, stir and cover. Let cook over medium-low heat about 3-4 minutes or until tender.
Take the pork out of the oven when done and let it rest to allow the juices to spread throughout the pork and stay inside the meat instead of spilling out over your cutting board. After 5 minutes of resting, slice the roast into 1/2 inch slices. Arrange on a serving platter. Heat the reserved (CLEAN, non pork tainted) glaze in the microwave for about 2o seconds. Drizzle glaze over pork and top with sauteed apples.
Apple Cider Biscuits
Recipe taken from Taste of Home.
Makes about 8 biscuits
2 c. all-purpose flour
1 T. baking powder
2 tsp. granulated sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/3 c. unsalted butter (5 1/3 T.), very cold and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
3/4 c. pure apple cider
2 T. buttermilk or regular milk
2 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
To make the biscuits: Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit and get out an ungreased cookie sheet. Place the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar in a medium-sized mixing bowl. Whisk together.
Make sure to use very cold butter that has been cut into small chunks…about 1/2 inch cubes. Put the butter into the dry mixture and mix the butter in WITH YOUR HANDS. Seriously, crumbling the butter and mixing in the flour with your hands is honestly the best method because you can FEEL the size the of the butter. The butter should get to pea sized little crumbles but not terribly fine. Those crumbles of butter will help to create air pockets and are part of what makes good biscuits very flaky.
Next, pour in your apple cider, just a little at a time, gently working it in with a rubber spatula until just barely all mixed together. Knead the dough about 8-10 times on a flour covered surface. I do not roll out biscuit dough. I feel like it pounds some of the air pockets out so I literally pat it into a circle shape with my hands about 1/2 inch high. I used heart-shaped cookie cutters to cut my biscuits but you can use a typical circular biscuit cutter if you have one. With the scraps of dough, form a ball and pat it out again to make more biscuits until all of the dough is used up. You can also just simply drop 2 inch mounds of dough onto the cookie sheet (three across and three down on the sheet) instead of pressing out the dough and cutting.
Put the buttermilk into a small dish and baste the top of the biscuits with the buttermilk. Mix together the sugar and cinnamon in a small dish and sprinkle the mixture on to each biscuit. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until biscuits turn a light golden color.
My favorite side dishes to serve with this meal are roasted sweet potatoes and a spinach salad. Enjoy the flavors of Fall my friends!