This recipe is inspired by my friend/niece Amy (x-niece in law if we are to be specific; she is cool, as are her siblings and daughter and I really like them, and whose parents are included in the cool determination here, but what is most important at this point in time is that Amy is a chef and the inspiration to this dish)...THANK YOU AMY!
We had a bunch of apples that we had 'effused' after infusing into some brandy for a while (the brandy, by the way, is delightful) and I asked Amy what I might do with these totally pungent apples. Her response was enthusiastic and inspiring, and though I could not possibly attempt all her suggestions, I settled on an approach that would help me dress up a pork tenderloin I had thawing in the fridge. The end result was Brandied Apple Encrusted Pork Tenderloin Roast! And before you read on, I have to say, this one is a real keeper, I mean, YUMMY!
Funny, I didn't do my usual picture of the necessary ingredients. I'll do my best here...
2 cups of apples that have been infusing some kind of liquor (the infusion is not necessary, it just adds flavor)
1 cup of apple cider
1/2 lb butter
2 tbsp fresh thyme
1 tsp dried sage (2 tbsp if you have fresh)
1 tsp chopped garlic
salt to taste (Amy said, "remember that salt brings out the flavor of everything")
Season the pork tenderloin:
(Amy cooks like I do, with 'some of this and some of that', so I am giving you my quantities). You can't go wrong here, these seasonings are exactly what this recipe requires:)
1/2 palm full of dried garlic
1/3 palm full of cumin
1/4 palm full of smoked paprika
salt & pepper to taste
Rub the pork loin and let is rest at room temperature (while the apples are reduced)
Here we go with the process; I can't say this is per Amy's recipe, but we have both stated that we would love to cook together...maybe that day will come down the road. For now, this is my version of my Amy inspired dish!
Roast the apples in the oven (Amy said cast iron is preferred, and as you know I completely agree), at 375 degrees until tender. My apples did not get tender, so I added some apple cider, about 1/2 cup.
Shortly after I added the apple cider, I poured the apples into the same glass jar they came from (brandy juice was in the bottom), added the thyme, sage and garlic, and used an immersion blender to whirl it all up. Oh, if you put hot stuff into a glass container, put a piece of metal, like a skewer, into the container, which will help conduct the heat; you can also put it onto a wooden surface, like a cutting board, which will help conduct the heat as well...I did both, being that I have cracked more than one glass container by forgetting these rules, and therefore ruined the beginning of a dish!
The end result was a Brandied Apple Encrusted Pork Tenderloin that was perfectly cooked, encrusted with an apple spread that was both subtly sweet and tangy with brandy!
I forgot to mention a few things. The apples still had the peels on them. I am one for keeping all the parts of the fruit when cooking (and come on, it's good fiber, a thing that at this point in life, you want more of).
I also made a sauce by removing the pork roast from the pan, letting it rest a bit (Amy's suggestion) and putting a bit more butter and a little more of the apple topping spread, let it come to a bubble, added a splash of the apple brandy we had made from those apples, and stirred. You can see the sauce in the first picture I posted.
Now, I am not one to brag. But I must admit, this pork roast was delicious. The hints of thyme and sage were perfect, and spices I never would have thought to introduce to this menu had I not asked Amy. And I must give credit to Amy, who's culinary expertise was the guiding light to this excellent meal.
I hope you decide to try it, though I give you fair warning that this is a time intensive meal. I made home made mashed potatoes (Johny/Mountain Man loves them) and the last of our garden green beans, the preparation of the roasted apples, then the spread, then the pork, then the sauce, is time consuming. But it is worth the effort!
Thanks again Amy! This recipe is a keeper:)
You are the best f/f/r/s/f's, see you tomorrow,