Pork Tenderloin with Apples and Sour Cream is the best and most flavorful of hearty midwestern American cooking in the autumn. Affiliate links have been used to link to items I am discussing. [I updated these photos in December 2017.]
One of my favorite things about apples is how great they taste in savory dishes, as well as sweet baked goods. They make great chutneys for Indian dishes; they work beautifully in Mexican dishes based around salsa verde, and of course there is the classic: pork with apples.
This Pork Tenderloin with Apples and Sour Cream is inspired by a chicken dish from Olwen Woodier’s fabulous Apple Cookbook. I had some pork tenderloin to use up and decided that would work as well, although I did make a few other changes. It is not the prettiest dish in the world, as a matter of fact next time I might try a pinch of turmeric in it to help with the color. [I decided to skip the turmeric, and it is still not the prettiest dish, although red onions perked it up a little.] But it turned out really, really well. The kids devoured it–Sammy had 2 servings–and I caught John trying to scrape all of the sauce off of the plate after he had declared he was full.
This Pork Tenderloin with Apples and Sour Cream over Egg Noodles is my entry to Eating With The Seasons: October, a blogging event that celebrates eating seasonal food that is hosted by Maninas: Food Matters. This dish uses local Golden Delicious apples, which are at their peak around here right now [in November 2017 I used a mixture of Honeycrisp and Fuji apples and they were both delicious as well–I would definitely choose local apples in season over searching out any particular type]. The onions were purchased from the farmers’ market last Saturday as well.
Adapted from Olwen Woodier. Red onions are not strictly necessary over yellow, but they do perk up the color of the dish. Likewise, I stuck a sprig of parsley into my dish and would do the same for serving at a formal dinner, but it is only there to look pretty and not necessary for flavor.
- 2 pork tenderloins, trimmed of their silver skin and rubbed with salt and pepper
- 2 T olive oil
- 1 medium onion chopped
- 2 medium onions, preferably red, sliced into rings
- 6-8 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 2-inch piece ginger, minced
- 2 t ground cumin
- 1/2 t cinnamon, preferably Ceylon
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 cup white wine
- 1/3 cup apple cider
- 1 5.5 oz-can tomato juice
- 2 T cornstarch
- 1-2 T honey
- 1 15-oz can Great Northern beans or equivalent cooked, which is what I did–and any white bean should work
- 3 Golden Delicious apples (you should prioritize local and seasonal over exact type of apple; I have also enjoyed this dish with Honeycrisp and Fuji apples)
- 1 cup sour cream
Preheat the oven to 275 F.
Heat an oval dutch oven, 4-6 qt, over medium high heat. Add the oil and heat until shimmering. Brown the pork tenderloin on both sides–it will take about 10 minutes total. Remove and set aside.
Add the chopped onion to the pan and some of the apple cider if it is too hot. Sprinkle some salt on the onions. Cook until translucent, at which point add the garlic and ginger. Cook another 5 minutes. Add the spices and stir to prevent browning.
Mix the cider, tomato juice and wine. Reserve about 3 tablespoons and add the rest into the pot and bring to a boil. While it is boiling, whisk the cornstarch into the reserved liquid. Add the cornstarch and honey and mix it into the pot.
Add the pork tenderloins back into the pot, with all of their juices. Cover them with the onion rings. Place a sheet of parchment paper over the pot and press it down so that it is about 1 inch above the food. Cover the pot with a heavy, tight-fitting lid and place in the oven. At this point, the timing is very flexible–at 275 F it is unlikely you will dry out the pork. I checked mine after about 1 1/2 hours, and it was falling apart and tender.
45 minutes before serving peel and core the apples and chop them into chunks. Drizzle them with a little cider vinegar to prevent browning.
Place the sour cream in a bowl. Slowly whisk by the tablespoon some of the sauce into the sour cream. This will temper the sour cream, allowing it to heat up without curdling when it hits the sauce. When it is warm and no longer chilled at all, mix it all back into the pot. Add the apples and beans and re-cover. Turn the heat up to 325 F and place the pot back into the oven for 45 minutes.
Before serving, make some egg noodles (or rice would work too). I used a combo of whole wheat and regular, which is why their color varies in the pictures. Serve the pork and sauce ladled on top of the noodles.
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