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~ Braised Pork Tenderloins w/Apple & Onion Puree ~

IMG_4095Time out for a pre-Thanksgiving ice & snow storm dinner!  

IMG_7271Yes friends, what was the Midwest's problem two days ago is becoming the Northeast's problem today and tomorrow.  We woke up to ice and snow, the snow continues to fall, they are making snow on the Tussey Mountain Ski Slope (the view from my kitchen window), and, I for one am thankful I do not have to go anywhere today.  Thanks to a preemptive strike on my grocery IMG_7268stores over the weekend (to pick up a bunch of ingredients for my turkey day feast tomorrow),  my pantry and root cellar are well stocked -- I even had the forethought to pick up a flank steak and a package of pork tenderloins for a couple of quick meals in the meantime.  We enjoyed flank steak sandwiches last night.  So, with the snow falling, a fireplace at my back, a movie on the kitchen TV, and, a G&T in my hand: I'm making the pork tenderloins tonight!  Gobble, gobble!!!

IMG_7277This recipe is a spin-off of my mom's pork pot roast.  When I was growing up, about once a month my mom would put a big pork loin in a Dutch oven with some aromatic spices and let it braise all afternoon.  She always made it on a Saturday because it was a day she could watch over it (she worked on weekdays).   She had an ulterior motive too:  Saturday was cleaning day and everyone was expected to help with the chores, including my dad.  She would put this great smelling roast on the stove, a stack of albums on the stereo, and, within a few hours, the four of us had the place ship-shape, just in time to sit down to one of our family's favorite meals!

IMG_72062  1-pound pork tenderloins

1  cup apple juice

1/2  cup water, plus 1 cup additional water, and more throughout braising process, if needed

2  medium yellow or sweet onions, cut into chunks

2  Granny Smith apples, unpeeled, cored and cut into chunks

8  whole allspice

4  whole bay leaves

8  whole cloves

2  whole cinnamon sticks

garlic powder

freshly ground sea salt and peppercorn blend

IMG_7214 IMG_7211~ Step 1. Add the juice and 1/2 cup water to pan.    Place tenderloins in the liquid.  Add the spices to the liquid, dividing them equally on both sides of the tenderloins.  Add the onion, then apples, dividing them equally on both sides of the meat as well.  Generously sprinkle garlic powder, salt and pepper evenly over all.  Cover the pan.

IMG_7223~ Step 2.  Bring to a boil over high heat.  Reduce heat to a steady, gentle simmer.  Partially cover the pan (just allow a crack to let steam escape) and continue to cook for 45-60 minutes.  When you uncover the pan, the bottom of the tenderloins should be browning nicely, and the pan will be getting very low on liquid.  Flip meat over.  

Note:  What it looks like is more important than the time it takes to get it there.


~ Step 3.  Add 1 cup of water.

IMG_7234Season the tops of the tenderloins with a bit more garlic powder, salt and pepper.  Partially cover the pan.  Repeat the above process for another 30-45 minutes until the tenderloins are nicely browned on the bottom and the pan is very low on liquid.

Note:  Watch carefully after 15 minutes of this 'second-side cooking process' and add water, in small 1/4 cup increments, if necessary, to keep the tenderloins from scorching on the bottom.

IMG_7244~ Step 4.  Remove the pan from the heat.  Remove the tenderloins from the pan and tightly wrap them in aluminum foil.  Set aside.

IMG_7249Remove and discard spices from apple-onion mixture.  This task is quick & easy.

IMG_7252~ Step 5.  Place the apple-onion mixture in the work bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade.  

IMG_7256With motor running, process for 1 full minute. You will have about 1 1/2 cups of the the most heavenly seasoned apple-onion puree you are ever going to taste.  A little bit of this goes a long way baby and it's better than gravy!

IMG_7284~ Step 6.  Unwrap the tenderloins. Holding a large chef's knife at a 30 degree angle, slice the meat into any thickness you want.  

Serve immediately on a puddle of puree, topped with puree or puree to the side for dipping. I'm serving them accompanied by some white cheddar smashed potatoes, brussels sprouts and cranberry sauce this evening:



Braised Pork Tenderloins w/Apple & Onion Puree:  Recipe yields 6 servings of meat and 1 1/2 cups of apple & onion puree.

Special Equipment List:  cutting board; chef's knife; 3 1/2-quart chef's pan w/lid; 1-cup measuring container; aluminum foil; food processor or blender

IMG_4075Cook's Note:  For perhaps my favorite side-dish  to serve with this meal, you might want to give my recipe for ~ Golden & Cheesy Potato & Bread Stuffing Cups ~ a try.  They go great with any type of roasted poultry and prime rib too. You can find the recipe by clicking on the Related Article link below!

"We are all in this food world together." ~ Melanie Preschutti

(Recipe, Commentary and Photos courtesy of Melanie's Kitchen/Copyright 2013) 


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