You need a break from all of the fancy, fussy, time-consuming meals you’re making during the holidays, so try this Pork Tenderloin with Pears and Cider—with flavors that are off the charts! A creamy sauce flavored with shallots, cider, and mustard brings together pork and fresh pears in this fabulous cool-weather dish. And while sautéed green beans and wild rice pilaf would make lovely accompaniments, we made baked sweet potatoes with a shallot butter, thyme and a drizzle of maple syrup. Perfecto!
And easy enough for a well-rounded weeknight meal. What’s not to like about it?
- 1-1/4 lb. pork tenderloin, trimmed
- 1 tsp. olive oil
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 oz. (2 Tbs.) unsalted butter
- 2 firm-ripe Anjou pears, each peeled, cored, and cut into 8 wedges
- 1/2 cup finely chopped shallots
- 2 Tbs. sherry vinegar
- 2/3 cup pear cider or apple cider
- 3 Tbs. heavy cream
- 1-1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard
- 2 tsp. fresh thyme, minced
- Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 500°F.
- Pat the pork dry, rub it with the oil, and season generously with salt and pepper. Heat a heavy-duty 12 inch skillet over medium-high heat until very hot, and then sear the pork on all sides until golden brown, about 6 minutes total. Transfer to a small rimmed baking sheet and roast until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part registers 140°F, 10 to 15 minutes. Transfer the pork to a cutting board, tent with foil, and let rest for 5 minutes.
- Meanwhile, melt 1 Tbs. of the butter in the skillet over medium-high heat. Add the pears in a single layer and cook, flipping once, until just tender and lightly browned, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate and keep warm.
- Add the remaining 1 Tbs. butter and the shallots to the skillet and cook, stirring, over medium heat until the shallots are just beginning to turn golden, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the vinegar and stir, scraping up any brown bits. Add the cider and cook until slightly reduced, 2 to 3 minutes. Whisk in the heavy cream, mustard, and thyme and cook until slightly thickened, about 3 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Slice the pork and serve with the sauce and pears.
Baked Sweet Potatoes
Scrub whole sweet potatoes and prick them in several places with a fork. You can microwave or bake in a 400 degree oven until soft enough to pierce easily with a fork.
Meanwhile, brown some finely chopped shallots in about a tablespoon of butter in a small skillet. In a small bowl, combine the shallots with more (up to you) room temperature butter, a little minced thyme, a drizzle of maple syrup, and finely chopped pecans (optional). Add a pinch of salt and mash everything together with a fork until well blended.