This healthy, 21 Day Fix approved pork tenderloin is roasted with thyme and garlic and covered in a delicious, sweet-savory apple cider sauce.
Do you guys have as much fun as I do going to the farm in the fall? I really love it. The pumpkins, the corn maze, the pony rides, the barrel train (no, I do not participate in the barrel train or the pony rides, but I saw another adult try to get in the barrel train with her kid and it was kind of hilarious. Thank you, lady, for saving me the embarrassment of attempting that myself. Your sacrifice does not go unappreciated). Oh, and the CIDER!!
I feel like poor apple cider doesn’t really get it’s due because of pumpkin season. I get it. I love pumpkin, too (as evidenced here, here, here, and here), but some good, cloudy apple cider is what cozy dreams are made of and I just can’t imagine fall without it. Especially hot, OMG can I get some spicy, mulled apple cider up in here right now?! Now I’m going to have to make some today or I’ll be craving it hard core until I do. It’s pretty chilly here this morning, too, so that really sounds perfect.
This year, we went to Joe Huber’s Family Farm in southern Indiana and it was a ridiculous amount of fun. The kids did all of the things I mentioned above plus a hayride and they loved every minute of it 🙂 We did, of course, bring home the biggest glass jug of fresh apple cider you’ve ever seen in your life. And it was really, really good. In the hopes of giving apple cider the love and attention it deserves, I wanted to make something with it. Something savory. I remembered back in the day seeing Rachael Ray make some sort of “apple cider gravy” and I thought that sounded like an interesting idea (if maybe a little strange), so I set to work. I didn’t look hers up so I’m not really sure what all she had in there, but let me tell you, that Rachael is no dummy. That was a freaking great idea. I know, apple cider gravy sounds super-weird. And maybe even kind of wrong. Did you notice how I went with “sauce” instead of gravy in my title? Because that’s how I feel, too. Anyway, this came out so stinkin’ delicious, and it was super-easy.
Here’s what I did:
I roasted the pork with thyme and garlic, because thyme goes so beautifully with apples and garlic is the LBD (little black dress) of vegetation. As always, it’s important to cook your pork to 160 – 165 degrees and no higher if you want juicy, tender, pork perfection. I do. I totally want that. So that’s what I do. Then I let it rest for 10 minutes. Seriously, let it rest, people! Anyway, I had some shallots on hand, so I chopped those up and cooked them in some butter so I could make a roux using whole wheat pastry flour (you could also use regular whole wheat flour). After the flour cooked for a minute or so, I whisked in the liquid. I used the aforementioned apple cider and some beef broth to keep the sweetness down a bit and to help make it a little more savory, I wasn’t trying to make dessert here. I added thyme and garam masala to this as well, then I let it cook down and thicken up. I don’t even know what to say about this other than MMMMMmmmmm….. Oh my goodness, it was sweet, but not too sweet, the thyme was herby and bright and the garam masala added the perfect amount of warmth and spice. I was in love.
If you’ve never used garam masala before, it’s an Indian spice blend generally consisting of coriander, cardamon, cinnamon, cloves, bay leaves, nutmeg, ginger, black pepper, and cumin. So many of my favorite things. Dreamy sigh. You could certainly make it yourself, but I just used a ready-made blend from McCormick.
*Here’s a little tip from me to you: if you want to make this when apple cider isn’t readily available, an AMAZING stand-in is Simply Apple. It’s apple juice kept near the refrigerated orange juice. They call it apple juice, but I’m convinced it’s really cider because it’s cloudy and tastes like cider… if it walks like a duck, friends. 😉 I also think that Simply Apple would be a better choice than buying the cider in a milk jug from the grocery store. I don’t know what that stuff is, but I know what it isn’t. Just one girl’s opinion!
Anyway, this dish is definitely a new favorite at our house, I really hope you guys try it out!
If you make this recipe be sure to snap a pic and tag me @thefoodieandthefix on Instagram so I can check it out! It makes me ridiculously happy to see what you guys are making 🙂