Flavors of Fall ~ Pork tenderloin and apples . . . lots of apples!

This morning, I was able to go to the grocery store. On any average day this statement would seem silly, but currently it is something I am grateful for, with so many on the East Coast still suffering the inconveniences of no power, no heat, no water, and no gas to go anywhere. I was grateful for fresh flavors and tonight will be making dinner, with our friends from the NYC coming to join us once more.

Eager to make use of the delicious apples we brought home from Mead’s Orchard, I am planning a menu to incorporate that flavor. There will be pork tenderloins with apples in my dutch oven. Garlic and dill potatoes will make a great side, as well as some steamed broccoli. Oh, and I am making my simple homemade cranberry sauce, but bumping the flavor up with apples! I was so excited to bring home fresh produce, I had to stop myself. I bought carrots too… but we will talk about them tomorrow!

I am not making the pork yet, but I will tell you the plan. I have two lovely pork tenderloins. They will be joined in the pot by the following:

  • apples
  • onions
  • apple juice
  • beef stock ~ I know weird, right?
  • salt 
  • pepper
  • olive oil
  • a bay leaf

Just because Barry prefers it, I will caramelize 2 large onions first. This is optional. You could put he onions in raw and they will cook nicely. Then I will add olive oil to the dutch oven and brown the tenderloins, all salted and peppered, please!

Over that meat, I will add the caramelized onions, 4 large sliced apples (skin off optional) and a bay leaf. Over this I will pour apple juice and beef broth in a 3 – 1 ratio. So for every 3 cups of apple juice, add 1 cup of beef broth. I can’t tell you exactly how much because it will vary with your pot and your pork! I expect to use about 6 cups of apple juice and 2 of beef broth.

Bring this to a boil first. Let it bubble nicely! Then cover and place in a 300 degree oven for about 2 1/2 hours. Now I am not using a thick pork roast, but rather longer, leaner tenderloins. This recipe would work beautifully with a roast, but you would need to cook it for about 3 hours to make sure the center is properly cooked.

Just to show even more flexibility, you could slow cook this in a crock pot too. And since the onions would cook nicely there, you wouldn’t have to caramelize them.

* * * * * * * *

Garlic Dill Smashy Tammy Potatoes

These are Tammy’s favorite and always find their way onto any holiday table. They are also a decadent indulgence so be prepared! You will need:

  • potatoes
  • butter, then more butter
  • garlic, chopped
  • dill ~ tons!
  • kosher salt 
  • fresh ground black pepper

So here we go again with it couldn’t be easier!

Cut the potatoes (peeling optional) and cover with cold water in a large pot. Bring them to a boil. Now when you think they are boiled enough… go a little longer. We want them mushy!

Drain the potatoes and put back into the hot pot. Lower the heat to medium-low. Salt and pepper to taste. Add butter. No really, just when you think there is a lot of butter, add more. Now add A LOT of garlic and A LOT of dill! These potatoes are not for the faint of heart, and should only be enjoyed on special occasions! LOL

Keep warming and stirring until the garlic, dill, and butter are beautifully married with the soft potatoes and the bottom becomes mushy or as we call them, smashy. There was a time when Tammy would wait and scoop up the ‘sludge’ on the bottom. She tries to be more dignified now! 😉

* * * * * * * *

Now for the cranberry apple sauce:

  • one 12 oz bag cranberries
  • about 2 cups orange juice ~ you could use apple juice or cranberry juice, depends on your taste
  • 2 large apples
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cinnamon stick

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, add the cranberries, the orange juice (should cover the berries), the cinnamon stick (broken in half to release flavor), and the sugar.

Bring this to a boil, then reduce the heat and allow to cook about 5 minutes. The cranberries will begin to pop! This is fun to watch. I stop here when I make this for Thanksgiving! I am eager to add my fall flavor, apple.

Add the apples, sliced, and continue to cook for another 15 – 20 minutes, or until the apples are tender and the berries have all popped.

When you like the consistency, remove it from the heat and put in a serving bowl. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes. Remove the cinnamon sticks before serving!

So that is what’s for dinner in my house. Try any or all of these recipes, but at very least try the cranberry applesauce. So easy. So tasty. Try it now and be ready to take it to Thanksgiving dinner. What a treat and everyone will think you are a culinary genius!

Ok, time to go caramelize onions. Enjoy!

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