Pork with apples is a classic French dish from the Normandy region of France and is an elegant, rich dish containing cream and butter. The spiced pork tenderloin and sautéed apples I present today is a version of pork Normandy, but on a diet with the “volume turned up” as Ina so famously says. Now is a perfect time to make this while there is still a nice assortment of apples at the market.
A mixture of coriander, black pepper, cinnamon and nutmeg coat the pork tenderloin to “turn up the volume” and infuse it with a nice bit of spice. We’ve added a splash of Calvados, an apple brandy from the Normandy region to give the dish a bit more authenticity. The brandy is not necessary, but it definitely gives it another burst of flavor. Calvados is distilled from cider made from specially grown apples, sometimes as many as 200 named varieties. Like many French wines, Calvados is governed by appellation contrôlée regulations and makes a very, very fine after dinner sipping brandy.
This is definitely a company worthy dish. Serve with mashed potatoes as we did or a fresh spinach salad as Cooking Light recommended. If you wish, you can add a small splash of cream or butter in the end if you want to make it a tad richer, but then it wouldn’t be on a diet would it.
Adapted from Fast & Fresh 20 Minute Recipes from Cooking Light – serves 4
½ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon ground coriander
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/3 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
1 pound pork tenderloin, trimmed and cut into 12 pieces
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 cups thinly sliced unpeeled Braeburn or Gala apple
1/3 cup peeled and thinly sliced shallots
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
1/3 cup apple cider
2 tablespoons apple brandy such as Calvados, or any good brandy
2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
Heat a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. We used a nonstick coasted cast iron skillet. Combine salt, coriander, pepper, cinnamon and nutmeg and sprinkle the spice mixture evenly over the pork and rub it in. Heat the olive oil in the pan and when hot, add pork to the pan. Cook 3 minutes on each side or until desired degree of doneness. Do not overcook the pork or it will be dry and tough. Remove pork from pan, cover and keep warm.
Melt butter in pan and swirl to coat. Add apple slices, shallots, and salt, sauté 4 minutes or until the apples starts to brown. Remove the pan briefly from the hot burner and add apple cider and brandy to pan. Return to the burner and cook for 2 minutes, deglazing the pan, until apples are crisp-tender. Stir in thyme leaves. Serve apple mixture with the pork.