When the weather is cold and we crave comfort food, this dinner is always a winner! I don’t remember where I first found the inspiration for this recipe but I do know that I’ve been making it for well, let’s say, over a couple of decades.
This simple recipe never fails me and continually pleases everyone at our tables. The way I see it, you can never go wrong with a good balance of flavors: sweet ‘n savory combined. I admit, I’ve never tried to adapt it to poultry because it just seems perfectly suited for a pork tenderloin in every way.
The entire dinner from start to finish never takes more than 90 minutes including cook time, table setting and a couple of quick snapshots. I hope you enjoy it as much as we do!
Mustard-Fennel Seed Crusted Pork Tenderloin with Apple-Onion Sauté
Serve with Frizzled Spinach sautéed in walnut oil with traditional mashed potatoes for a hearty and pleasing winter meal.
1 large pork tenderloin (about 14-18 ounces) 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
4 tablespoons whole grain Dijon mustard
2-3 teaspoons fennel seeds
1 large onion, sliced roughly
2 medium Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, sliced
1/2 cup dry white wine (use apple cider if you are avoiding alcohol)
Preheat oven to 450°F. Season pork with salt and pepper.
Heat 2 tablespoons oil in large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat.
Add the pork tenderloin and sear until all sides are brown, turning occasionally, about 5 minutes total. Transfer pork to plate.
Cool the pork slightly. Spread mustard over top and sides of pork; then press the fennel seeds into mustard.
Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil to skillet. Add the onion slices and apple. Sauté over medium heat until everything is golden, about 5 minutes.
Spread evenly in skillet and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place pork atop apple-onion mixture.
Transfer skillet to oven and roast until apple-onion mixture is soft and brown and meat thermometer inserted into center of pork registers 145°F, about 15 minutes.
Then transfer the pork to a platter and tent with foil. Let stand 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, pour the white wine over apple-onion mixture in the skillet. Stir mixture over high heat until slightly reduced, about 2 minutes.
Cut pork on diagonal into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Spoon apple-onion mixture onto plates. Top with pork. Spoon some of the pan juices over the pork. Add the frizzled Spinach and Mashed Potatoes to the plate and serve.
(*For gluten-free diners, be sure the mustard is a gluten-free brand such as Natural Value Organic Dijon or 365 Organic)