In my most recent brining attempt in the kitchen, I brined pork tenderloin. This cut is low-fat, so it really benefits from some brining to incorporate moisture into the meat to counteract the drying effects of roasting. This wasn't my first time making this recipe, but I'd foolishly neglected to take notes the first time, so I had to do my research all over again when I wanted to do roast pork with apples again. This time I took notes of the two recipes I used to adapt my own recipe (neither recipe used brined meat, but I believe brining the pork is an improvement), AND I took photos so that I can put it on my online journal for future reference. I love having my recipe collection online as it means easy access from anywhere in the world - a valuable resource for someone who moves around so much. This is only a simple recipe with few ingredients, but we all enjoyed dinner that night.
Just a couple of notes here about the method. Ideally I would use an ovenproof skillet to maximise the flavours in the sauce and minimise the washing up, but my oven is too small for my skillet. There were still plenty of yummy bits on the skillet for making the sauce, though probably not as much as if it was also used for the roasting. I lined the oven tray with foil to roast the pork and apple-onion mixture, and then used the foil to make a foil tent for the roasted pork while it's resting. The tray was still clean after I removed the food and foil, so I got away with not having to scrub an extra dish!
Roast Pork Tenderloin with Lightly Caramelised Apples and Onions
1 pork tenderloin (about 350-400g), brined for two hours in a simple solution of 1/8 cup of table salt dissolved in 1L of water
2 tablespoons oil
1 medium onion, sliced into half-rings
1 apple, peeled, cored and thinly sliced (I used Jazz apple but any good cooking apple variety will do)
1/2 cup (125mL) meat stock (preferably beef, but I only had chicken stock on hand)
1/4 cup apple juice (I used apple cider the first time)
Fresh dill, chopped to yield about 1 tablespoon, or adjust to taste (other herbs like parsley or thyme can also be used)
1. In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon oil and fry the sliced onions on medium heat until tender and cooked, stirring often for about 10 minutes. Add the apple slices and sauté for about 5 minutes. Transfer to an oven tray.
2. Pre-heat the oven to 180°C. Heat the remaining oil in the skillet to medium-high heat. Add the pork and sear until all sides are brown, turning occasionally, for about 5 minutes. Place pork on top of the apple-onion mixture in the oven tray.
3. Place the oven tray in the oven and roast for 15-20 minutes.
4. Transfer pork to a plate and tent with foil and allow to rest for about 10 minutes.
5. Meanwhile return the apple-onion mixture to the skillet, add the stock and juice and stir mixture over high heat for a few minutes until slightly reduced. Add the chopped herbs.
6. Slice the pork on a diagonal, and serve with the apple-onion mixture along with mashed potatoes and mixed vegetables for a balanced meal.