I don't know if you know this about me, but I really enjoy cooking. There is something so unbelievably satisfying about putting out a delicious home cooked meal. Even if it's only me that's around to enjoy it, it's this great feeling of accomplishment every time something comes out the way I imagined it. On my best days I would describe it as almost zen-like. Of course there are the bad days too...pie on the floor, over salted sauce that would have otherwise been amazing, dry chicken. We can't always win right? But today, with this dish, totally winning.
1 lb. pork tenderloin
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 large clove of garlic, minced
1 1/2 tsp. fresh rosemary, finely chopped
1 1/2 tsp. fresh thyme, finely chopped
1/2 tsp. Kosher salt
1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper
1 bottle of Crispin's Honeycrisp Cider
8 oz. chicken stock
2 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
1 small yellow onion, coarsely chopped
3 small cinnamon sticks
3 sprigs of fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
9 whole allspice
1 pod star anise
1 Tbsp. salted butter
2) Rub 1 Tbsp. olive oil all over the pork loin. Pat and rub the spice mixture onto the pork.
Wrap with saran wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to 8 hours. (This is a great make
ahead for a later dinner party)
3) When ready to cook, preheat the oven to 375. Heat a large oven-proof skillet (or if you don't
have one like me, use a regular skillet and preheat a roasting pan in the oven) with 1 Tbsp. oil
and sear the pork on all sides until nicely browned. Transfer the pork to the oven and cook about
20 minutes or until the internal temperature registers at 140-145.
4) Rest the pork on a cutting board and lightly tent with tinfoil 5-10 minutes before cutting & serving.
5) Make your sauce before the pork is finished, I'd put it on the stove right before you start searing
it. Combine all of the ingredients together in a medium saucepan and cook on high until boiling.
Reduce to a simmer and cook 30-40 minutes or until the mixture is reduced to 2 c. liquid.
6) Strain the sauce over a fine mesh sieve and return to the pot. Cook again over medium-low heat
until the sauce is reduced to 3/4 -1 c., about 15 more minutes. Whisk in the butter and serve
immediately with the pork. Add salt and pepper to taste if desired.
This dish came out so wonderfully. I served it with a celery root and yukon gold potato mash and quick sautéed honey carrots. To die. I was nice enough to feed Chris this night and he exclaimed that it was the best thing he had eaten in a really long time, home or elsewhere. That made me pleased, maybe even pleased enough to feed him again in the near future, but only so long as he promises to help with the dishes... I've always been a dreamer!