I am so obsessed with this recipe, I wrote a haiku about it.
Oh, succulent hog
With walnut crust and cider
Is this how love feels?
…Perhaps not my greatest work of poetry, but the recipe is far better than my writing, luckily.
This Walnut-Crusted Pork Tenderloin with Apple Cider Gravy is now one of my new favorite impressive dinners. Everyone who tried it kept asking for more and commenting on how juicy and flavorful it was. (Thus disproving James’ aforementioned theory that “the people hate walnuts.” Boo-ya, walnut-hater!) The walnuts add crunch to the pork, which itself is tender and dripping and all of the things you can only hope for when sinking your teeth into some tenderloin. The sweet-and-savory Apple Cider Gravy takes it over the top. It’s everything you’re imagining it would taste like, and more.
I served mine with some green beans and a hefty hill of Goat Cheese and Chive Mashed Potatoes, which also happen to taste amazing with Apple Cider Gravy.
For the green beans, I simply sprinkled some green beans with brown sugar, salt, and a tiny bit of garlic powder and roasted them with chopped bacon in a 400 degree oven until the bacon was crispy, tossing occasionally. I was going to make a separate post for that but my photos of the green beans were very blurry for some reason! Sigh. Food blogger problems.
But anyway, I do have the recipe for the pork and cider gravy all typed up and formatted for you, so don’t hesitate to give it a try!Print
For the Pork:
- 2 (8 oz each) pork tenderloins
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 2 cups walnuts
- 1/4 cup fresh sage
- ¼ cup fresh thyme
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 cup flour
- 2 tablespoon olive oil, divided
- 2 tablespoons butter, cubed
For the Apple Cider:
- 1 small onion, coarsely chopped
- 1/2 tablespoon flour
- 2 cups apple cider
- 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
- 1 dry bay leaf
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- In a food processor, combine the walnuts, sage, thyme, and garlic. Pulse until the walnuts are coarsely ground.
- Spread the walnut mixture and the flour in a large baking pan and mix. Rub the pork tenderloins with 1 tablespoon of oil and season with salt and pepper. Roll the tenderloins in the walnut-herb mixture and gently press the crust mixture onto the pork until it is fully covered.
- Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Add the butter and the remaining oil to a large pan over medium-high heat. When the butter has melted and is sizzling hot, sear the pork, gently turning to to ensure it becomes golden-brown on all sides. Some of the nuts and flour will come off in the pan, which is fine.
- Once the pork is seared on all sides, transfer the tenderloins to a baking dish sprayed with non-stick spray. Set the pan aside but do not clean it!
- Put the pork in the preheated oven for 20-25 more minutes, or until a meat thermometer registers 155-160°F. Keep in mind, this is for tenderloin. If you make this with pork loin instead, it will take in the neighborhood of 17 minutes per pound, but be sure to check with your meat thermometer occasionally so you don’t over- or under-cook.
- Transfer the pork to a plate and tent with foil. Don’t slice quite yet.
- As the pork cooks and cools, make your gravy. Take the pan you seared the pork in, and heat over medium heat. There should be some pork juices in the pan from searing. Add the chopped onion to the juices. If there aren’t enough juices to cook the onion, just add in a tablespoon of butter. Sprinkle with 1/2 tablespoon of flour and mix together until thickened and the flour mixture becomes golden, about a minute.
- Whisk in the apple cider and chicken broth, a bit at a time, until well-combined and smooth. Season with salt and pepper and add in the bay leaf and apple cider vinegar. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook until reduced and thickened, stirring occasionally. Adjust to taste.
- Use a strainer to catch the bay leaf, chopped onion, and any walnuts remaining from the pork while pouring the gravy into a bowl or gravy boat. Discard the solids. Pour the gravy over the pork and serve immediately.
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