Apple cider is the secret ingredient that makes the most incredible moist pork tenderloin! The marinade does double duty as an incredible glaze / sauce, which means few ingredients are required to make this dish that’s worthy of a posh dinner party!
Have you ever used apple cider as a marinade before? It’s like a secret weapon broth / stock. Because it’s got so many more layers than just plain apple juice or even broth, which means you don’t need many other ingredients to create incredible flavour!
Just to be clear – I’m talking about alcoholic apple cider. In some parts of the world, including America, “apple cider” refers to a non alcoholic drink made from (this will surprise you ) apples. In America, alcoholic apple cider is known as hard cider.
It’s like using beer in cooking but easier, because unlike beer, cider doesn’t have wheat undertones that needs to be cooked out. Apple cider tastes much cleaner and a bit sweet, but not overly so, it’s very crisp.
I used Rochdale Apple Cider in my recipe. I feel very honoured that they asked me to sample their cider and if I liked it, to create a recipe using it. I was quite interested to read about how it is made. It’s so pure – made with just apple juice, pure New Zealand glacial water, and yeast. That’s it! Seriously!
No preservatives! It’s GLUTEN-FREE!!! This is a big plus for me because one of my regular taste-tester friends is gluten free.
So I kicked back and sipped on a chilled bottle of Rochdale cider, contemplating what I could make. And came up with the idea to use it as a marinade….
But in all seriousness, check out how juicy this pork is! Pork tenderloin is notoriously hard to cook so it’s nice and juicy because it’s so lean. But when you brine / marinade pork tenderloin in apple cider….woah! I was amazed at the juices that squeezed out of it as I sliced it!!
Here – see for yourself!
Rochdale Apple Cider. Cook with it. Drink it. The best kind of ingredient there is!!
It was after 12pm when I took these photos. Hence TOTALLY acceptable to have a sip….or two….ok, I finished the bottle. Don’t judge me.
I served this with an Apple & Fennel salad because apple and pork are great mates, and fennel and pork are lovers. So I figured I couldn’t go wrong.
I really do think this is a dish worthy of a dinner party.
But you tell me – what do you think? If this was served up to you at a dinner, would you be pleased? -Nagi x
- 1lb/500g pork tenderloin
- 11oz/330ml sweet apple cider (alcoholic aka “hard cider”) – I used Rochdale Apple Cider (Note 1)
- 1 bay leaf, dried (or 2 fresh)
- 2 tbsp honey
- 2 tbsp brown sugar
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- ½ tsp salt
- Black Pepper
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1½ tbsp butter
- 1 tbsp dijon mustard
- Salt and pepper
- Mix the Marinade ingredients in a bowl.
- Place Marinade and pork in a large ziplock bag and marinate in the refrigerator overnight, up to 24 hours.
- Remove pork in the marinade from the refrigerator 30 minutes prior to cooking (to bring to room temperature).
- Preheat oven to 180C/350F.
- Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium high heat. Remove pork from marinade (reserve marinade) and place in pan. Sear until golden brown all over – don’t let it burn (Note 2).
- Transfer skillet to the oven and roast for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the internal temperature using a meat thermometer reads 145F/62C. (Note 3)
- Remove pork from skillet onto a plate and cover loosely with foil.
- Place skillet on the stove over high heat with butter. When the butter is melted, add reserved Marinade and mustard. Whisk until smooth.
- Bring to boil, then turn heat down so it is simmering VERY rapidly, and cook until the liquid becomes syrupy.
- Remove skillet from the stove, roll pork in the sauce, then remove and slice. Pour remaining sauce in the skillet into a jug and serve on the side.
- I served this with a fennel apple salad on the side. (Note 4)
2. Don’t let it burn because otherwise you’ll end up with charred bits in your sauce!
3. I really recommend using a meat thermometer to ensure you cook the pork perfectly. BUT if you don’t have one, pierce the pork in the middle and when the juices run clear, it is done.
4. Fennel and apple are classic pairings with pork! Fennel Apple Salad – use a mandolin to finely slice 1 large or 2 baby fennels. Cut 1 red apple into thin batons. Toss with lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper and a good handful of fresh parsley leaves.
Nutrition per serving, assuming 3 servings and all the sauce is used.
This post is sponsored by the lovely people at Rochdale Cider from New Zealand! Super crisp and clean, it’s made from glacial water which = extra clean taste. I especially love how crisp it tastes and not too sweet! Not a fan of overly sweet drinks. N x