And I’m back, bay-bee! Hi, hi, hi. How are you?!
We are officially 1+ week back into a routine – ie Ben is back at work, Lincoln is back in school, and I’m doing this WAHM thing with three kids at home – and it’s been…ok? I say that with a question mark because 50% of the time I’m like, ummm, totally killing this Mom of 3 thing (I’m not, but these are the things I tell myself in order to make it to 8pm alive,) and the other 50% of the time I’m nursing Gwen while attempting to keep Cameron from nose diving off the top of the couch (#WILDCHILD) with a Lego guy 1-1/2″ in front of my face as Lincoln tells me said Lego guy’s entire life story.
Anyway, here we are at the tail end of August and even though schools in the area were closed today because of excessive heat, this is the time of year when I officially check out from summer and set my sights on fall. Bring on orchard visits, big bowls of chili, cozy sweatshirts (emphasis on SWEAT – it is seriously so hot here!) and of course, college football. The University of Iowa has their first game this weekend and I could NOT be more excited. I’ve already got big plans to crack open a gluten-free cider to enjoy whilst cheering on the Hawks, saving one to make this incredible, 1 skillet Maple-Dijon-Cider Pork Tenderloin afterwards.
Whether you make this 30 minute meal as a weekend treat or quick weeknight dinner, just promise me you’ll make it!
Pork tenderloin one of my favorite cuts of meat to utilize for quick and easy dinners that taste decadent yet are nearly foolproof – and cheap, too! Not only is pork tenderloin as tender as steak after a sear on the stovetop followed by a quick roast in the oven, but it’s a fraction of the price. Top it with a saucy, fall-inspired glaze made from a bottle of hard apple cider, Tablespoon of pure maple syrup, and a couple teaspoons of dijon mustard, and I promise you’ll make this recipe again and again and AGAIN, not only this fall but year round too. It’s insanely easy, and that simple pan sauce, which is tart and subtly sweet?
Dinners these days need to be fairly hands off and quick cooking of course, plus they’ve got to please the whole fam. This recipe is checking ALL the boxes. That said, break out your cast irons, preheat the oven, and let’s get cooking!
Start by heating a thin layer of high heat cooking oil in an oven-safe skillet (preferably cast iron – I have this enameled cast iron skillet,) over medium-high heat. Season a 1-1/4 – 1-1/2lb pork tenderloin all over with 1/2 teaspoon each salt, pepper, garlic powder, and dried thyme then sear for 1-2 minutes on all four sides, or until each side is golden brown.
NOTE: a pork tenderloin is not the same thing as a pork LOIN, so be sure to get the tenderloin at the grocery store!
Place the entire skillet into a 450 degree oven then roast until the internal temperature of the tenderloin reaches 140 degrees, 8-15 minutes depending on the size of your tenderloin. Transfer the pork to a cutting board to rest while you make the Maple-Dijon-Cider pan sauce.
Place the skillet back over medium-high heat then add a 12oz can or bottle gluten-free hard apple cider, 1 Tablespoon pure maple syrup, and 2 teaspoons dijon mustard and whisk to combine. If there are burnt herbs or anything you can strain them out with a skimmer or pour the sauce through a fine mesh sieve at the very end.
NOTE: remember that the skillet will be blazing hot from the oven – I keep a hot pad on the skillet handle so I don’t forget!
I love using Smith & Forge Cider in this recipe, by the way. It’s one of the driest, least-sweet ciders I’ve had and lends such a light and tart flavor to this pan sauce. Super good!
Let the sauce simmer and reduce for 5 minutes then whisk in 1-1/2 teaspoons corn starch whisked into 2 Tablespoons water and continue to simmer until the sauce is thick and bubbly, another 3-4 minutes. That’s all she wrote!
Slice the pork (I prefer thick slices while Ben requires his sliced very thin and at a diagonal thank you very much,) then spoon the luscious, sticky pan sauce on top. MMMMM, you guys!! Hope you love this simple, fall-inspired dinner – enjoy!
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Maple-Dijon-Cider Pork Tenderloin
1 skillet and 30 minutes is all it takes to make Maple-Dijon-Cider Pork Tenderloin. Saucy and succulent, this scrumptious gluten-free dinner recipe will knock your socks off.
- 1-1/4 - 1-1/2lb pork tenderloin (not pork LOIN)
- 1/2 teaspoon each salt, pepper, garlic powder, dried thyme
- 12oz gluten-free hard apple cider (I use Smith & Forge)
- 1 Tablespoon maple syrup (not pancake syrup)
- 2 teaspoons dijon mustard
- 2 Tablespoons water
- 1-1/2 teaspoons corn starch
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Pat pork tenderloin dry with paper towels then season all over with seasonings.
- Heat a thin layer of high heat cooking oil in a 11-12” cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Sear pork tenderloin for 1-2 minutes on all four sides, or until golden brown on each side, then place the entire skillet into the oven and roast until the internal temperature reaches 140 degrees, 8-15 minutes. Transfer the pork tenderloin to a cutting board to rest while you make the pan sauce.
- Place skillet back over medium-high heat being VERY CAREFUL with the skillet handle as it will be extremely hot from the oven (I keep a hot pad on the handle so I don’t forget it's hot.) Add hard apple cider, maple syrup, and dijon mustard to the skillet then whisk to combine and simmer until sauce is slightly reduced, 5 minutes. Stir together water and cornstarch in a small bowl then pour into skillet and whisk to combine. Continue to simmer while occasionally whisking until sauce is thickened and glossy, 3-4 more minutes. Pour sauce through a fine mesh strainer or use a skimmer to remove any burnt herbs or bits if desired. Slice pork then serve with pan sauce.
This recipe is courtesy of Iowa Girl Eats, http://iowagirleats.com.