While lean and tender, pork tenderloin also tend to be rather tasteless. ATK’s solution: wrap them in bacon. Sure enough, that coupled with a nice apple sauce made for a great 4-star meal. Actually, ATK has 3 sauces to choose from, maybe next time I’ll try the Hoisin-Sesame Sauce.
The recipe for Tenderloin medallions is here. I made it with an Apple Cider Sauce, though there were some other options. Here and Here. First microwave the bacon on paper towels for 3 minutes to remove excess fat, then put the barely cooked bacon on fresh paper towels to cool. Cut the tenderloins into 1-1/2 inch medallions, and wrap each with bacon and secure with two toothpicks. Sear the medallions over medium-high heat for 5 minutes per side. Then turn onto their side to brown bacon for about 12 minutes; removing when internal temperature reaches 150 degrees. Tent with aluminum foil while making the sauce.
For the sauce, combine 1-1/2 cups apple cider, 1 cup chicken broth, 2 tsp cider vinegar, and 1 cinnamon stick in a clean sauce pan (pork’s skillet used later). Reduce over medium-high heat until 1-cup; about 12 minutes. Remove cinnamon stick and set sauce pan aside. Add 1 tablespoon butter to the skillet used to cook the pork. Over medium heat, add 2 minced shallot and 1 diced granny smith apple and cook for just 2 minutes. Add 1/4-cup of brandy and cook for another 1 minute. Add reduced cider mixture, any juices from resting meat, and thyme. Reduced sauce over medium-high heat to 1-1/4 cups; 4 minutes. Off heat, whisk in 3 tablespoons butter, and adjust salt and pepper. Pour sauce over pork and serve immediately.
Results: 4-stars. Tender pork, and the bacon added great flavor. I generally prefer my bacon a little crispier, but the medallions were done so I had to stop cooking. The sauce had a nice balance of sweetness and tartness. The boys ate the pork medallions without sauce, though I’m not sure what ingredient they could possibly object, as they washed down the meal with Apple Cider.
- The ingredient list called for kosher salt, but it wasn’t used anywhere in the directions. In the end I decided not to add any, because bacon has plenty of sodium.
- I mistakenly used the pork’s skillet for step 1 of the sauce recipe (I was supposed to use a fresh pan and reserve the pork’s skillet for step 2). It did make a difference in the texture. Because CI has this as 2 recipes, it wasn’t clear that they meant a clean sauce pan.
- I substituted my regular brandy for the special apple-flavored brandy.
- I ran out of Thyme so could only use 1/2 teaspoon.
Rating: 4 stars.
Cost: $10. (Tenderloin was on sale for $3/lb)
How much work? Medium.
How big of a mess? Medium.
Started: 6:00 PM. Ready: 7:00 PM.