Beer-Braised Pork and Apples with Quick "Kraut"

When we think of pork tenderloin, we generally think of roasting or grilling, but this delicious cut of pork can be braised in less than 30 minutes, yielding tender, juicy, flavorful meat cooked to perfection. Just a small amount of a good quality lager mixed with brown sugar and a little bit of Dijon-style mustard infuses the pork with great flavor despite the short cooking time. The homemade sauerkraut-style cabbage can be made in less than ten minutes as well.

  • Ingredients:
  • 1 to 1-1/4 lbs pork tenderloin
  • 2 strips bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1/2 cup onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 2 Granny Smith apples, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup lager
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon-style mustard
  • For the cabbage:
  • 1/2 small head cabbage, finely shredded (about 6 cups)
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Fry the bacon until crisp in a large pan over medium-high heat. Remove and drain on paper towels, leaving a bit of the fat in the pan.

Add the onion and garlic and cook until the onion is soft and translucent, about 2 minutes. Add the apples, salt, pepper and brown sugar and combine well. Cook for an additional 2 minutes, or until the apples develop a little golden color.

Combine the beer with the Dijon-style mustard and add to the pan along with the cooked bacon. Clear some space in the center and add the pork. Reduce the heat to medium, cover and braise for 12 to 15 minutes, turning every 4 to 5 minutes.

While the pork cooks, combine the apple cider vinegar, sugar and butter in another pan over medium heat. Stir until the sugar dissolves, then add the cabbage. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the cabbage is tender and golden about 10 minutes.

Once the pork has reached an internal temperature of 140 to 145°F, transfer it to a cutting board, cover loosely with foil and allow to rest for 5 minutes before carving.

To serve, divide the cabbage between four plates, top with sliced pork and surround with apple mixture. Serve with mashed potatoes if desired.

Makes 4 servings

Recipe Notes:
To prepare this recipe using just one pan, cook the cabbage first, transfer to a bowl, cover and set aside. While the pork is resting, add the cabbage back to the pan to reheat.