Braised Pork Tenderloin with Cabbage and Apples
Tender, juicy and full of flavor, this braised pork tenderloin is cooked with sautéed cabbage, apples and bacon to make an easy skillet meal.
Roasting is usually the first method that comes to mind when you think about preparing pork tenderloin, but this tender, quick-cooking cut of pork can be braised to juicy perfection as well.
This one-pan braised pork tenderloin recipe uses a small amount of apple cider combined with brown sugar and Dijon mustard to infuse the pork with flavor as it braises together with sautéed cabbage, chunks of fresh apple, and bits of crispy bacon.
Tips for making braised pork tenderloin
- Trim the silverskin from the pork: Silverskin is a thin, pearlescent membrane found on the outside of beef, pork, lamb and venison tenderloins. Because it doesn't break down as the meat cooks, it needs to be trimmed away. Remove by slicing between the membrane and the meat with a sharp knife.
- Sear the pork on all sides in a hot pan: Searing adds flavor and helps to seal in the meat juices. For this recipe, we fry our bacon first, then use a little of that fat to sear the pork tenderloin.
- Don't use too much liquid: Pork tenderloin only needs a small amount of liquid for braising. Here we've chosen to complement the other ingredients by using apple cider, but depending on the flavors you're going for, chicken broth, white wine or even orange juice are possible options.
- Don't overcook: Because these tenderloins are small in diameter, about 10 minutes of braising time is usually adequate to bring the meat to medium doneness.
- Let the meat rest: Whether braised, roasted or grilled, always let pork tenderloin rest for 5 minutes or so before carving so the juices are reabsorbed into the meat.
More pork tenderloin recipes
- Sun-Dried Tomato Stuffed Pork Tenderloin
- Pastry-Wrapped Pork With Brandy-Cider Reduction
- Pork Medallions with Chunky Apple Curry
- Grilled Pork Tenderloin with Peach BBQ Sauce
- Korean Pork Barbecue from Ask Chef Dennis
- 1 pork tenderloin (about 1-1/4 lbs)
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 6 strips bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1/2 cup onion, chopped
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/2 medium head green cabbage, cored and chopped (4 to 5 cups)
- 1 Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored and cut into cubes
- 2/3 cup apple cider
- 2 teaspoons Dijon-style mustard
- 2 teaspoons brown sugar
- Using a sharp knife, trim the silver skin from the pork and season on all sides with salt and pepper.
- In a large pan over medium-high heat, fry the bacon until crisp. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate and drain all but 1-1/2 tablespoons of fat from the pan.
- Turn the heat to medium-high, add the pork tenderloin and sear on all sides, about 2 minutes total. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
- Return the pan to the stove over medium heat and add the butter.
- Add the onion and cook until soft and translucent, 3 to 4 minutes.
- Add the garlic and continue cooking just until fragrant, 1 minute more.
- Add the cabbage and continue cooking until wilted, 6 to 8 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Return the bacon to the pan and continue cooking until the cabbage begins to caramelize, 4 to 5 minutes longer.
- Add the cubed apple, broth, mustard, and brown sugar and combine well.
- Return the pork tenderloin to the pan, nestling it into the cabbage-apple mixture.
- Cover and braise for 8 to 12 minutes, turning the pork at least once during the cooking time.
- Transfer the tenderloin to a cutting board and allow it to rest for 5 minutes before carving.
- While the pork rests, increase the heat on the cabbage mixture and cook, stirring constantly, until any liquid has evaporated and the apples are broken down to a chunky sauce-like consistency.
- Transfer the cabbage mixture to a serving platter. Slice the pork, arrange it on the bed of cabbage and serve immediately.
Mashed potatoes or fresh, oven-roasted carrots accompany this dish quite nicely.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 225 Total Fat: 13g Saturated Fat: 6g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 6g Cholesterol: 48mg Sodium: 508mg Carbohydrates: 15g Net Carbohydrates: 0g Fiber: 2g Sugar: 10g Sugar Alcohols: 0g Protein: 12g