Braised Pork Tenderloin with Cabbage and Apples
When we think of pork tenderloin, we generally think of roasting it or cutting it into medallions for pan-searing, but this tender, quick-cooking cut of pork can be braised to juicy perfection as well. Our one-pan recipe uses a small amount of a liquid combined with brown sugar and Dijon mustard to infuse the pork with flavor as it braises together with sautéed cabbage, fresh apple and bacon.
- 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, finely chopped
- 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 low-sodium chicken broth, apple cider or a combination of the two
- 2 teaspoons Dijon-style mustard
- 2 teaspoons brown sugar
- Trim any silver skin from the pork tenderloin 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.
- 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, 5 to 6 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 and oven-roasted fresh carrots accompany this dish quite nicely.