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Pork Tenderloin with Pears and Cider

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Serves 4

  • by from Fine Cooking
    Issue 125

A creamy sauce flavored with shallots, cider, and mustard brings together pork and fresh pears in this fabulous fall dish. Sautéed green beans and wild rice pilaf would make lovely accompaniments.

  • 1-1/4 lb. pork tenderloin, trimmed
  • 1 tsp. olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 oz. (2 Tbs.) unsalted butter
  • 2 firm-ripe Anjou pears, each peeled, cored, and cut into 8 wedges
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped shallots
  • 2 Tbs. sherry vinegar
  • 2/3 cup pear cider or apple cider
  • 3 Tbs. heavy cream
  • 1-1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 2 tsp. fresh thyme, minced

Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 500°F.

Pat the pork dry, rub it with the oil, and season generously with salt and pepper. Heat a heavy-duty 12 inch skillet over medium-high heat until very hot, and then sear the pork on all sides until golden brown, about 6 minutes total. Transfer to a small rimmed baking sheet and roast until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part registers 140°F, 10 to 15 minutes. Transfer the pork to a cutting board, tent with foil, and let rest for 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, melt 1 Tbs. of the butter in the skillet over medium-high heat. Add the pears in a single layer and cook, flipping once, until just tender and lightly browned, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate and keep warm.

Add the remaining 1 Tbs. butter and the shallots to the skillet and cook, stirring, over medium heat until the shallots are just beginning to turn golden, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the vinegar and stir, scraping up any brown bits. Add the cider and cook until slightly reduced, 2 to 3 minutes. Whisk in the heavy cream, mustard, and thyme and cook until slightly thickened, about 3 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Slice the pork and serve with the sauce and pears.

nutrition information (per serving):
Calories (kcal): 360; Fat (g): fat g 18; Fat Calories (kcal): 160; Saturated Fat (g): sat fat g 9; Protein (g): protein g 28; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 7; Carbohydrates (g): carbs g 23; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 1; Sodium (mg): sodium mg 380; Cholesterol (mg): cholesterol mg 100; Fiber (g): fiber g 3;

Photo: Scott Phillips

This was easy and tasty. I will definitely make again.

Beautiful....I used Bosc pears, couldn't find Anjou, and did not peel them. Added a bit of minced garlic to the shallots, was a bit generous with the butter and the heavy cream, and still wished for a little more sauce. The colour was a bit greyish/brown, but nice flavour.

My husband rarely rates a recipe as 'restaurant quality' but this one passed the bar. I prepared this in a cast iron skillet and I think the way it maintains steady heat was a plus for this meal. I can't think of a single way to improve upon this meal. We served this with a simple spring mix salad with fig balsamic vinegar.

This recipe has quickly become a family favorite and I even made it for company. I've used all kinds of pears with it--Bartletts, Comice, as well as Anjou. Always tasty. I made it ahead by browning the tenderloins, putting them aside. Then I made the pears, put those aside. Then I made the sauce. When it was time to serve, I finished cooking the tenderloin in the oven, warmed up the sauce and the pears. I added the juices from the pork to the pan sauce.

Absolutely delicious! The pears made this dish. They were probably a day overripe but still held up during cooking. I did not change anything. I served the dish with a side of red cabbage. Wonderful! Perfect elegant winter dish.

The sauce was very tasty but the pears did nothing for it. Just were very soft and not much taste. Might use apples next time. I used a lot more cream than it asked for and also had to add some corn starch to get the sauce to thicken. I used apple juice not cider.

This is really delicious, although I stunk up my kitchen (and rest of the house) for a few days when the juices starting coming out and burning onto the baking sheet. Can I make this outside on the grill next time?

This was a great recipe and we loved the flavors. Does anyone have any ideas how the recipe could be made ahead in order to be close to serving and still enjoy a cocktail with guests? This, today, was a labor intensive last minute prep. I would love to serve this at a dinner party but don't want to be in the kitchen for the last 20 minutes.Any ideas?

Made this for dinner last night. We loved the variety of tastes in this recipe. I did not have sherry vinegar so used sherry cooking wine and added a splash of white balsamic vinegar and it turned out lovely. Will definitely make this again.

I really enjoyed this. We couldn't find apple cider so we made some from scratch.

DH is learning to cook and he picked this to make. Was lovely; had to sub apple juice for cider and that was fine.

The recipe lists 2 Tbs of sherry... Instructions mention adding vinegar. Does that mean sherry vinegar not sherry? One or the other is wrong or missing an ingredient...

Made this for dinner tonight. It was lovely! DH and I really enjoyed the pear and pork together. Pan sauce was very yummy too! I served it with sweet-and-sour sauteed red cabbage and roasted delicata squash.

This had a nice flavor.

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