Two weeks ago I made this and told my dad about it. Last week I decided I wanted to have him over for dinner and told him I was going to make a root vegetable pot roast. He said no….he wanted this :). It’s good enough to have once a week so that’s fine with me! I love fall food! Apples, pork, squash, cider – this is the perfect autumn dinner. It will definitely be on the menu every year when the leaves start to change! It also happens to be naturally gluten free, soy free, dairy free, nut free, and egg free – people with allergies (like me!) eat your hearts out!
This is an original recipe but it’s kind of a copy cat of a sauce I buy from a store up in Northern Michigan. My husband and I been buying the Apple Cider Grilling Sauce from a local Michigan Artisanal food store for years. It’s savory, sweet, tart, great on chicken, pork, you name it – it’s amazing! But, it’s expensive, like $10 or something ridiculous for a pint sized jar. It would be fine if we only used a few tablespoons per meal but the stuff is so good that most of the time we use half of the jar. I use it for a marinade and for a grilling sauce, and for a dipping sauce. With a ton of apples and cider at my disposal after a recent trip to the orchard I decided it was time to try and make the sauce myself. It turned out perfect! Here’s the recipe! Just so you know, this post may contain affiliate links. If you haven’t read my policy you can read it here. Basically, if you make purchases of anything from the website via the links I receive a small commission to help me fund this blog – so please – shop away! 🙂
2 Pork tenderloins (about 2.5 lbs)
1/4 cup red onion, chopped
2 winter squash, washed, seeded, and sliced (about 1/2″ thick) – I used 1/2 of 4 different kinds of squash, acorn, butternut, dumpling, and banana (because I had them left over from my Squash Taste Test) If using Butternut, I would peel and cube. If using the other types I would just slice with the skin on
1 apple, chopped in 1/4″ pieces (empire, gala, or other tart apple)
Salt and pepper
3 tbsp + 3 tbsp high heat cooking oil (I used Spectrum Organic High Heat Sunflower Oil )
3 cups fresh apple cider (seperated, 1 cup for marinade, 2 cups for sauce)
1/2 cup Organic Light Brown Sugar
(1/4 cup for marinade, 1/4 cup for sauce)
4 tbsp apple cider vinegar (2 tbsp for marinade, 2 tbsp for sauce)
2 tsp cinnamon (1 tsp for marinade, 1 tsp for sauce)
1/4 tsp allspice (1/8 tsp for marinade, 1/8 tsp for sauce)
2 cloves minced garlic (or 1 tsp garlic powder)
To make marinade, mix 1 cup apple cider, 1/4 cup brown sugar, 1 tsp cinnamon, 1/8 tsp all spice, and garlic, stirring until the brown sugar is dissolved. Marinade tenderloins for 4 hours or overnight.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Toss squash with 3 tbsp of oil, then arrange at the bottom of a large glass baking dish. Put the squash into to oven to start cooking while you work on the tenderloin. Heat a deep large skillet with 3 tbsp of oil over medium high heat. Take pork tenderloins out of the marinade and brown each pork tenderloin one at a time, on all sides (typically it takes about 3 minutes per side). There is sugar in the marinade so be careful to carmelize and not burn!
Place browned tenderloins on top of the squash. REMEMBER THE BAKING DISH IS HOT! Bake for 45 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 150 degrees (or higher if you like your meat more well done). While it’s baking, make your sauce. Ten minutes before your pork is done, remove from the oven and drizzle with apple cider sauce. Return to oven.
To make the sauce, in the skillet that you used to brown the pork, add the chopped onion and saute at a medium heat to carmelize. Once the onions are translucent, add the second cup of apple cider and scrape up the brown bits on the bottom of the pan. Add chopped apples, 2 cups apple cider, 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar, 1/4 cup brown sugar, 1 tsp cinnamon, 1/8 tsp allspice and bring mixture to a boil for 1 minute. Reduce temp and simmer for 5-7 minutes. In a small bowl, mix 1 tbsp cornstarch with 1 tbsp water. Add to cider mixture and bring to a boil to thicken. Serve over pork tenderloin slices.
By the way, how cute is my Halloween decor? You can get it in my Etsy shop here.