Hip, hip, hooray! Let’s hear it for ME. Just kidding. I’m not that self-centered… only a tiny little bit of a smidgen iota self-centered. But here’s what I’m excited about: Pork Tenderloin in Spiked Cider Cream Sauce is the first recipe I’ve ever shot in Manual Mode on my DSLR camera. [Tosses hair, pats self on back, smiles a smug smile.]
I’ve been shooting in Aperture Mode for ages and for many of you, this won’t mean a thing. But basically, in Aperture Mode, you only adjust one camera setting and your lens. You let the rest of the camera do the work for you. And it’s been fine. Honestly, it was a great improvement over automatic mode and I didn’t think it could get better. (It gets better!)
I normally edit photos for about an hour per recipe. This one took me 15 minutes. I barely did anything. It’s fantastic. And photo-editing is the bane of my blogging existence, so anything -anything- to do less photo-editing. Reading my camera manual was not the most fun work homework I gave myself, it has paid off in just one day and I’m the happiest blogging girl there ever was.
And I think these photos are beautiful. The colors are great. The lighting is great. The photos completely capture the essence of the dish. You know when something is stunning in person, but it just doesn’t come through on the camera? Pork Tenderloin in Spiked Cider Cream Sauce is stunning and my camera is totally doing it justice in Manual Mode. I might never use the term “unphotogenic” again, ever. (Don’t quote me on that though.)
Look what else I got fixed:↓↓↓ My recipe maker ↓↓↓. Do you remember my old recipes had weird characters before the ingredients like >>>//020022? Yep, neither do I. Long gone. In the past. Later, alligator.
Hooray for the little blogging life things.
And hooray for Pork Tenderloin in Spiked Cider Cream Sauce because it turned out damn good (…although it took two tries…).
Here’s what I did the first time:
I’m telling you so that you don’t make the same mistakes as me.
- First, I used a pork roast. I asked the butcher to slice it thinly for me because I was going to roll it up to be a pretty spiral when I sliced into it. Okay. Didn’t work. Let’s just stick to normal, easy things, okay? I don’t know what got into me… fancy is not really my style. I guess I have to remind myself of that every now and again.
- Instead of infusing rosemary and thyme into the sauce, I tried to cook it in. I removed the leaves from their sprig-stems and cooked them right in there with the sauce. And it just wasn’t cute. All these little dirt-green-muddy-brown looking leaves. Because they don’t stay a pretty green color when you cook them. It looked like I threw in some needles from my Christmas tree and Christmas was 2+ months ago. Failure.
- I didn’t let myself do a third something-stupid. Just the first two were enough. I threw the whole thing into the garbage — a sad, sad day in blogging land when you have to do this. There are starving people in the world and here I am mucking up pork, which is about the easiest thing to cook, as I now know.
Round Two (AKA the proper and easy way to do it):
- I used a pork tenderloin and I didn’t try to thinly slice it and roll it up. I just cooked it simply and perfectly.
- I didn’t use old Christmas-tree needles in the sauce. I threw in a few sprigs of fresh herbs, then removed them prior to adding the cream.
- In general, I just thought about you guys and asked myself, “How can I make this easy enough for anyone to make it and make it well?”
And that is how I nailed the second preparation of Pork Tenderloin in Spiked Cider Cream Sauce. The pork is pink, tender, and juicy. The sauce is herbacious and malty and I want to spoon it over everything on my plate, perhaps eat it by the spoonful, maybe lick the plate when my fork can no longer scoop up any more. And so I did. Thankfully, I was in the privacy of my own home, but I don’t know that eating this in public would stop me from licking the plate either.
Pork Tenderloin in Spiked Cider Cream Sauce
Pork Tenderloin in Spiked Cider Cream Sauce is an easy weeknight dinner recipe. You'll want to spoon the herbacious and malty sauce over everything. Adapted from Irish Pub Cooking.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 pound pork tenderloin
- 2 shallots chopped
- 1 sprig rosemary
- 1 sprig thyme + more for garnish
- squeeze of lemon
- 1/3 cup hard cider
- 1/3 cup chicken stock
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 tablespoon flour
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- freshly cooked peas to serve
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
Season tenderloin with salt and black pepper. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the pork and sear until browned on all sides. Transfer to a baking dish and roast until desired doneness, about 13-15 minutes for medium tenderloin.
Meanwhile, add the shallots to your skillet and cook in the remaining oil over medium heat. Cook until softened, stirring frequently, about 5 minutes. Add cider, stock, whole rosemary sprig, whole thyme sprig, and lemon juice. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly, then reduce to a simmer and stir occasionally.
Mash the butter and flour together in a small bowl. Remove the rosemary and thyme sprig from the liquid mixture and slowly whisk in butter and flour mixture. Cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes. Add the cream, bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer.
Slice the pork. Spoon sauce over the pork. Garnish with extra thyme sprigs. Serve with peas and remaining sauce.
More savory St. Patrick’s Day recipes:
(Please know that I am an affiliate for this cookbook. That means, if you make a purchase through one of the above links, I will receive a commission. However, these opinions are all my own.)