Pork tenderloin has never been a favorite. But, when considering how to use up my apple cider, it seemed like an obvious savory partner. Indeed it was.

I rarely post recipes featuring meat on Whipped for a few reasons.  First, taking appetizing photographs of meat is exceedingly difficult. Often when I do have a winning recipe, I take a look at the photo and realize that its deliciousness may not be convincing. Second, I don’t eat that much meat anymore. We regularly tuck chicken in quesadillas, add sausage to pasta sauce or include some protein atop a salad but unlike the meals of my Midwestern childhood, meat is not usually my centerpiece.

I have also theorized that cooking really good meat (other than basic grilled fare) is actually in the special art of sauces. Restaurant meals, even when they seem simple, usually feature meat that has been brined or glazed or drizzled with some wonderful liquid that quietly brings the protein into a new realm.

This winter, I plan to experiment further with roasting and braising to create comforting weekend meals and plenty of weekday leftovers.  This pork tenderloin was a successful start in my new venture.  The recipe was easy and the flavors delicious.  Be sure to make an extra tenderloin and stay tuned for my follow-up pork sandwiches with red cabbage and apple slaw.

Pork Tenderloin with Apple Cider Glaze

2 (1 pound) pork tenderloins
Olive Oil
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
1 1/2 cups apple cider
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon dried thyme

Heat oven to 450 degrees.  Rinse and dry the tenderloins with paper towels.  Brush the meat with olive oil and season well with the salt and pepper.  In a large frying pan, heat additional oil over medium-high heat.  Add pieces of meat turning to brown on all sides, about 4 minutes total.  Set pork on a baking sheet and cook in the oven for 15-25 minutes depending on the thickness of the meat or until the middle of the tenderloin registers 145-150 degrees.

Meanwhile, add apple cider and vinegar to the pan over high heat.  Stir to scrape up browned bits of meat.  Add thyme.  Cook until the mixture down until it has reduced by half and the mixture starts to thicken (8-10 minutes).

When the pork is cooked, remove and let it rest for 5 minutes.  Slice pork tenderloin into 1/2 inch thick slices and arrange on platter or individual plates.  Spoon sauce over the meat.