Cider-Glazed Pork Loin with Carrots and Brussels Sprouts

PHOTO BY KATIE NOBLE / STYLED BY CATRINE KELTY

Pork and cider are a great fall combination. Cooking the cider down for the glaze creates a more intense apple flavor. Since tenderloin is a lean cut, it can easily overcook and dry out—be sure to monitor the temperature with a meat thermometer and let it rest before slicing.

Serves 4–6

2 pounds pork tenderloin
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons neutral oil, like safflower or grapeseed
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 pound carrots, halved or quartered lengthwise and cut into 3-inch lengths
2 cups Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved lengthwise

FOR THE GLAZE:
2 cups apple cider
¼ cup cider vinegar
3 tablespoons light brown sugar
1 inch piece fresh ginger, peeled, cut in 3 pieces and flattened with the side of your knife
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

About 15 minutes before you are ready to cook, place a large cast-iron skillet in the oven and set to 450°F to preheat.  

Pat the pork dry and rub with salt, pepper and garlic.

While the pan and oven heat, make the glaze. Combine cider, brown sugar, vinegar and ginger in a small pan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Allow the cider to reduce by half and thicken, about 10–15 minutes. Remove the ginger and whisk in mustard.

When the oven reaches 450°, carefully move the pan to the stovetop. Add oil and the pork. Return to the oven and roast uncovered for 10 minutes.

Reduce the oven temperature to 400°. Remove the pork from the oven, flip, add the vegetables and stir to coat with pan juices. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Pour the cider glaze over the pork and vegetables. Cover with foil and return to the oven for 10–15 minutes, or until a meat thermometer registers 140° in the thickest part. Rest for 5 minutes before slicing.

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Michael Floreak is a food writer who lives and often eats in Cambridge. His interviews with authors, chefs, writers, food policy experts and other characters from the food world have appeared regularly in the Boston Globe and To Market magazine. Michael holds a Master of Arts in Professional Writing from Carnegie Mellon University and recently completed a Master’s of Liberal Arts in Gastronomy from Boston University. In addition to writing about food, Michael works as a brand strategist and writer. You reach him by email at Michael.Floreak@gmail.com or follow on Twitter: @floreak.