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Pork Tenderloin Medallions with Apples & Onions in Creamy Apple Cider Sauce

This is comfort food at its best. Rosemary and thyme-rubbed pork tenderloin medallions are served in an insanely delicious apple cider sauce that’s thickened just slightly with a bit of crème fraiche. You can stop there for an amazing one-pan dinner, but I love to brighten things up with a zippy Apple Slaw. To take the meal over the top, serve the pork over this Creamy Polenta or these Whipped Potatoes and pile the slaw on top. If you’re making the whole meal, start the polenta or mashed potatoes first, then make the pork and slaw.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time45 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: pork medallions, pork tenderloin apple, pork tenderloin medallions
Servings: 4 people

Equipment

  • Large skillet

Ingredients

  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh rosemary
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme
  • 1 large pork tenderloin ( ¼-1 ½ pounds), trimmed of silver skin
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • ½ medium yellow onion, finely diced
  • 1 crisp apple, such as Fugi, Honecrisp or Pink Lady, cored and cut into ½-inch dice (I leave the skin on, but you can peel it if you prefer)
  • 1 cup apple cider
  • 3 tablespoons crème fraiche

For serving (optional)

  • Creamy Polenta/Grits (see recipe link in header above)
  • Apple & Walnut Slaw (see recipe link in header above)

Instructions

Prep the pork

  • Sprinkle the rosemary and thyme all over the pork tenderloin, pressing to adhere. Cut the pork crosswise into 1-inch rounds. Flatten them slightly to form even medallions (aim for ¾-1/2-inch thick medallions). Season with salt and pepper.   

Sear the medallions

  • Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the pork medallions in a single layer, being careful not to overcrowd the pan (there should be some space in between each medallion; if your pan isn’t big enough, do this in 2 batches). Cook until golden brown on the bottom, about 3 minutes. Flip and cook until golden on the other side, an additional 2-3 minutes. Transfer the medallions to a plate (reserve the skillet).

Cook the onions and apples

  • In the same skillet, heat the remaining tablespoon of olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions with a pinch of salt and pepper. Cook, stirring often, until lightly softened, about 2 minutes. Stir in the apples. Reduce the heat to medium; cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the apples and onions are golden and tender, 4-6 minutes longer (if the drippings on the bottom of the pan start to look too dark, add a splash or two of water). Transfer the apples and onions to the plate with the pork (reserve the skillet).

Make the pan sauce and finish

  • Put the pan back over medium heat and pour in the apple cider. Using a wooden spoon, scrape up any brown bits on the bottom of the pan. Increase the heat to high and bring to a boil. Reduce the cider by half (it should look slightly thickened). Whisk in the crème fraiche. Taste the sauce and season with salt and pepper.
  • Slide the pork, apples and onions back into the pan with the sauce (along with any juices on the plate); stir to coat. Cook over gentle heat until the pork is cooked through and happily bathed in the sauce, about 2-4 minutes.

Serve

  • Serve the pork, apples and sauce on their own (or over cooked rice), or pile them over Creamy Polenta/Grits or Whipped Potatoes. If you’d like, top each dish with Apple & Walnut Slaw for an extra bit of dazzle.

Notes

Do Ahead: The pan with the pork, apples and sauce can sit, covered (off the heat), for up to 30 minutes. Reheat gently before serving.
Tips:
  • Using a heavy-bottomed skillet will ensure the pork sears evenly. You can use a cast-iron, enameled cast iron or stainless steel pan
  • This recipe is also fabulous with pork chops! Swap out the pork tenderloin for 4 pork chops and increase the cooking time as needed (the internal temperature should read 145˚F/63˚C on an instant-read meat thermometer). 
  • If you don’t have fresh rosemary and thyme you can use 1 teaspoon each of dried. 
  • You can swap out the creme fraiche for full-fat sour cream. 
  • If the pork is sticking to the pan give it a bit more time—it will release from the pan once it’s browned and caramelized.  
  • For the ultimate dinner, serve these pork medallions with Creamy Grits or Whipped Potatoes, and Apple Slaw!