Thursday, February 10, 2011

Pork Tenderloin with Apple and Onion Confit

This is my favorite thing I've made so far this year. The tenderloin is its usual buttery, tender self with a crust of spices including garam masala. If you don't have garam masala, don't panic. Just substitute a mixture of cumin, cinnamon, and coriander. If you don't have cumin, cinnamon, and coriander, put your computer down and get your arse to the store immediately, thanks.

I have to tell you as good as the tenderloin is, it's really just an excuse to make the confit. A confit, though fancy sounding with its French name and pronunciation (CON-FEE) is just something that's been slowly cooked for a long time. You might have seen duck confit on a menu or even ordered it before which is simply a duck leg slow roasted in duck fat and aromatics for a good long time until it's falling off the bone. But having consulted the web I learned that the definition has opened up a bit to other kinds of meats and even vegetables and fruit and no longer requires being submerged in fat to qualify as a confit.

This confit is simply onions and apple, started in butter and finished with a splash of cider vinegar. The closest thing I can liken it to is an adult version of apple sauce. Both sweet and savory. Comforting and exotic. Fric and frac.

Pork Tenderloin with Apple and Onion Confit
1 pork tenderloin (or 2 as confit will be enough for 2 smaller ones)
2 teaspoons garam masala, to season (or a combo of cumin, coriander and cinnamon)
salt and pepper, for seasoning
Dash of olive oil, for drizzling over tenderloin

4 tablespoons butter
1 super large or 2 small/medium pink lady apples, cored and thinly sliced to about 1/8 inch
2 large sweet onions, thinly sliced
1 bay leaf
white pepper
couple pinches kosher salt
1/8 or so teaspoon garam masala
couple pinches ground cinnamon
large pinch dried thyme
Splash of cider vinegar

Preheat the oven to 375.

Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil (for easy clean up), spray with nonstick spray, and set aside. Meanwhile, season the tenderloin well with garam masala, salt, and pepper. Place the pork onto your prepared baking sheet and drizzle with a smidge of olive oil. Roast for 25 minutes or just until pork is no longer pink on the inside and has the tiniest hint of a crust from the spices. Set aside and tent with foil to rest for 5 minutes before slicing on the diagonal into 1/2 inch or 3/4 inch pieces.

For the confit, add the butter to a heavy bottomed dutch oven and heat over medium heat. Add the apples, onions, bay leaf, white pepper, salt, garam masala, cinnamon, and thyme. Saute, stirring often for ten minutes. Reduce the heat to low/medium (or low if it's sizzling too much) and put the lid on to let simmer for 35 minutes, stirring occasionally. At end, add a splash of apple cider vinegar and stir in. Simmer another 5 minutes before stirring again. Serve warm over roasted meat or crostini.


Bridgett said...

The confit sounds like it really kicks up the flavor of the pork. I like the idea of an adult version of an applesauce. Sounds tasty!

Sinful Southern Sweets said...

Looks fabulous!! Need to try this very soon!

Jenn said...

Oh, Alisa, that looks soooooo good! I've had duck confit before and it was fantastic! I'm sure this is just as good, if not better!!! Plus, I've finally been inspired to make my own confit!! I, of course, thought it was much more complicated!!

Design Wine and Dine said...

We make pork tenderloin OFTEN because I get it in bulk for a very good price. That said, I am always looking for different ways to prepare it so I am 100% bookmarking this recipe - love its look and love/have all its ingredients! Thanks for sharing! :)

Pam said...

What an elegant and delicious looking dish.

Brownieville Girl said...

Oh this ticks all my boxes - spice and pink lady apples - Happy Days!!

Hope you had a wonderful time in Cork - I was down there two weekends ago, had a ball!!!!!