We love pork tenderloin for its versatility. With some simple tweaks, it can function as a quick weeknight dinner or as a fancy-ish meal to serve for a special occasion. This Skillet Pork Tenderloin with Apples and Potatoes works either way. It’s simple to prepare, but the flavors are bold and it looks absolutely gorgeous when it comes out of the oven.
This Skillet Pork Tenderloin with Apples and Potatoes uses a combination of sweet and savory ingredients that play nicely off the saltyness of the pork itself. The marinade for this recipe is a simple mix of dried herbs, with a little bit of kick from the peppers and some added sweetness from the apple cider.
Pork tenderloin is a lean, and relatively cheap, cut of pork. However some people think that it can be too dry. By searing off the pork tenderloin first, we are able to give it a gorgeous color that will continue to darken in the oven. This technique also helps to keep the pork from drying out as it finishes cooking in the oven, since all the juices get locked in during the sear.
Then we pair the pork with the crispy potatoes, soft apples and sweet roasted shallots to balance out the meaty bites of the pork tenderloin itself.
For the apple, we prefer a honeycrisp, pink lady or similarly bright, crisp apple. This brings a lovely acidity to the sweetness of the apple cider and roasted shallots
How to Make Skillet Pork Tenderloin with Apples and Potatoes
First we start by marinating the pork in a combination of apple cider, minced garlic, dijon, honey, cumin, thyme, salt, black pepper and optional red pepper flakes. While marinating the pork is not entirely necessary to maintain its juicyness or flavor, in this case, it helps to marry the apple cider flavor more deeply into the pork.
Let it marinate for at least 2 hours up to overnight.
Next, we will sear off the tenderloin to trap all the juices inside. You want to do this over medium high heat, with a little bit of oil in a heavy bottomed pan. A cast-iron skillet is good here, so that you can transfer it to the oven directly. Make sure to get a good color on all side of the pork before removing it to a plate.
Because the vegetables will take a bit longer to cook in the oven than the pork will to finish cooking, we’ll let the pork sit on a plate for about 15 minutes while we start cooking the veggies.
The potatoes, apples and shallots can all get added into the skillet the pork was seared in with a couple tablespoons of apple cider marinade to deglaze the pan and tie everything together. Add a sprinkle of salt to taste.
Once the vegetables have started to soften, we remove them from the oven and nestle the pork in the middle. Continue roasting for about 15 more minutes, until the pork is cooked to about 140 F.
Remove the skillet from the oven when the pork is done cooking and let it rest for a few minutes before slicing and serving.
Skillet Pork Tenderloin with Apples and Potatoes
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Marinating Time: 2 hours to overnight
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes (plus marinating time)
Makes 3-4 servings
1 pork tenderloin
1 cup apple cider
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
1 tablespoon honey
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Red pepper flakes, optional
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 lb baby potatoes, halved
1 shallot, sliced thinly
Salt, to taste
In a small bowl or ziploc bag, combine the apple cider, minced garlic, dijon, honey, cumin, thyme, salt, black pepper and optional red pepper flakes. Stir well and nestle the pork tenderloin in the marinade, making sure it’s well coated. Place in the refrigerator and let sit for at least 2 hours or overnight.
Preheat the oven to 400 F.
Heat a cast iron skillet over medium high heat. Add the olive oil and sear the pork tenderloin for 1-2 minutes per side. Remove from the heat and place the tenderloin on a plate.
In the hot skillet, add 2-3 tablespoons of the pork marinade along with a tablespoon or so of water - it should bubble up. Use this to deglaze the pan by stirring and scraping up all the flavorful bits from the pork. Add the baby potatoes, apples and shallots to the skillet and stir in the marinade and deglazing liquid. Sprinkle with a bit of salt and pepper. Place in the oven and roast for 15 minutes.
Remove the skillet from the oven and stir the vegetables. Move them to the sides a bit to make room for the tenderloin, then nestle the pork in the skillet and put back in the oven for 15-20 minutes until the pork reaches 140 F on a meat thermometer. Remove from the oven and tent it with aluminum foil to let it rest for 5 minutes. Slice the pork and serve with the roasted vegetables.