As most of you know, I am a huge supporter of local farmers, producers, and artisans. I try and buy local products whenever possible and after reading Fast Food Nation, I am even more committed to purchasing local or humanely raised meat. Visiting your local farmers market will open your eyes to the options and opportunities available to you to purchase locally.
My favorite farmers market in NYC is the Union Sqaure Greenmarket (probably because it’s largest in the city and also open 4 days a week). I based this entire meal around the protein, a pork tenderloin from Flying Pigs Farm which is located in Washing County, New York where they raised heritage breed pigs.
I tried to keep everything really simple to let the pork shine. When you are using heritage breed pork or chickens, you want to be able to taste the flavor of the meat because it is so much more complex, rich, and intense than factory-farmed animals.
Spice Crusted Pork with Roasted Apples and Potatoes
Makes 4 servings
1 serving = 8 Points Plus
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
- 1# pork tenderloin, fat trimmed
- 1 tbsp fennel seeds
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 1 tbsp fresh sage, minced
- salt and pepper
- 2 tsp vegetable oil
- 2 large Rome apples, each apple cut into 6 pieces (about 1#)
- 1 large shallot, minced
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
- ¼ cup apple juice
- ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 tbsp honey
- 1# mini new potatoes
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp tarragon, minced
- 1 tbsp parsley, minced
- salt and pepper
Pre-heat your oven to 350°F. Crush your fennel seeds with the bottom of a heavy sauté pan or a meat mallet. This allows the essential oils and aromatics to be released from the seeds. Combine the fennel seeds, dried thyme, and fresh sage in a small bowl. Rub the pork tenderloin with this mixture and wrap the pork in plastic wrap. Let this hang out on the counter for at least 30 minutes. This allows the spice mixture to penetrate the pork tenderloin and also takes the “chill” off the pork tenderloin for more even cooking.
After 30 minutes, unwrap your pork and pre-heat a heavy-bottom (oven-safe) sauté pan over medium-high heat. Spray with cooking spray and also add 2 tsp of vegetable oil. Season the pork heavily with salt and pepper. Add your pork to the sauté pan and sear on all sides. This will take about 6-7 minutes. You want to develop a rich brown color without burning the herb crust.
When the pork is seared on all sides, remove the pork from the pan and set aside. Lower your heat to medium-low and add your apples. I chose Rome apples because they are said to be the best cooking apple. You can feel free to substitute your favorite apple, just be careful because some apples are meant to be eaten raw.
You want to brown your apples on both sides, allow them to cook for at least 5 minutes. When both sides of the apples are browned, add your shallots, and garlic and cook for at 1-2 minutes. Place your pork back in the sauté pan (with the apples) and place into the oven. Cook for 10-13 minutes or until pork is about medium (the internal temperature is around 140°F). The best way to tell the “doneness” of meat is to use a thermometer. When the pork is finished remove from the sauté pan along with apples. Allow the pork to rest and cover with aluminum foil.
Place the sauté pan back on the stove, and turn the heat up to medium. In a separate bowl, combine chicken broth, mustard, apple juice, apple cider vinegar, and honey. Add this mixture to the sauté pan and allow to simmer and reduce for 3-4 minutes until the right consistency is achieved. Add your apples back in the sauce allow them to hang out for 2 minutes, just to get a nice coating and to be heated through.
For the roasted potatoes, coat your potatoes in the olive oil and season very, VERY heavily with salt and pepper. Roast them in the oven for 30 minutes or until tender.
When they are finished (right before serving them) toss the potatoes with the tarragon and parsley. Enjoy this local meal with people you love.
I know you might be thinking that this is the perfect dish for fall or even the winter season, and you’re right! However, March and April are dormant months in New York…they are also rainy, chilly, and gray. And since I still try to buy local whenever possible you’re still going to be eating winter squash, pears, and apples throughout the early spring months. And that’s okay because they are delicious!