this recipe. She used ready-made applesauce and canned pumpkin puree, which you can certainly do. However, my apple tree continues to produce unrelentingly, and the farmer's market has those nice little sugar pie pumpkins, so I made mine from scratch. I'm crazy about fresh pumpkin these days, especially if I roast it first and get a nice caramelization.
Homemade applesauce also made a big difference, partially because the apples were so flavorful and partially because I liked that it was on the chunky side. I used my crock pot which made it particularly easy. Just combine 1 cup of water with the juice of 1 lemon in your slow cooker. Take 4 lbs of apples and peel, core, quarter, and slice thinly. Throw them into the slow cooker in the lemon-water mixture as you cut them up. Then cover and cook on low for about 4 hours. I used a potato masher at the end to smooth it out, but if you want it completely pureed you can use an immersion blender or food processor.
I seasoned the pork simply with salt, pepper, rosemary, and sage. You could use dried herbs or fresh ones. I still have lots of rosemary in my herb garden but I only had dried sage, so I used a combination.
HERBED PORK TENDERLOIN WITH ROASTED PUMPKIN APPLESAUCE
- 1 pork tenderloin, about a pound (can substitute 4 pork chops instead)
- 1 Tbs minced fresh rosemary or 1 tsp dried
- 1 Tbs minced fresh sage or 1 tsp dried
- Fat of choice for cooking
- 1/4 cup chicken broth (can substitute water in a pinch)
- 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce (see description for recipe for homemade applesauce, or buy it pre-made)
- 1/4 cup roasted pumpkin puree (I used this recipe and then mashed it with a potato masher; alternately just buy canned pumpkin puree)
- 1/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice (I used Spicehound)
- Salt and pepper
- Combine the applesauce, pumpkin, and pumpkin pie spice. Set aside.
- Cut the pork tenderloin crosswise into four pieces. For each piece, set it on one of the cut sides on a piece of plastic wrap, cover it with another piece of plastic wrap, and pound it flat with a meat mallet. It should end up 1/4"-1/2" thick. Season both sides of each pork medallion with salt, pepper, sage, and rosemary.
- Heat a large skillet over medium-high. Add a bit of oil to coat the pan. Sear the pork on each side until nicely browned, then check for doneness. The meat should have a slightly pink color but should be cooked through with clear juices. If it needs to cook longer, cover the pan and reduce heat to low. Cook until done. Remove the pork and set them on a plate, tented with foil to keep warm.
- Pour off any excess grease from the pan, if present. Turn the heat on the pan back to medium-high, then add the chicken broth or water and boil, scraping the pan with a wooden spoon to deglaze it. Once it has reduced to about a tablespoon of liquid, stir it into the pumpkin applesauce.
- Serve the pork with the pumpkin applesauce and some green vegetables or a salad.