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Pork Tenderloin with Apple-Cranberry Bourbon Sauce

by Chef Owen May and Dr. Michelle May

Pork Tenderloin with Apple-Cranberry Bourbon Sauce is a very elegant dish when the slices of pork are overlapped and the sauce is drizzled over the top and onto the serving platter. It makes a relatively simple but impressive meal to serve your family and guests.

Chef Notes

Pork tenderloin can be found in the meat department of most grocery stores. They are usually sold in packs of two. This recipe calls for a total weight of 1-1/2 pounds.

“Silver skin” is the shiny silvery membrane sometimes left on the pork tenderloin after the fat has been removed. It is very tough and will cause the meat to curl if left on. To remove the silver skin, slip the tip of a sharp knife between the skin and the meat and lift slightly as you slice it off.

To keep the tenderloin moist, “sear” the pork to cook the outside quickly while sealing in the juices. To sear, place the pork in an extremely hot pan, then turn to brown all sides.

Use extra caution when flaming bourbon. Move saucepan off of heat then light the liquid in the pan. Keep pan and flame away from any flammable materials. Allow liquid to burn out; it will die when the alcohol is gone.

You may substitute pears for the apples and dried cherries for the cranberries.

Consider cooking extra pork tenderloin to use on a salad, in fajitas, or with Asian inspired sauce and stir-fried vegetables for a quick second meal.

Health Notes

Pork is a good source of protein, iron, B-vitamins (B12, B6, thiamin, niacin and riboflavin), zinc, phosphorous, potassium, and magnesium. When the external visible fat on pork is removed before cooking, the result is a cut of meat that compares to chicken in calories, cholesterol and fat content. Pork tenderloin is the leanest, but any cuts from the loin are good selections.

Using fruit in your main dish meals, like the apples and cranberries in this recipe, is a flavorful way to liven up low-fat ingredients and provides additional vitamins, fiber, and phytochemicals.

Number of Servings: 6


Pork Tenderloin

2 pork tenderloins (approximately 1 1/2 pounds)
1 tablespoon dried chives
1 tablespoon dried parsley
1 tablespoon dried thyme
1 tablespoon vegetable oil

Apple-Cranberry Bourbon Sauce

2 Granny Smith Apples, thinly sliced
1/2 cup dried cranberries
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 cup apple cider
1/2 cup bourbon


Pork Tenderloin
  1. Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Remove silver skin from pork if necessary (see Chef’s Notes).
  3. Mix the herbs (chives, parsley, and thyme) in a large plastic bag.
  4. Rub pork with the oil then place into the plastic bag to coat evenly with herbs.
  5. Heat heavy skillet on the stove on high until smoking.
  6. Place pork in the skillet and sear it, turning until all sides are browned (see Chef’s Notes).
  7. Once pork is seared, place it in a pan in a 400 degree oven (if your skillet is oven safe, you may place it directly into the oven from the stove).
  8. Bake pork for 9-13 minutes or until desired tenderness. Do not overcook; it should still be moist inside.
  9. After baking, let the pork rest for 10 minutes.
  10. Slice into 1/2 inch thick slices and serve with Apple-Cranberry Bourbon sauce.
Apple-Cranberry Bourbon Sauce
  1. Thinly slice the apples and cook in a saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Add cranberries and stir to heat.
  3. Remove from heat then add bourbon and carefully light on fire to burn off the alcohol (see Chef’s Notes).
  4. When flame has died, add cider and sugar then simmer until the volume of liquid has been reduced by half.
  5. Add salt and pepper to taste. Spoon warm sauce over sliced Pork Tenderloin.
  6. Serve with Roasted Roots and Lemony Green Beans.

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