Intimate and cozy: Pork tenderloin for Thanksgiving

By Jim Bailey

This recipe is great for an intimate dinner for two or a cozy meal for three. Of course you can prepare this savory and sweet pork dish for more, but be forewarned, it may require a little more effort than you care to give.

A Yankee Thanksgiving Pork Tenderloin

At the end of this recipe, find two recipes that you can use to make your own Chinese 5 spice powder. It is great to have on hand and the uses are limitless for any and all meats.

1 lb. pork tenderloin
1 lb. small red or white potatoes, halved lengthwise
1/2 lb. carrots, unpeeled but washed, cut into 2-inch segments
1 T. olive oil
1 T. Chinese 5 spice powder
1 t. butter or margarine
1 large, hard apple*, cored and cut into 16 wedges
3/4 c. chicken broth
1/2 c. plus 1 t. apple cider
½ t. cornstarch
1 t. apple cider vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste

Pork tenderloin for an intimate dinner.

Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees F. Place the potatoes and carrots on a baking pan and drizzle lightly with oil. Roast until crisp tender, about 20 to 25 minutes while preparing pork. Meanwhile, pat the tenderloin dry and season with salt, pepper and Chinese 5 spice. Heat oil in a 12-inch ovenproof nonstick skillet over medium high heat until hot, but not smoking. Brown the tenderloin on all sides, about 5 minutes total. Remove potatoes and carrots from the oven and place in same skillet as pork. Transfer skillet to oven and roast until a thermometer inserted into center of meat registers 155 degrees F, about 12 to 15 minutes. Transfer meat and vegetables to a platter and let stand loosely covered by aluminum, 10 minutes before slicing.

While meat and vegetables are standing, heat butter in same skillet over medium high heat. Add apple wedges and sauté, turning occasionally, until crisp tender and golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer apples to a separate plate, add chicken stock and cider to skillet. Bring to a boil over high heat; meanwhile make a slurry of 1 t. apple cider and cornstarch in a small bowl. Whisk slurry in sauce and boil until thickened, reduce to about 1/2 (about 5 minutes) or until thickened. Remove from heat and stir in the vinegar, salt and pepper to taste, with the juices that have accumulated on the platter of meat and vegetables. Add the carrots, potatoes and apples: mix gently. Cut meat into ½-inch thick slices and serve one slice on plate, pile with vegetables then a layer of a pork slice, finishing with the apple slices and sauce.

*Rome Beauty, Cortland or Empire apples are perfect.

While authentic Chinese 5-spice powder encompasses sweet, sour, bitter, pungent and salty, you can use as is or alter any of these spices to suit your fancy.

1 T. black pepper
1 T. ground anise
1 T. ground fennel seed
1 T. ground cinnamon
1 t. ground cloves

How about this gourmet recipe? A little more expensive, but well worth the price.

2 T. ground star anise
2 T. ground fennel seeds
2 t. crushed cassia (with the cinnamon at your health food store)
2 t. ground Szechwan peppercorns
1/4 t. ground cloves

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Filed Under: Community and Arts LifeThe Yankee Chef

About the Author: Jim Bailey is a third generation Yankee Chef, New England food historian and newspaper columnist. His first cookbook, simply titled The Yankee Chef, has been published. He welcomes all feedback, questions or comments at

RSSComments (0)

Trackback URL

Comments are closed.