Looking for another COVID-19 meal? Try this excellent, easy-to-make slow cooker recipe for pork tenderloin with white wine, apples, and thyme.
I know what you’re thinking. It’s time for another of Damon’s recipes.
Because you’re hungry, aren’t you? Of course you are.
And what’s better than simple, nourishing food that any old dolt (like me) can throw in a crockpot while they’re writing, making videos, fixing a typewriter, or homeschooling their kid over FaceTime?
Answer? Why, nothing at all.
And so … in keeping with my pork fascination, today’s recipe is Pork Tenderloin with White Wine, Apples, and Thyme.
Are you ready?
You’d better be. This one’s delicious.
Here we go.
Pork Tenderloin, Not Pork Shoulder
As always, I’ll post all the ingredients you’ll need at the end of the recipe.
But this part is very important:
First, you’ll need a four pound cut of pork loin.
Not pork shoulder, like we used in the previous recipe. Pork tenderloin.
Let’s be honest. It can be easy to confuse pork loin with pork tenderloin. (This article explains the difference.)
Both loin and tenderloin come from the animal’s back. But tenderloin, as its name implies, is … well, more tender. And far less fatty.
Pork shoulder is an altogether different cut of meat. Also called a picnic cut, or pork butt, it comes off the animal’s hind or front shoulder. The bone is almost always left in, and the meat is much more marbleized, which can be great for slow cookers.
But not for this recipe.
Got your cut of pork tenderloin ready?
Then let’s move on to the step where we …
Spark Up Your Range and Sear Your Cut
Grab the largest skillet in your arsenal.
Melt a tablespoon of butter in it.
We’re about to sear your pork. But have a care.
Searing a cut of pork of this size takes longer than you might expect.
ADVANCE NOTICE: If your cut is too big (and at four pounds, it probably is), cut it half and sear each piece by turns.
(That’s what I did.)
How do you sear pork tenderloin?
Just put your pork in the butter and leave it there four or five minutes or so. Turn it once and repeat on the other side.
Remember, this isn’t physics. There’s no hard and fast, numerical answer for how to do this right.
You just want your pork to get nice and golden brown on the outside. Not grey and dingy looking, the way pork can look when it’s undercooked. Golden brown.
When you’ve seared both sides of both your pieces of pork, add the meat, drippings, and butter to your crockpot.
You may have to wiggle them a bit to fit both pieces nicely but that’s okay. Good meat loves company.
Go ahead and add your spices at this point: thyme, sale, pepper, and honey.
Now it’s time to…
Process Your Apples and Onions
We’re working with the tartest apples you can find.
Any green apple should do the trick. They’re often the tartest you can find.
Be sure to skin and core your apples before cutting them.
And slice them as thinly as possible.
Just try to go thin.
When you’re finished, process your onions the same way and add everything to your crockpot.
If you want to throw an extra pat of butter in, now would be the time to do it.
Trust me, you’ll thank me later.
Start Whining … Err, Wining
The last step is to pour in your dry white wine.
Use whatever strikes your fancy here.
Albariños and Sauvignon Blancs can be nice.
Personally, I chose an inexpensive Chardonnay, which did the trick perfectly.
Here’s the rule of thumb I was taught when cooking with wine: if it isn’t good to drink on its own, it isn’t good to cook with.
For this reason, I almost always avoid wines branded for cooking and go with the real thing.
Guess what? I’ve never been less than satisfied.
Pour your chosen wine into your slow cooker and set its meter to HIGH or LOW, depending on how much time you’ve got.
I started making this recipe almost at the stroke of noon and I wanted it to be ready for dinner that evening.
So I settled on letting it stew for four hours on HIGH, after which, I tapered it off for two ore hours on LOW.
Which worked out perfectly.
Ready? Set? Enjoy!
This part is simple.
When you’re ready to eat, have at it.
You won’t have to slice your pork so much as fork a hunk onto your plate.
Be sure to smother it with generous amounts of the wine-butter-apple-and-onion sauce you created.
Choose appropriate side dishes to round out the meal, but don’t worry too much over that.
This pork tenderloin is so damned good, you won’t care what you’re eating it with.
PRO TIP: I enjoyed my plate with a glass of the same wine I cooked the pork in. And I wasn’t disappointed.
I know. Shocking, right?
Here’s hoping your meal turns out beautifully.
And, as always, friends … stay happy, stay healthy, and stay creative.
Pork Tenderloin with White Wine, Apples, and Thyme