Serves a Crowd

Cider-Orange Brined Pork Tenderloin with Fruit Compote

October 13, 2011
1 Ratings
  • Serves 4-6
Author Notes

Here is a relatively simple roast which gives more to your dinner guests than you put into it....great for impressing house guests and in-laws.
Note: If you don't have tangerine, an orange will do - just be sure not to get any of the bitter white pith. —Niknud

Test Kitchen Notes

Having not eaten pork tenderloin in years, I trusted niknud to make it worthwhile, which she did, grandly. The fruit and herb brine lightly flavors the meat, while making it surprisingly juicy. The star of this show, however, is a tangerine, rosemary and garlic rub -- a brilliant gremolata, really -- which you slather on the meat before roasting it. That rub made the house smell wonderful, as it worked its magic to create an aromatic crust on the cooked meat. The boldness of the red wine in the compote keeps the sweetness of the fruit perfectly in check. It’s terrific with the pork, but I’d also serve this compote with roast beef or a holiday turkey or ham, any time. Great recipe! - AntoniaJames —AntoniaJames

What You'll Need
  • Cider-Orange Juice Brined Pork Tenderloin
  • 4 cups apple cider, divided
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon whole peppercorns
  • 3/4 cup fresh rosemary leaves (I think they're called leaves?)
  • 1/3 cup peeled garlic
  • 2 tablespoons tangerine zest
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 2 teaspoons fresh ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 pork tenderloins (about 2 1/3 lbs total)
  • Fruit Compote
  • 1 cup red wine (I used a red blend)
  • 1/3 cup boiled cider
  • 2.5 cups diced apple (I used Macouns)
  • 1.5 cups quartered seedless red grapes
  • 2/3 cup golden raisins
  • several strips of tangerine peel (big enough to pick out later)
  1. Cider-Orange Juice Brined Pork Tenderloin
  2. Remove the silver skin from the pork tenderloins.
  3. Heat 2 cups of cider with the sugar and kosher salt until dissolved. Put into a bowl large enough to hold the tenderloins. Add the remaining cup of cold cider, orange juice, sprig of rosemary and peppercorns and stir. Add the two tenderloins, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1-2 hours.
  4. Preheat oven to 425.
  5. Remove the tenderloins from the brining mixture. Rinse well and pat dry with paper towels.
  6. In a food processor, combine rosemary leaves (leaves?), garlic, tangerine zest, sea salt and fresh ground pepper. Combine until you have a thick paste. With the processor running, gradually add the olive oil.
  7. Rub the outside of the tenderloins generously with the herb mixture. Place tenderloins in a roasting pan (and feel free to use a rack if you have one) just big enough to hold both and roast until done - about 40 minutes or so. Check earlier rather than later because there is nothing worse than an overdone tenderloin...with the possible exception of roast beef but only because it costs more.
  8. Remove tenderloins and tent with foil for 10-15 minutes. Slice thinly and serve with compote. Sit back and enjoy the accolades!
  1. Fruit Compote
  2. Combine all of the ingredients in a wide sauce pan. Gently boil for 15 minutes with the lid on and then remove and boil until most of the liquid has evaporated - about 20 more minutes.
  3. Remove the tangerine peel and serve the compote with the pork tenderloin

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • AntoniaJames
  • Niknud
  • gingerroot

Recipe by: Niknud

Full-time working wife and mother of two small boys whose obsessive need to cook delicious food is threatening to take over what little free time I have. I grew up in a family of serious cookers but didn't learn to cook myself until I got married and got out of the military and discovered the joys of micro-graters, ethiopian food, immersion blenders and watching my husband roll around on the floor after four servings of pulled pork tamales (with real lard!) complaining that he's so full he can't feel his legs. Trying to graduate from novice cooker to ranked amateur. The days of 'the biscuit incident of aught five' as my husband refers to it are long past but I still haven't tried my hand at paella so I'm a work in progress!

5 Reviews

AntoniaJames October 28, 2011
Just a footnote on this one . . . . we had the leftover fruit compote with roast chicken a few days later. (I'd spatchcocked it and braise-roasted it in a quick oven with some onions, marinated artichoke hearts, and fresh rosemary.) The compote was the perfect complement! The leftovers from the pork roast made outrageously tasty sandwiches, too. Love this recipe!! ;o)
AntoniaJames October 20, 2011
Love the second sentence of Step 7. I am really looking forward to making this. And eating sandwiches the next day!! ;o)
Niknud October 15, 2011
Thanks gingerroot! Brining is so great for tenderloins because they are such a lean cut of meat and can overcook so quickly. Brining makes them a bit more forgiving. Didn't know if I'd be able to get a recipe in this week, but pulled this one out of my, uh, hat the day after returning from vacation. Glad you liked it!
gingerroot October 14, 2011
This sounds delicious; I love the citrus with the rosemary and then the added flavor bonus of the cider brine. YUM!
Niknud October 13, 2011
Missing steps: For some reason, steps are vanishing from my recipe. Here are the errata for the recipe in comment form - maybe this will do.....

There should be a sprig of fresh rosemary added to the brining mixture.

After step 3 of the tenderloin recipe should read: Remove the tenderloins from the brining mixture, rinse well and pat dry with papertowels.

After the missing step 4 should be the following: In a food processor, combine the rosemary leaves, garlic, tangerine zest, sea salt and fresh ground pepper. Process until a thick paste forms. Gradually add the olive oil through the feed tube and process for a few more seconds.