From the simple grilled pork chop with apple purée to any other more complex variation, pork and apples are a perfect marriage. I used golden raisins with sweated onions and made two sauces with them, one creamy with added cream and mustard and the other just simple sweated onions. —Maria Teresa Jorge
1 1/2 pounds
medium gold onions thinly sliced
clove of garlic, green inner part removed and thinly sliced
apple, skin removed and medium shredded
dried golden raisins
1 1/4 cups
Hard Cider - Cidre Brut (+ or - 8.5 % alcohol)
1 1/2 tablespoons
fresh lemon thyme (reserve one for decoration)
Season the pork tenderloin with salt and freshly grated pepper. Insert the 8 cloves around the tenderloin and set aside.
Thinly slice the onions and the garlic - you can use a mandolin, it's really easy, just watch your fingers.
In a sautee pan that has a tight fitting lid, melt the butter and the olive oil. As soon as the butter is semi melted add the onions and garlic and sweat for 5 minutes over medium flame watching that they don't brown, just to a translucent point. With a steel skimmer, remove all the onion and garlic and set aside. be very meticulous as you don't want any onion or garlic left in the pan because they will burn and leave a bitter taste.
In the same pan, brown the meat all around, one side at a time letting brown so you don't have to brown each side more then once - it will toughen the meat).
Meanwhile, put the stock in a small pan and keep warm over low heat.
Add back the sweated onions and garlic. Deglaze with the Calvados, allow to cook for 1 or 2 minutes for the alcohol to evaporate, add the Hard Cider, the raisins, the herbs and half the stock. Bring to a boil and cover. Allow to cook for 15 minutes adding more warm stock when necessary, one tablespoon at a time.
After 15 minutes add the shredded apple and more stock if necessary, always in small quantities, and cook for a further 10 minutes. Check the seasoning.
Pre-heat the oven to 120 º F to keep food warm when necessary. Put the serving dish in the oven to warm it up.
Remove the pork and keep it warm covered in aluminium foil. Put in the warm oven.
Remove all the herbs and discard. Divide the onion, garlic, raisin and apple mixture in half, keeping half warm in the warm oven.
The other half put in a plastic beaker (wide enough to process with an immersion blender) or a food processor. Add the cream and the mustard and process with an immersion hand held blender or in a food procesor until silky smooth. It will take a little while as you have to process both the raisins, apple and onions but keep going until it's really smooth. Check the seasoning.
Put the smooth sauce in a small pan over low heat and warm it up - don't let it boil, just simmer it.
Remove the cloves from the tenderloin and discard. Slice the pork tenderloin.
Serve in a warm plate: put the smooth sauce underneath, the slices of pork on top and cover with the sweated onion mixture with raisins and shredded apple. Sprinkle wth a little freshly ground pepper and a sprig of thyme. Serve with either a potato mash or soft polenta.