Sometimes, I use recipes that I find in books or online. Sometimes, I use recipes that one of my incredibly talented family members shares with me. And sometimes, I just throw a bunch of stuff together and hope upon hope that it doesn’t taste like slop!! My Apple Pecan Pork Loin is one of those throw-it-all-together-and-see-what-happens dishes.
My kids can be picky eaters sometimes–especially my oldest and my youngest–but they all like apples and they all like pork chops and tenderloin. One of my favorite restaurant dishes is the Applewood Smoked Pork Tenderloin with Apple Relish, that they serve at the Apple Barn in Pigeon Forge, TN. I wanted to try to recreate it at home, but I couldn’t make it happen. What did happen was totally different, but absolutely amazing. This dish has a little sweet, a little crunch, a little savory, and a lot of comfort!
Apple Pecan Pork Loin
Pork tenderloin, sliced (You can use a regular bone-in chop if you prefer.)
Seasoned salt, 1/8 teaspoon per chop
Ground mustard, 1/8 teaspoon per chop
8 Apples, chopped
2 Cups brown sugar
1 and 1/2 Tablespoons Cinnamon
2 teaspoons nutmeg
1 Cup water
1/2 Cup butter (one stick)
3/4 Cup pecans
Place the tenderloin slices in a pan. (I used nine, which came out to about three pounds.) Sprinkle with seasoned salt and ground mustard. A little cooking spray or oil will keep the pork from sticking to the pan and I like to rub the seasonings in so that they actually stay on the pork. Cook on medium heat until brown on both sides and done in the middle.
While the pork is cooking, chop your apples. I generally use at least eight, but you could adjust it for the amount of pork you have. I love versatile recipes!!
Put chopped apples into the butter and let cook until somewhat soft. Or leave them crispy is that’s what you like–again, versatility!! Add cinnamon, nutmeg, brown sugar, and water. Let it come to a simmer and then turn down the heat.
Don’t forget to check on your pork every now and then and flip it when one side gets brown. You want it done, but you don’t want it dry. Or burnt! The slices I used were pretty thick, so I cooked them about five minutes on each side. They will cook a little longer after you add the apples, but not much.
Add pecans to the apple mixture. If you have whole pecans, you may want to crush them a little.
After the pecans have cooked in the apples for a bit, pour the entire contents of the pan on top of the pork.
Let all that yummy goodness fuse together for a few minutes (at least seven or eight, if you can wait that long). I like to flip the pork over and make sure it gets apple on both sides!
Put it on a plate and enjoy! We like ours with potatoes and biscuits (sorry, they weren’t finished cooking yet) and either green beans or peas. Well, okay, I like green beans or peas. The kiddos don’t always eat those. Or the Super Trooper for that matter.
I know it doesn’t sound that great, but there is just something about the sauce from the apples when it mixes with the potatoes. Oh my mercy, it’s delicious!!
Even my pickiest eaters request this dish on a regular basis. Give it a try and let me know what you think!!