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Vanilla Cider Pork with Pears

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I spotted this recipe on the food blog "Noble Pig", which was adapted from Cuisine At Home. I made a few minor adaptations, because I didn't have hard cider. Instead I used a little white wine (sauvignon blanc) and apple juice.
The combination of fresh pears, caramelized in butter, browned pork tenderloin medallions and a subtle hint of vanilla makes all the flavor layers come together and it's got a "wow" factor.

NOTE: I use vanilla bean paste and I always buy pure apple juice, without any added sugar or high fructose corn syrup.

Please visit my food blog for step-by-step photos on how to make this:
http://foodiewife-kitchen.blogspot.com/2009/11/vanilla-cider-pork-with-pears-i-should.html

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Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 Bosc pears, peeled, cored and quartered
  • 1 pound pork tenderloin, trimmed, sliced into twelve 1-inch thick medallions, seasoned
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup chicken broth (I didn't use this, and it turned out fine)
  • 1/2 cup hard apple cider (or fresh apple cider)
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise and scraped
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Details

Servings 4
Cooking time 25mins
Adapted from foodiewife-kitchen.blogspot.com

Preparation

Step 1

I like to cut my medallions in 2-inch thickness, cover it with plastic and flatten them with a mallet (or a very heavy skillet).

Season the flour with salt & pepper and whisk together. Dredge the pork in the flour. Set aside.

In a large skillet (not nonstick), melt butter over medium-high heat. Add pears and sauté until lightly browned on all sides; remove from pan.

Add a little bit of olive oil (1 to 2 tablespoons) to the pan and heat to medium high. Add pork medallions to the same pan, sautéing for 2 to 3 minutes on each side; turn over when golden brown and cook for 2 to 3 minutes more; remove from pan.

Deglaze the pan by adding the white wine, on a medium high heat (or use broth instead of wine). Add cider and cream; add to the pan and bring to a boil, then add vanilla pod and seeds. You can also use vanilla paste instead, which is more cost effective.

Boil the sauce until reduced by half, about 4 minutes.

Return pears and pork to the pan (pork on the bottom) along with any accumulated juices.

Boil until thicker, about 4 to 6 minutes. (The sauce will also thicken a bit when it's removed from the heat.) Season with salt and pepper before serving.

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