Pork Tenderloin with Thyme-Fennel Spice Rub and Cider Cream Sauce
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
Fennel and thyme make a flavorful rub for pork tenderloin.
  • For spice rub:
  • 1 tsp. whole fennel seeds
  • 1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp. very coarse sea salt
  • 4 thyme sprigs, leaves only
  • 1 large garlic clove
  • For pork and sauce:
  • One 1 lb. pork tenderloin, trimmed
  • a little extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large honey crisp apple
  • 1 onion, diced
  • ½ cup fresh apple cider
  • a few tablespoons of cream
  • For vegetables:
  • 1-2 large red or purple-skinned potatoes, cut into matchsticks or julienned
  • 6 carrots (I used organic rainbow), cut into matchsticks, or julienned
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. For spice rub: In a spice grinder or mortar and pestle, grind the fennel seeds, black pepper, sea salt, thyme leaves, and garlic clove. Set aside.
  3. For pork: Drizzle a little olive oil on the pork tenderloin and rub about ¾ of the spice rub all over the meat. Let stand for a few minutes. Tie the pork tenderloin, if desired, for even cooking.
  4. Heat a large, oven-proof skillet over high heat. Add a little oil and sear the pork tenderloin on all sides, lowering the heat a bit, if it starts to burn. Add the onion, diced apple, thyme sprig, and a bit of water to prevent burning on the bottom of the pan. Transfer to the oven and roast for 20-25 minutes.
  5. Remove from oven and place on stove-top. Transfer the pork to a plate and cover with foil. Allow it to rest while preparing the sauce and vegetables.
  6. For vegetables: Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Toss the vegetables with a little olive oil and the remaining ¼ of the spice rub. Spread evenly on the baking sheet and roast for about 20 minutes, or until tender.
  7. For sauce: While vegetables are roasting and pork is resting, deglaze the skillet with the apple cider, making sure to scrape up any browned bits on the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon. Bring it to a simmer and add the cream. Allow it to reduce a little bit, but not too much, and transfer to a small bowl and cover it to keep the sauce warm.
  8. To serve: When vegetables are finished roasting, transfer them to a serving platter. Cut the pork tenderloin into thin rounds and lay across the vegetables. Serve with the cider cream sauce on the side.
Recipe by Cafe Johnsonia at https://cafejohnsonia.com/2014/02/pork-tenderloin-thyme-fennel-spice-rub-cider-cream-sauce.html