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Eric Akis: Pork and apples a tasty combo in seasonal dish

Tender pieces of pork, pounded into medallions are seared and served with a seasonal sauce strewn with wedges of apple.
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Seared medallions of pork tenderloin and apples are served in a rich sauce. ERIC AKIS

If you’re interested in cooking a lean, tender piece of protein, it’s hard to go wrong with pork tenderloin. As its name suggests, it certainly is tender, it’s also boneless, can be prepared in all sorts of ways and when compared to beef tenderloin, is fairly well priced.

The 375 gram piece of pork tenderloin I bought that yielded two servings cost $8.68, $4.34 per serving.

Pork and apples always work well together and, with a tree full of the latter in my backyard, I decided to combine them in today’s recipe.

To make it, I cut my piece of pork tenderloin, widthwise, into four roughly equally pieces. I then pounded each piece of pork until they were each about three-quarter inch thick. These medallions of pork tenderloin were then seared in a skillet until just cooked through, and then transferred to a plate.

The next steps were to cook apple wedges in the skillet, transfer them to the plate the pork was set on, and then make a stock-based sauce in the skillet that was flavoured with tangy cider vinegar, sweet honey, fresh, aromatic thyme and spicy ground ginger. When the sauce had simmered and thickened, the seared pork and apples were returned to the skillet, heated through a few minutes in the sauce, and then was ready to serve.

You can serve this seasonal pork dish with a green vegetable, perhaps sautéed zucchini, or steamed broccoli or greens beans, and orzo, rice pilaf or boiled miniature potatoes.

Pork Tenderloin Medallions with Apples and Thyme

Tender pieces of pork, pounded into medallions, seared and served with a seasonal sauce strewn with wedges of apple.

Preparation time: 25 minutes

Cooking time: about 15 minutes

Makes: two servings

1 (375 to 400 gram) piece of pork tenderloin, trimmed of any fat or sinew

• salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1 Tbsp + 1 tsp vegetable oil

1 medium apple, peeled, halved, cored and cut into 10 or so wedges

1 cup chicken stock or broth

1 Tbsp all-purpose flour

1 Tbsp cider vinegar

1/4 tsp minced fresh thyme, or pinch of dried thyme

1 tsp honey

1/8 tsp ground ginger

Cut the pork tenderloin widthwise into four roughly equal pieces, and then set them upright, spacing each one a few inches apart. You’ll have to press on the tail end piece of tenderloin to make it sit upright. Cover the pork with plastic wrap. Now use a kitchen hammer to pound each piece into a 3/4-inch thick medallion.

Heat oil in a skillet set over medium-high. Season the pork with salt and pepper, set in the skillet and sear three minutes on each side, or until just cooked through. Transfer pork to a plate.

Set the apple wedges in the skillet and cook 30 to 60 seconds on each cut side, or until just tender. Remove skillet from the heat, and then transfer apples to the plate the pork is sitting on.

Place the stock, flour, vinegar, thyme, honey and ginger in a bowl and whisk well to combine. Drain any oil left in the skillet, and then set back over medium-high heat.

Add the stock mixture, bring to a simmer, and simmer until a lightly thickened sauce forms. Season the sauce with salt and pepper. Return pork and apples to the skillet, heat through two minutes or so, and then serve.

Eric’s options: If you don’t eat pork, this recipe could also be made with four medium to large, boneless, skinless chicken thighs. No need to pound them first. Sear them as described for the pork medallions, ensuring the entirely cooked through.

Hungry Hearts Gala supports Our Place

Victoria’s Our Place Society provides over 1,000 meals every day, housing plus transitional shelter spaces, education, job skills, health care and a range of other services to our most vulnerable citizens. And one of the ways they fund those much-needed services is to host their annual gala event, Hungry Hearts, which has been called Victoria’s favourite culinary soiree.

This year’s Hungry Hearts takes place Saturday, Sept. 10, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., at Delta Hotels by Marriott Victoria Ocean Pointe Resort, 100 Harbour Rd. During the evening eight local chefs, and their culinary teams, will provide attendees of the event samples of their favourite or most popular dish served in their restaurant or hotel.

This year’s Hungry Hearts is also a culinary competition and auction, where attendees can vote for their favourite dish and bid on an exciting array of items donated by the many sponsors of the event. Music and other fun things will also occur during the evening.

Tickets for Hungry Hearts are $150 per person. To purchase them, learn more about the event and view a list of the chef’s participating and the amazing dishes they’ll serve, go to ourplacesociety.com, click on events, and then on Hungry Hearts Gala 2022.

eakis@timescolonist.com

Eric Akis is the author of eight cookbooks. His columns appear in the Life section Wednesday and Sunday.