Fennel Pork Tenderloin in Gravy
with apple celery salad and quinoa
This is a great way to make pork tenderloin. We also whip up a quick sweet-ish gravy. The vegetarian option of this is to make a fennel risotto (you'll ignore the quinoa). This does take a little bit more active time, but the pay-offs are delicious! Your main is paired with one of my favorite fall salad combos - peppery arugula, sweet apples, and crunchy celery.
Apple and Celery Salad with Arugula:
- Celery - 2 stalks , sliced
- Apples - 1 , sliced ((I love Honey Crisps or Pink Ladies))
- Apple cider vinegar - 2 Tbsp
- Maple syrup - 2 tsp
- Olive oil - 3 to 4 Tbsp
- Arugula - 1/4 lb
- Sliced almonds - 1/4 cup
- Blue cheese (optional) - 2 oz
Pork Tenderloin with Shallots and Fennel:
- Pork tenderloin - 1 1/2 lbs ((don't like pork? use chicken breasts))
- Shallots - 1 bulb , sliced
- Fennel - 1 bulb , sliced
- Cooking oil - 1 Tbsp + 1 Tbsp
- Maple syrup - 1 Tbsp
- Apple cider vinegar - 1 Tbsp
- Chicken stock - 1 cup
- Corn starch - 4 tsp
Quinoa, no veg (1 1/2 cups):
- Quinoa - 1 1/2 cups , uncooked
- Pork tenderloin - Season & tenderize with salt & pepper. (Can be done up to 1 day ahead)
- Shallots / Fennel - Prep as directed. (Can be done up to 3 days ahead)
- Celery / Apples - Prep as directed
- Quinoa - Combine quinoa with 2 3/4 cups (646 ml) of water (or stock if your prefer). Add in a generous dash of salt. Bring to a boil covered. Lower heat, keep covered, and cook until liquid is absorbed, 8 to 10 minutes.
- Heat a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon (15 ml) cooking oil and then pork tenderloin to heated oil. Sear for ~3 minutes on top and bottom sides, until golden. Remove from pot and set aside.
- Return pot to heat and add one more tablespoon of oil. Add in shallots and fennels to heated oil with a dash of salt. Saute until softened, ~3 minutes. Return pork to pot, and add 1 tablespoon (15 ml) maple syrup, 1 tablespoon (15 ml) apple cider vinegar, and 1 cup (236 ml) chicken stock. Cover and cook for another 6 to 10 minutes, until pork reaches 145F (63C) degrees.
- While pork is cooking, whisk together 2 tablespoons (30 ml) apple cider vinegar, 2 teaspoons (10 ml) maple syrup, and 3 to 4 tablespoons (44 ml-59 ml) oil. Season to taste with salt & pepper.
- Mix corn starch with 2 tablespoons (30 ml) cold water. Once pork is done, remove from pot, and pour corn starch mixture in. Bring to a boil and let the mixture thicken the stock into a gravy. Once it's thickened, season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Slice pork and drizzle with sauce. Toss vinaigrette with celery, apples, and arugula. Top with almonds and blue cheese (if using). Serve on the side with pork and quinoa.