Thank you to Nielsen-Massey for sponsoring this post!
If you’re looking for an elegant yet simple, quick, and easy addition to your holiday table this year, look no further than this Roast Pork Tenderloin with Apple Vanilla Chutney. In fact, it’s SO easy to make, it would even be perfect as a weeknight dinner! The pork is perfectly juicy, and the vanilla apple chutney is made with a vanilla bean (!) and is tart, slightly sweet, and earthy. You’re going to love this combination.
Before this recipe, I’d never used vanilla in a savory dish. It was wonderful! I tend to think of vanilla as very sweet, since it’s usually prepared in ice cream, cookies, etc. But it adds a wonderful earthy flavor to the chutney, which is more tart (from the granny smith apples) and savory (from the shallot) than it is sweet. With just a touch of brown sugar added, it’s the perfect balance of flavors to pair with the simply seasoned pork.
I used a Nielsen-Massey Mexican vanilla bean to make this roast pork tenderloin with vanilla apple chutney, and have become a huge fan of their products. With holiday baking and cooking, it’s important to choose pure ingredients with rich, complex flavors, and Nielsen-Massey vanillas definitely fit the bill. Did you know that the FDA’s definition of “pure” (in reference to vanilla extract) allows other ingredients to be used besides vanilla and alcohol? Nielsen-Massey prides itself on using as few ingredients as possible to create the purest products possible. You know how Ina Garten is always going on about using “good” vanilla? Well folks, this is it.
You can use vanilla extract to make this chutney if you don’t have a vanilla bean, but I loved the tiny specks of vanilla visible in the chutney and the intense, pure flavor it imparted. If you want more recipe inspiration with vanilla, both savory and sweet, follow Nielsen-Massey on social media and visit their recipe page!
The pork itself couldn’t be easier to cook. I tried a new technique that resulted in a crispy, deeply colored exterior and a light pink, juicy interior. First, I preheated a cast iron skillet in a hot oven. Then, after seasoning the pork with plenty of kosher salt and black pepper (that’s it for seasoning!), I added it to the skillet along with some canola oil. It sizzled and seared as it hit the skillet and was then baked for 10 minutes. Then, I flipped it over so the other side would get some cast iron love, and baked at a slightly lower temperature for 10 more minutes.
Depending on how you like your pork cooked, you may want to leave it in a bit longer. Double check the doneness with a meat thermometer. At an internal temperature of 145 degrees F, pork is cooked to a medium-rare; for medium, cook it to 160 degrees F.
Finally, make sure you allow the pork to rest for at least 10 minutes tented with foil before slicing into it. This will ensure all the juices redistribute and don’t escape the meat as you slice into it.
You can make the chutney while the pork roasts/rests, or you can make it in advance, keep it in your refrigerator for a week or so, and reheat when you want to serve it. Just sauté a shallot in some butter, add some diced granny smith apples, apple cider vinegar, apple cider or juice, the pulp of a vanilla bean pod, and a touch of brown sugar, and simmer until the apples are soft (about 10 minutes).
Never worked with a vanilla bean pod before? It’s super easy. Here’s a great tutorial on how to scrape the pulp out and even what to do with the remaining empty pod once it’s spent (vanilla sugar! YUM).
Here’s the printable recipe for Roast Pork Tenderloin with Vanilla Apple Chutney. Enjoy!
Roast Pork Tenderloin with Vanilla Apple Chutney
For the Pork:
- 2-3 lb. pork tenderloin trimmed of large pieces of fat
- plenty of kosher salt and black pepper
- 1 tablespoon canola or vegetable oil
For the Vanilla Apple Chutney:
- Place a cast iron (or other heavy) skillet in the oven and preheat to 450 degrees F.
- While the oven is preheating, season the pork tenderloin generously with kosher salt and black pepper on all sides, and leave out to come closer to room temperature.
- When the oven has preheated, carefully remove skillet from oven. Place 1 tablespoon oil in the skillet and swirl to coat.
- Place the pork tenderloin in the center of the skillet and roast in the oven for 10 minutes at 450 degrees.
- After 10 minutes, decrease temperature to 400 degrees, flip pork over, and continue roasting for another 10-15 minutes, or until internal temperature of pork has reached 145 degrees for medium-rare, or 160 degrees for medium doneness.
- Allow pork to rest for at least 10 minutes on a cutting board tented with foil before slicing.
- Meanwhile, to make the chutney, sauté the shallot in the butter over medium-high heat until softened and starting to brown (about 3 minutes).
- Add the apples and continue sautéing until they start to soften (about 2 minutes).
- Add a pinch of salt, the apple cider vinegar, apple cider/juice, vanilla bean pod pulp, and brown sugar. Stir to mix together well and simmer uncovered on low heat for about 10 minutes, or until apples are very soft.
- Use a potato masher to smash the apple chutney just a few times, until nicely thickened. You still want chunks of apples to be present.
- Serve apple chutney on the sliced roast pork.
The chutney is tart and not very sweet. If you prefer a sweeter chutney, I recommend adding more sugar or using a sweeter apple variety to make it.
If you can't find vanilla bean pods, you can substitute 1 teaspoon vanilla extract.