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Mountain meal recipe: Cider cured pork tenderloin

One of the biggest reasons great chefs like Kelly Liken and Ned Archibald have set up shop in Colorado is the influence from different cultures. Those international  flavor profiles as well as the abundance of fresh and local ingredients sure make for some tasty meals and inspired chefs.

The Colorado Mountain College Culinary Institute‘s Chef Kevin Clarke helps teach aspiring mountain cooks to bring out those flavors of the mountains in a high altitude environment. At the Keystone Culinary Festival, Clarke taught amateurs how to make a few Colorado dishes – even when outside of the state. Check out the recipes for Breckenridge Bass with chimichurri, Cider cured pork tenderloin (below), and Hawaiian style lamb ribs here.

Apples play a huge role in Colorado’s fruit production and the north east region of the state is the fifth biggest agricultural producing  area of the country for pork. These resources coupled with a strong English heritage led Clarke to develop the recipe below.

Cider Cured Pork Tenderloin
Yield: 4 portions of 6 oz.
Prep time: 20 minutes (plus one hour of marinating time)
Cooking time: 20 minutes
Recommended sides: Mashed potatoes and caramelized Brussels sprouts with apple wood smoked bacon.

What you’ll need:

  • 1.5 pounds pork tenderloin, cleaned
  • 10 oz. hard cider, English style
  • ¼ Tbs. crushed black peppercorn
  • 2 Tbs. clarified butter
  • 1 apple, peeled and sliced thinly
  • ½ cup yellow onion, julienned
  • 2 oz. chanterelle mushrooms, dried then rehydrated
  • 1 cup unsalted chicken stock
  • 2 Tbs. cream
  • 1/16 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 1/16 tsp. ground cayenne pepper
  • Salt
  • Unbleached flour

To cook:

  1. In a non-reactive bowl, combine the pork tenderloin, 8 oz. of hard cider and peppercorn. Cover and marinate for 1 hour at room temperature or overnight under refrigeration.
  2. Pre-heat straight sided sauté pan over medium heat
  3. Remove the pork from the cider, pat dry with clean paper towel and portion the tenderloin into four equal portions. Season lightly with salt.
  4. When the sauté pan is hot, add the clarified butter to the pan. Lightly dust the pork with flour and place in the pan. Saute over medium high heat until nicely browned on all sides. Remove the pork from the pan and hold in a warm location.
  5. Add the apples, onions, and mushrooms to the pan. Continue to sauté until it develops a rich carmelization on the apples and onions.
  6. Deglaze with remaining 2 oz. of cider and reduce to sec. Add chicken stock and reduce until it has light, syrupy consistency.
  7. Finish with cream and spices. Adjust seasoning as needed.
  8.  Replace pork into sauce and simmer until pork is hot throughout. Do not boil.


–Morgan Bast

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