Using Indian spices in a subtle manner enhances the flavour of pork wonderfully, as you’ll find in the recipe below. If you don’t have a spice grinder, use ground spices, although they don’t have the same depth of flavour. For an accompanying apple compote, spy or Granny Smith apples are best. I also used a crisp, dry Ontario cider to give it extra richness. (Cider production is a growing trend in Canada, with a few being made in Ontario and more than 40 produced in Quebec.) Serve this dish with curried lentils.
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2 teaspoons cumin seeds
1 tablespoon fennel seeds
2 teaspoons coriander seeds
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
750 g (1.5 lbs) pork tenderloin
Salt to taste
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 tart apples, peeled and chopped into 1-inch pieces
1 cup chopped onions
2 teaspoons chopped fresh ginger
1/2 cup apple cider (or apple juice)
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1 tablespoon grated orange rind
3 sprigs thyme
Preheat oven to 400 F. Heat a skillet over medium heat until hot. Add cumin, fennel and coriander seeds and toast until you can smell the spice, about 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat. Grid spices in a spice grinder then combine with cinnamon. Sprinkle pork tenderloin with 2 tablespoons of the spice mixture, reserving 1 tablespoon for sauce. Season with salt.
Heat vegetable oil in an ovenproof sauté pan or large skillet. Set over medium-high heat. Add tenderloin and brown on all sides, about 4 to 6 minutes in total.
Remove tenderloin from skillet and add apples, onions and ginger. Sauté until softened, about 3 minutes. Stir in 1 tablespoon of spice mixture, reserving any remaining mixture for future use. Sauté 1 minute longer. Add apple cider, maple syrup, orange rind and thyme. Bring to boil. Push apple mixture to sides. Add browned tenderloin, cover skillet and roast for 12 to 15 minutes or until tenderloin is just pink inside and apples are soft, 20 minutes.
Slice tenderloin and serve with apple and onion mixture on the side