For about 10 years, I would not touch pork. Any pork. Not even bacon. Looking back, I have no idea how I lived so long without bacon. I think growing up with bad ham dinners on Easter, burnt pork chops and the dreaded ham steak left me feeling like all pork was fatty, stringy and bland. (To say my step-mother was a bad cook is an understatement.)
Slowly over a few years I started to try different things. Since my husband likes to grill, we have found that pork tenderloin is a favorite for keeping on hand. It is so versatile in its preparation options, but this is by far is one of our favorite ways to have it. A play on the old pork-chops-and-applesauce, this has its place on any week night dinner table. Simple in preparation but big in flavors, it comes together quickly. We've served this when having big groups over for dinner or when its just the two of us. The sweetness of the apple cider hits you first then finishes with the slight punch of habanero.
I almost always serve this with braised red cabbage and spӓtzle. (I'll post my spӓtzle recipe tomorrow.) But you could serve this with any classic pork sides or even sliced and over a salad.
Grilled Pork Tenderloin with Habanero Apple Cider Reduction
1 pork tenderloin, trimmed of fat and membrane, sliced into 8 large pieces
salt and pepper
1 habanero pepper, diced fine
1/2 - 3/4 cup apple cider
1/2 tablespoon butter, optional
Toss the tenderloin in a bowl with olive oil, salt and pepper. Prepare the grill and grill on medium-high for 4 minutes per side. Remove from heat and allow to rest.
In a medium sautee pan, heat the habanero until it becomes fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the apple cider and allow it to reduce by half, about 10 minutes. Swirl in a pat of butter, if desired to give the sauce some body and shine. Serve over the grilled pork.