Pork Loin in Cider with Dried Apricots

My grandmother has, in the past couple of weeks, started passing on a number of her recipes that I have expressed an interest in trying out. Since she is of a certain age, my grandmother is from an era in which most people would naturally eat frugally. As one might imagine, it was unacceptable, both socially and economically, to waste resources during war-time and post-war Britain; the setting in which she grew up. Though it is fairly clear that the roots of this dish do not lie in the 1940s – particularly with the addition of dried apricots – I believe that it still retains the frugal sensibilities of that period, as so many of my recipes do.

Pork and cider truly are a match made in heaven. Of course, pork and apple are an age-old combination, so it makes sense that this dish would work incredibly well. The dried apricot only adds to this. After they have been cooked in the cider and meat juices for a couple of hours, they swell up and burst – not literally –  with a sweet and decadent flavour. On the surface, pasta may seem like a rather odd choice of accompaniment. However, on second thoughts, it occurred to me that a simple penne would take on the sweet, thick sauce rather well. Thankfully the combination worked wonderfully and the dish was a resounding success. I hope you enjoy it as much as we did.

Pork Loin in Cider with Dried Apricots

Serves 4

Ingredients:

• 400g pork tenderloin, chopped into medallions

• 1 onion, finely chopped

• 2 cloves of garlic, mashed

• 500ml dry cider, no less than 5.5%

• 200-300ml vegetable or chicken stock

• Roughly 20 dried apricots, halved

• 2 tbsp plain flour

• 70-100g penne per person

• Fresh parsley to garnish

• Olive Oil

• Seasoning

Method:

1. Preheat the oven to 180C. Begin by frying the onion, in a generous amount of olive oil, until translucent. Add the garlic before tipping in the pork. Cook for a few minutes, until the pork has been browned all over. Pour over the cider and stock, throw in the apricots. Whisk the flour into a roux with a little water and add it to the pot. Pop the pot into the oven, with a lid, for at least two hours.

2. 15 minutes before serving put the pasta on to boil. Serve immediately with a little parsley to garnish.

Cost: Pork tenderloin is a reasonably cost efficient cut of meat and rather tasty to boot. This means that this rather pleasing dish comes in at a ridiculously reasonable price of £6.

48 thoughts on “Pork Loin in Cider with Dried Apricots

  1. suestopford

    I look forward to you sharing more of your Grandma’s recipes….it is really wonderful to see them on your site and I love that they inspire me. We don’t know we are alive really, do we?

  2. Zoe @ Pantry and Fridge

    Believe it or not, I have never made a pork loin. :/ So I guess it goes without saying that I’ve never attempted these two ingredients together.
    “WHY?” I scream at the top of my lungs! :)
    This seems warm and comforting – it will be a nice surprise to my weekly menu, they’ll never see it coming.
    Thanks for sharing, and thanks to your Gram.
    Cheers.

  3. Bluejellybeans

    Grandma’s recipes are always the best. This is no exception…yummy.
    I think I can make this tenderloins, they have a very resonable price in my grocery store. This is going into my “to do” list ;)

  4. egg me on

    You are beyond lucky to be getting recipes from your grandmother. We seem to forget that there are so many recipes from the past, using simple ingredients, that are simply amazing. This pork loin is a prime example. Great post.

  5. k.m.

    I feel like you’ve read my mind. I was just at a dinner party on Sunday and our friends made an incredible stew with apricots in it, but with chicken. Anyway, not normally being a huge fan of apricots I was searching for a recipe using them, and this came up in my blog feed; great timing!

    When I was a little girl my dad would tell me stories about wartime food, and because of that I’m grateful every day that I can buy cabbage without tiny slugs attached! (Surprisingly, I still really like cabbage. I do check the leaves really carefully though.)

      1. k.m.

        Apparently the slugs were the tiny kind that were not really scrubbable (we’ll pretend that is a word). The teachers informed the students that they simply could choose to eat the cabbage or not! Eeep!

  6. Amrita

    You’re lucky to have a grandma with such delightful recipes. Grandmas are always full of yummy dishes like these. I’m drooling over the apricots added in this, it really is an unusual, though perfect, pairing for this. Yummy dish!

  7. Just A Smidgen

    My parents and grandparents grew up being frugal.. my mom taught me that word at a young age. The depression did that. I wish I was more frugal and your blog reminds me to stay on track:) This looks fantastic, I love pork, apricots and penne.. an awesome combination!

  8. Jon

    Nick your grandmother’s recipe tasted great when your grandad made it the other day. He used pork stock, added some apple, and took the garlic out (as your Aunty Penny was eating). It is certainly a fine combination pork, apricot and apple. Well done for sharing my mum’s recipe with others.

  9. Karista

    Love this recipe and it’s even more special because it’s from your Grandmother. Pork and dried apricots… what a lovely combination. Thanks for sharing and keeping those wonderful ancestral recipes alive.

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