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


• 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


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.

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48 comments on “Pork Loin in Cider with Dried Apricots

  1. suestopford
    February 21, 2012 at 8:30 am

    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?

    • frugalfeeding
      February 23, 2012 at 10:43 am

      OH I shall, fear not! No, we don’t, everything is so simple.

  2. Chica Andaluza
    February 21, 2012 at 8:58 am

    Gorgeous – and dried apricots are so good for you – full of iron and vitamin C! We´re very lucky that pork tenderloin is very cheap here in Spain too. Delicious :)

    • frugalfeeding
      February 23, 2012 at 10:43 am

      Oh yes, they are. All really concentrated etc too. I’d imagine it would be – you’re very into your pork there. It’s one of the reasons I love to visit 😀

  3. Bam's Kitchen
    February 21, 2012 at 9:17 am

    Loving your Grandma recipes. I love fruit or something sweet with my pork a very good match. BAM

  4. TheDorsetFinca
    February 21, 2012 at 9:44 am

    Ooh.. looks good. Can’t wait to try out.

    • frugalfeeding
      February 23, 2012 at 10:57 am

      Thanks! You won’t regret giving it a go.

  5. RecipeAdaptors
    February 21, 2012 at 12:50 pm

    I think that would go great with mashed potatoes.

  6. Arturo Féliz-Camilo
    February 21, 2012 at 12:59 pm

    That looks yummy! I love to work with pork loin.

  7. Jane
    February 21, 2012 at 2:29 pm

    I adore pork with apples, and this sounds fantastic!

  8. Smedette
    February 21, 2012 at 5:08 pm

    How wonderful to get your Grandmother’s recipes!

    This dish looks great and I imagine the scent fills your house. Do you think it could work in a slow-cooker?

    • frugalfeeding
      February 23, 2012 at 10:38 am

      There’ll be more, I’m sure. The scent really does get everywhere :). Yes, I suppose it would – though, I think slow cookers are over rated.

  9. Zoe @ Pantry and Fridge
    February 21, 2012 at 6:48 pm

    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.

    • frugalfeeding
      February 23, 2012 at 10:37 am

      Oh you should! It’s definitely worth it. Definitely give it a go!

  10. Sydney Jones
    February 21, 2012 at 7:04 pm

    Your Grandma has some great recipes! I really love something sweet with pork as well usually it is apple sauce but apricots would be excellent. Yummy!!

    • frugalfeeding
      February 23, 2012 at 10:37 am

      Oh yes, she really does :). Apple sauce is nice, but I think apricots work just as well :)

  11. Bluejellybeans
    February 21, 2012 at 7:11 pm

    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 😉

    • frugalfeeding
      February 23, 2012 at 10:36 am

      Yes, they are :D. I hope you enjoy it when you make it :)

  12. egg me on
    February 21, 2012 at 8:39 pm

    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.

    • frugalfeeding
      February 23, 2012 at 10:35 am

      I know, it is rather wonderful. Pork loin is simply delicious 😀

  13. k.m.
    February 21, 2012 at 11:45 pm

    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.)

    • frugalfeeding
      February 23, 2012 at 10:35 am

      Perhaps I have… That sounds like a lover dinner party meal :). You definitely should give this a go. The slugs make it real, though! One need only wash them off 😀

      • k.m.
        February 23, 2012 at 11:10 pm

        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!

  14. divaofdelicious
    February 22, 2012 at 3:31 am

    Great story and great recipe inspired by the generation of ultimate frugality. Must try!

  15. Amrita
    February 22, 2012 at 3:44 am

    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!

    • frugalfeeding
      February 23, 2012 at 10:32 am

      Oh yes, I know :D. I don’t think it’s that unusual really – meat and apricots are often paired, especially in North African cuisine.

  16. Kamterra Foods
    February 22, 2012 at 6:17 am

    Looks delicious. I will give the recipe a try ! – with gluten-free pasta, of course :)

  17. Just A Smidgen
    February 22, 2012 at 2:27 pm

    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!

  18. Natalia at Hot, Cheap & Easy
    February 23, 2012 at 2:43 am

    Exquisite photos…it is such a beautiful, peaceful post!

  19. Liz Tesar
    February 23, 2012 at 6:47 pm

    This looks great! Absolutely delicious!

    • frugalfeeding
      February 23, 2012 at 8:55 pm

      Thanks! It has become on of my favourites.

  20. Sara
    March 7, 2012 at 1:02 pm

    In a sense, you were still being frugal (if not wartime-authentic) using dried apricots rather than buying imported expensive fresh ones.

  21. Jon
    April 8, 2012 at 1:51 pm

    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.

    • frugalfeeding
      April 14, 2012 at 6:08 pm

      Thanks for the comment Jon – my uncle, everyone! I love sharing her recipes.

  22. Karista
    February 23, 2013 at 12:34 am

    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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