About Great Food

Delia Smith

Fast-Roast Pork with Rosemary and Caramelized Apples

It's hard to believe that you can serve a roast for six people in about 40 minutes flat from start to finish, but you can, and here it is. The process is extremely simple, outstandingly good, and can be prepared in advance. Once you try it, I'm sure you'll want to make it again and again.

Serves 6

  • 2 thick pork tenderloins (weighing 12 oz each after trimming)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh rosemary leaves
  • 3 Granny Smith apples, peelings left on, cored and cut into 6 wedges each
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and cut into thin slices
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 1 small onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon demerara or raw sugar
  • 1 cup hard cider
  • 3 tablespoons crème fraîche
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper

You will also need a shallow baking pan measuring approximately 11 x 16 inches, lightly buttered.

Preheat the oven to 450°F.

First of all, using a small, sharp knife, make little slits all over the pork and push the slivers of garlic into them, turning the fillet over so the garlic goes in on both sides. Next, place the rosemary leaves in a mortar and bruise them with the pestle to release their fragrant oil, then chop them very finely.

Now, melt the butter and combine it with the cider vinegar, then brush the meat with some of this mixture, sprinkle with half the rosemary, and season with salt and pepper. Scatter the onions over the bottom of the buttered baking pan and place the pork on top. All this can be done in advance, then covered with plastic wrap.

When you want to cook the roast, prepare the apples by tossing them with the remaining cider vinegar and butter mixture; arrange them all around the roast in the baking pan and sprinkle them with the sugar and the rest of the rosemary. Place the baking pan in the oven on a high shelf and roast for 25-30 minutes (this will depend on the thickness of the pork), until the pork is cooked and there are no pink juices.

After that, remove the baking pan from the oven and transfer the pork and apples to a hot serving dish, cover with foil, and keep warm. Meanwhile, pour a little of the cider into the baking pan over the heat, to loosen the onions and juices from it, then pour into a saucepan over medium heat, add the rest of the cider, and let it bubble and reduce by about a third - this will take about 5 minutes. Then whisk in the crème fraîche, let it bubble a bit more and add some seasoning.

After the pork has rested for about 10 minutes, transfer it to a board and carve it into thick slices. Transfer the slices back to the serving dish to rejoin the apples. Pour the sauce over all and serve as soon as possible. Roast potatoes and braised red cabbage are particularly good with this.


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