Vanilla Cider Pork with Pears

I rediscovered this recipe while searching for a simple, quick, but luscious dinner idea.

I made this dish over 7 years ago.  The sweetness of the sauce from the vanilla bean reminded my boys of the Lucky Charms cereal.  The  breakfast cereal by General Mills with the little marshmallows and the Leprechaun on the box?  The commercial claimed they were "magically delcious".  So they titled the recipe Lucky Charms Pork..

 If you are looking for a quick and impressive meal, this is it.  Autumn pears with pork tenderloin medallion's are a perfect, no pun intended, pair.

If you are not taking pictures of every single step of this recipe, I honestly believe that you could prepare it in less than 30 minutes.  Really.

You will need the following:
3 tablespoons butter
3 bosc pears
1 lb pork tenderloin
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup chicken broth 
1 cup fresh apple cider
2/3 cup heavy cream
1 vanilla bean or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon fresh rosemary
1 teaspoon fresh thyme
salt and pepper to taste

Let's begin.  Peel the pears.

Cut each pear in half.  Remove the core.  I use this little tool to ball melons.  You can use a spoon.

Cut the pears into quarters.

Melt the butter in a large pan or skillet.

Add the pears.

Cook until brown on all sides.  

Remove the pears from the pan.  Place on a plate (accidentally deleted that photo) and set aside.

Make sure the pork tenderloin is well trimmed.  Remove fat or any silver skin that may have not been removed by the butcher.  

Slice the pork into 1-inch thick medallions.

Season both sides with salt.

and fresh ground pepper.

Put the 1/2 cup flour onto a plate and dredge each medallion into the flour.

Shake of excess.

Add the pork medallions into the same pan that the pears were sauteed in.  

Cook for 2 minutes on each side or until browned on each side.

Remove cooked pork from the pan and place on a platter.

Don't worry if the pork isn't cooked all the way through.  It will finish cooking when it simmers in the luscious sauce. 

Set aside.

Combine 1 cup chicken stock and 1 cup fresh apple cider.

Pour into the pan.  This will deglaze and the wonderful flavor bits that are there from the pears and the pork.

Stir the bottom of the pan well to make sure all of the flavor bits are removed from the bottom of the pan.

This is an optional step, but I like to do it.  I want my broth to have the flavor of the browned bits, but sometimes the butter just burns a bit and I don't want those black specks floating around.  

I quickly pour the liquid through a fine mesh strainer.  

Then return to the pan.  

Add the heavy cream.

Look at this fat juicy vanilla bean.  Direct from Tahiti.  My parents were missionaries in Tahiti and brought back a literal "boat load" of vanilla beans.  I put them in my "seal-a-meal" and placed them in my freezer.  I have enjoyed fresh vanilla bean for a couple of years now.

I think the whole bean would be a bit much, so I'm cutting it in half and place the other half into my vanilla extract jar.  Go me!

Slice the vanilla bean lengthwise.

Take the knife and scrape out the zillion vanilla bean seeds.  Are they called seeds?  I'm not sure, but I do know they are full of flavor...BIG flavor.

Add to the stock mixture.  Of course, if your parents have not been missionaries in Tahiti and you don't have a freezer full of vanilla bean, by all means just pour in a teaspoon of good vanilla extract.

Bring to a simmer and reduce the mixture by half.

Return the pork medallions to the pan.

Along with the browned pears.

Chop the fresh thyme and rosemary.

Add to the pan and simmer for an additional 4-5 minutes.  The sauce will thicken and the pork will continue to cook.  

Remove the vanilla bean.  Kiss it good-bye.

Season with kosher or sea salt.

Don't forget the fresh ground pepper.

Magically delicious.

Vanilla Cider Pork with Pears
Adapted from Cuisine at Home

3 Tablespoons unsalted butter
3 Bosc pears, peeled, cored and quartered
1 lb. pork tenderloin, trimmed, sliced into twelve 1" thick medallions, seasoned
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup chicken broth
1 cup fresh apple cider
2/3 cup heavy cream
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise and scraped or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, chopped
1 teaspoon fresh thyme, chopped
Salt & pepper to taste

Season pork generously with salt and pepper, then dredge in flour.  Set aside.

In a large skillet (not nonstick), melt butter over medium-high heat.  Add pears and sauté until lightly browned on all sides; remove from pan.

Add pork medallions to the same pan, sautéing for 2 minutes on each side; remove from pan.

Combine broth and cider; add to the pan and deglaze. Strain of any remaining bits, if desired.  Return broth mixture to the pan and add cream Bring to a boil, then add vanilla pod and seeds.  Boil until reduced by half, about 4 minutes.

Return pears and pork to the pan (pork on the bottom) along with any accumulated juices.  Boil until thicker, about 4-6 minutes.  Add fresh herbs and remove the vanilla pod(The sauce will also thicken a bit when it's removed from the heat.)  Season with salt and pepper before serving.


  1. I just love when you post a new reciepe. I am so addicted to this blog it's shamefull !!!!!!! I keep checking everyday to see what's new. Please do stop!!! Or I'll have to go to a rehab for this condition!!!LOL :-)...
    Saundra McGhee.

    1. I'm so happy to have you addicted to my blog. That just makes my day. I'll do my best to keep it up and often. Thank you for your comment.

  2. Perfect. Different. Impressive.
    Company comming. I have everything on hand. (minus the missionary specialy imported vanilla bean, but I do have some McRed bottled top ones)
    Lucky Charmed Me!

    1. Hahaha. Thanks for your comment. Made my day.

  3. I love cooking with cider, but I've never done pears and cider - looks amazing!

    1. I hope you try it and love it like I do.

  4. I wish my parents were missionaries in Tahiti! Oh well, I'm pinning this recipe anyway! ~ Maureen

  5. Im from Barcelona and I can't stop reading your blog, I just love every single thing of it!! Thank you for making me a better cook :)

    1. What a fabulous compliment from Barcelona. My daughters have been to Barcelona and absolutely LOVED it! I just always assume anyone from Europe, especially Spain, are already amazing cooks. Thank you so much. I hope you continue to follow me.

  6. I just discovered your blog and am planning to try this recipe. The ruler you used to measure the vanilla bean looks familiar. Are you a quilter?

    1. Hi Maureen, You must be a quilter to notice that the ruler should be used for quilting. My grandmother, who was an amazing quilter, gave it to me. I used to do a bit of quilting, but sadly the ruler gets used more in my kitchen that in my sewing room. Thank you for your comment. I love to hear from everyone.

  7. For a good price on vanilla beans, I found out I could get a dozen or so for only 6.99 in the home brewing section at the liquor store. Worked for me since I don't have anyone to bring them to me from Tahiti. Great recipe. Thanks.

  8. I made this dish last week and good GOLLY was it delish! Thanks for a superb and oh so easy recipe that makes for an elegant dinner!

    1. I know! Super simply and looks super fancy. Thank you for letting me know of your success and for commenting. You just made my day.

  9. Greetings from Zimbabwe, Africa! You are beyond amazing and so are your recipes! Thank you for sharing such treasure

    1. You are half way around the world and I'm so glad you found my blog. Thank you so much for your kind comment. Blessings to you.