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.

*Apples can be used in place of pears.


  1. funny, I saw this because I just remade (for the third time or so) your Crusty Bread recipe. This looks very good and I happen to have a tenderloin in the refrig. This is coming up next, love your site.

    1. This is a pretty quick dish to make. I hope you love it. It goes well with roasted root vegetables.
      Thanks for your kind comment and I'm so glad you love the bread.

  2. I"m drooling reading this post. Such an amazing autumn dish. I love pork and the addition of pears and vanilla is a stroke of genius. I've got to try this recipe. Thanks for a a great post!

    1. Thanks, Bill for your comment. I hope you try the recipe soon. It's what autumn tastes like.