Homemade is Better—Pork Tenderloin with Apple Salsa

This past weekend I asked our youngest what we should have for dinner, her response was a typical Albertan meal, Steak with potatoes.  I had to laugh, and then I remembered that I had some pork tenderloin in the fridge and thought I should try something with it.  After looking up a few ideas with apples, I came up with my apple salsa below.  If you want to play with it a bit, you could add red or green peppers, or jalapeno peppers for more heat if you’d like.  I decided on sriracha, but in a small amount because I wasn’t going for spice as much as flavour.

You might be wondering how I can call the condiment a salsa.  So, I did a little digging to find out what the etymology of the word salsa is.  It turns out that salsa just means sauce in Spanish; I’ve also heard some Italians call their sauces salsa.

But while looking up salsa, I noticed an odd reference to studies that looked at food poisoning from eating salsa.  I had to look into it.  It turns out that, like many foods, improper storage of your salsa can cause a plethora of foodborne illnesses from E. Coli to Salmonella.  Wikipedia cited a 2002 study done in the University of Texas – Huston campus where they test sauces from Guadalajara and Houston.  Surprisingly 66% of those testing in Mexico were positive for E. Coli and 44% from Houston!

A CDC research paper in 2010 found that 1 in 25 foodborne illnesses reported between 1998 and 2008 were from improper storage of salsa.  And another group of researchers conducted a study in 2010 regarding salmonella.  They found that the addition of fresh lime juice or fresh garlic would prevent this bacteria’s growth.

Now I’m not going to tell you to smear fresh lime juice on raw chicken or pork to make it safe to eat, but it did reinforce something I learned in food safety classes.  To prevent the growth of bacteria, one must change the conditions in which bacteria thrive.  Thus, cooking many (but not all) foods above 140C or storing them below 4C, increasing or decreasing the ph level of the food, and even washing your vegetables when you get them home.  These simple steps can have an impact on food safety.  Which is also why washing your hands is so important.  We’ve all heard that soap kills bacteria on our hands, but an interesting lesson I learned is that the water temperature doesn’t matter as much as the soap itself (Sima, 2020).  I am not suggesting that you start washing your vegetables and fruit with soap, but a rinse in water would be helpful.

I hope you enjoy this recipe!

Pork Tenderloin with Apple Salsa

Ingredients:

2 pork tenderloins cleaned
Salt
Pepper
1 large carrot
2 stalks of celery
1 yellow onion
Baby potatoes

Directions:
  • Preheat the oven to 400F
  • Cut the celery in half
  • Cut the carrot in half then halve the larger end
  • Quarter the yellow onion
  • Set the vegetables aside for later
  • Clean the silver skin from the pork
  • Season it with salt and pepper
  • Put a large metal pan on high and add 1 tbsp oil
  • Once the oil is hot add the meat and sear it on all sides
  • Remove the meat and set it aside
  • Turn off the burner, and add the carrots, then the celery, arranged perpendicularly
  • Put the onions on the outside, place the pork on top of the onions going opposite directions
  • Add the baby potatoes around the outside
  • Roast for 30 – 45 minutes or until the meat reaches 145-150F
  • Once it reaches temp, remove it and cover it with foil

Salsa

Ingredients:

1 Granny Smith – diced
1 spartan – diced
1 small red onion – diced
2 tbsp cilantro
¼ – ½ tsp cumin
¼ cup lime juice
½ tsp kosher salt
¼ tsp sriracha
½ tsp black pepper

Directions:
  • Peel, core, and dice the apples into a mixing bowl
  • Dice the red onion and add it to the apples
  • Add the rest of the ingredients and mix
  • Taste it, cause it’s good!!
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