You don’t like meat? I make you pork!

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I am always happy when it’s grill season, but happier when it’s time for a hearty winter menu. It’s all about something simmering on the stove or baking in the oven for me. Right now there is a family of wild turkeys in my front yard. I am thinking turkey soup. No? Now that my nest is almost empty I find myself cooking differently. I still cook several things on Sunday for the upcoming week. My weeknight meals are easier, simpler and delicious.

I stumbled upon this recipe in the New York Times Food section. It’s a treasure of delicious recipes. I like the simple, few-ingredient ones. Why buy ingredients that you will probably never use again? I have to clean out my fridge of half-used bottles of one-time used ingredients. Some of the recipes were good, some were failures.

This pork recipe by Mark Bittman is easy and delicious. Definitely a keeper. It’s called “Twice -Cooked Pork Tenderloin”. I was afraid it would be dry, but it was anything but dry. You could make this as a weeknight meal, or entertain with it on the weekend. It looks fancy on a platter. I like to serve it with roasted red potatoes and green beans. Delicious. I love red potatoes because there is no peeling involved. Hallelujah! My Oxo peeler gets a rest! If you need apples with your pork, make an apple pie! Apple pie is the epitome of Fall cooking!

Let’s cook!

1 boneless pork tenderloin (about 1 pound)

salt and pepper

4 tablespoons of butter, extra virgin olive oil, or a combination

1/4 cup cream

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

Chopped fresh parsley for garnish (optional)

Step 1

Sprinkle meat with salt and pepper after you pat it dry with paper towels. Put a large skillet over medium high heat for a few minutes. To test if the pan is hot enough, run your fingers under your faucet and splash water onto the hot pan. If the water rolls and evaporates, it is ready  for cooking! Add 2 tablespoons of butter and/or olive oil. When butter foam subsides, or oil dimples, add meat. Brown it well on all sides. Those bits of color in your pan is flavor for the sauce! Turn off the heat, remove meat from pan, and let it sit on a cookie sheet or large plate. When skillet has cooled a bit, proceed.

Step 2

Cut meat into inch-thick slices.The center of the meat will be pink. That’s what you want. Once again, turn heat to medium-high, add remaining butter and/or olive oil and, when it’s hot, add pork slices to pan. Brown on each side, about 3 minutes each. You can slice into a piece to check if it’s done. It should not be pink. Turn heat to low and remove meat to a CLEAN, warm platter.

Step 3

Add 1/2 cup of water to pan, turn heat to high, and cook, stirring and scraping, for a minute. You want to loosen all those delicious flavor bits from the bottom and sides of your pan. Lower heat slightly, add cream and cook until sauce is slightly thickened. Stir in mustard, then taste and adjust seasoning. Serve meat with sauce spooned on top and garnish with parsley, if you wish.

Enjoy!

 

 

For the love of braising and balsamic, try this!

 

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Crockpot Brown Sugar Balsamic Glaze Pork Tenderloin

Say that 5 times fast. Really. Let me start with, I do not own a crockpot. I have a silly phobia about leaving things running in my house when I am not there. I prefer to use a Dutch oven to braise my foods. It takes less time, about 3-4 hours, and I use the stovetop and not the oven. This is great for summer meals, as the house doesn’t heat up. Okay, so you have to actually stay at home, but that’s not really a problem for me. If you prefer to use a crockpot, I will post the link for the actual crockpot recipe that I have loving adapted, at the end.

For the love spice, do not skip the sage. If you don’t have ground sage on your spice shelf, run to the grocery store. RUN! This is what heaven smells like. Oh, too dramatic? Okay, it smells fantastic! Whenever I lifted the lid, heads popped up and asked what I was cooking. The original recipe called for 2 pounds of pork tenderloin. I used a 4 pound Swift premium boneless petite pork roast that is marketed for crockpots. Dear marketers, you got me! This was perfect for my hungry family of four, with a few bites left over.

So let’s start cooking!

2 tsp. ground sage

1 tsp. salt

½ tsp. pepper

2 garlic cloves, crushed (or for tender tummies, garlic powder)

1 cup of water

4 pounds of boneless petite pork roast

 

Glaze/sauce:

1 cup brown sugar

2 tbsp. cornstarch

½ cup balsamic vinegar

1 cup water

4 tbsp. soy sauce

 

  1. Mix together the sage, salt, pepper and garlic, and rub over the pork.
  2. Place 1 cup of water in Dutch oven, followed by the pork roast, and cook on your stove top, on a medium low heat for one hour. You want the liquids to simmer, not boil.
  3. While the pork is braising, prepare the glaze/sauce. Mix together the brown sugar, cornstarch, balsamic vinegar, water, and soy sauce in a saucepan.
  4. Heat over medium and stir until mixture thickens, about 4 minutes.
  5. Pour half the glaze over the pork and continue to cook for a half hour. You want to keep the lid on when you braise. The liquids will evaporate and the meat will be tough if you don’t keep the lid on when braising. Pour the rest of the glaze over the pork and cook for another 1.5 hours. I turned the pork over several times to coat it with the glaze. The total cooking time should be about 3-4 hours. When you braise, you want the liquids to slowly simmer. Small bubbles, not big. Once the meat is pull-apart soft, let it rest on a plate, or a cookie sheet. I raised the heat under the Dutch oven and reduced the sauce by about one half.

Once the sauce is reduced to your likening, either cut or pull the pork apart onto a platter. Pour the glaze/sauce over the meat. It’s a wonderful site!

I served this with mashed potatoes and steamed green beans with lemon juice. I hope you enjoy this as much as my family did!

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Here is the original crockpot recipe.