Pork tenderloin with baby potatoes and a rich pan sauce secured a spot in the regular dinner lineup today. This meal was completely put together and on the table in around 35 minutes, and of this time, most is spent setting the table. There is nothing fussy about this dish and it was delicious. Simple foods, prepared well, should be celebrated.
Yesterday, I got to spend time with some really nice folks that came to take a few pictures of me in the kitchen, at our pig barns and on the farm with my Dad and son (my daughter had to go to school). Until the pictures arrive, here are a few I snagged on my phone and one I got from Twitter, courtesy of Joe Murphy, “Farmtog” extraordinaire.
My husband and I don’t have many pictures together, especially when we’re working. Who does that? But this was a special occasion. (Chores without kids.) I love this picture and thank Joe for taking it. It shows how proud we are of raising pigs together.
Plus… my husband is starting to grow his beard out again. Yay!
Let’s talk pork… because that’s what I’m about.
The basic tenants of this recipe are as follows. Secure, Sear, Roast, Rest, Sauce, Serve.
Let’s chat about these steps a bit… annnnd just a reminder, this is pork TENDERloin, not boneless pork loin. I love this resource that discusses the difference between the two: The Kitchn: What’s the Diff Between Pork Loin and Pork Tenderloin.
“Secure“: I make sure to wrap the two pieces of pork tenderloin (each were roughly 1 pound) with kitchen twine, opposite end to opposite end. The shape of the tenderloin is uneven, with one end being thicker than the other. Pair one tenderloin’s thick end with the other tenderloin’s thin end and you’ve got the key to an evenly cooked pork tenderloin.
“Sear“: Cooking the tenderloin over medium high heat in flavorful olive oil seals in the juices and provides a great flavor base for our pan sauce which we make at the end of the oven roasting.
“Roast“: We sear the meat then put it in the oven to finish cooking in an evenly heated environment. Best part? The potatoes get tossed in, and since they are small, they cook perfectly in the remaining time it takes to cook the tenderloin to 145 degrees. Perfection. (during this time I usually make a green veggie to serve with dinner like steamed asparagus or broccoli, and get the table set.)
“Rest“: Carve into this bad boy too quickly… all of the juices will make their way out of the tenderloin. Give the meat a ‘rest’. At this point, I remove the meat and potatoes from the skillet to halt the cooking process and create my quick pan sauce.
“Sauce“: Stirring some onion, garlic, red wine vinegar (or alternatively lemon juice), and chicken broth into the ‘frond’ or the meat drippings/and caramelized bits leftover from the searing process makes a great sauce to serve over the meat and potatoes.
“Serve”: Just serve it up! Cut the twine off of the roast and slice on a diagonal into 1/2-1″ slices, spoon on some sauce, serve with potatoes and a green veggie on the side. Dinner under 35 minutes. Voila.
Here’s my little man, working away in the kitchen, rocking his apron. He made quite a delicious array of foods. Three sticks of butter, M&M’s, monster cookie dough… decoratively arranged. When Mom blogs, he gets creative. (And I typically get in trouble.)
Here’s the full recipe.
- 2 pork tenderloin pieces 2 lbs. total, each piece is 1 pound, tied together (ends opposite for most even fit)
- 1 TBSP Greek Seasoning
- 2 tsp oregano leaves
- 1 tsp seasoned salt
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
- Zest of 1 lemon
- 3 TBSP olive oil
- 1.5 pound package small size yellow potatoes ping pong ball sized
- *Baby Dutch Yellow Potatoes
- 1 tsp seasoned salt
- 2 TBSP red wine vinegar
- 1/2 finely minced onion
- 2 cloves of garlic minced
- 2 C chicken stock
- 1 tsp red wine vinegar
- 2 TBSP butter
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Tie pieces of tenderloin together, opposite ends touching, using kitchen twine. (Tying the tenderloins together will make it more uniform in size, cooking more evenly.) Combine spices and lemon zest, rub on tenderloin. In a 12” cast iron skillet, heat olive oil over medium high heat, until shimmering. Add pork tenderloin and sear on 4 sides. Add potatoes around the perimeter of the skillet. (Halve potatoes that are bigger than a ping pong ball). Toss around in oil to coat. Sprinkle potatoes only, with seasoned salt. Mix around until covered with oil and seasoning. Place entire skillet into a preheated 400 degree oven to cook until center of tenderloin reaches 145 degrees F. Remove from oven, place pork onto a serving platter. Remove potatoes and place onto serving platter as well. Place skillet on stovetop over medium heat. Add onion and garlic, cook until tender, 1 minute, stirring frequently. Add chicken stock, red wine vinegar and bring to a boil. Continue to boil until mixture has thickened slightly 3 minutes. Remove from heat, add butter, stir well. Remove kitchen twine, slice pork, serve with sauce and potatoes (and green veggie!).