Tuesday, October 14, 2008

i made dinner in forty-five minutes: pan-roasted pork tenderloin with apple gravy

...with matching whipped sweet potatoes!

so pork tenderloin was on sale at the grocery store, so i bought three smallish ones and froze two. i also got broccoli. and i had lots of csa apples. also lots of csa sweet potatoes that i had thrown on the grill last week when the boy was making steaks, just to get them cooked and ready for use.


rinse a 2-lb tenderloin and pat it dry. sprinkle with salt and pepper -- i used a mix of green peppercorns and szechuan peppercorns in our grinder and that turned out awesome. heat a tablespoon or two of vegetable oil in a large, non-teflon skillet; sear the tenderloin all around for a couple minutes per side. toss in two diced apples and a large roughly-chopped onion. stir occasionally until the apples are slightly browned and the onions are translucent and turning gold; then add a small splash of apple cider vinegar and a large splash of broth and cover the pan. cook for about 15 minutes, or until a thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the tenderloin registers around 155 degrees. remove the tenderloin to a plate and loosely cover with foil; after you take it off the heat it will continue to cook a little, hopefully to an ideal temperature of 160-165. save the pan with the juices in it; these will be put to delicious use soon.

while the pork is cooking, you can put an inch of water in a tall pot and set it to simmer. meanwhile, trim two heads of broccoli and chop it into large-bite-size pieces. pile the broccoli in a steamer basket in the simmering water, and cover the pot. cook to desired doneness -- for me this is around five minutes, til tender-crisp. when it's cooked enough move the broccoli to a bowl to prevent residual cooking. we tossed some shredded cheese on top of the broccoli because we were sort of lazy and it's decently tasty.

peel a couple grilled or roasted sweet potatoes and roughly mash the insides. warm this in the microwave with a tablespoon of butter. mash some of the reserved pan juices and soft cooked apples into the sweet potatoes, to taste. mix up, adding salt or pepper as necessary.

now check out the remaining the pan juices. do you like how they look? will they make a decent sauce? if they're as runny as water, you may need to mash the apples more, or simmer again until sufficiently reduced.

slice the tenderloin on the bias into medallions. pile a few on a plate, spooning the pan sauce over them. serve with lots of sweet potatoes and broccoli. eat up, with a bottle of hard cider.

in the future: i will try this with white wine.

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