Sunday, 17 March 2013

Roast Pork Tenderloin with Potatoes and Mushrooms

I decided to break the little tofu rut the blog had gotten into lately with a good old meat and potato recipe!

I was in the mood for something comforting and old-fashioned for our Sunday night dinner: it just felt like the kind of night where I wanted to stay home, apron-up and spend the evening in the kitchen while blasting Bad Religion records. The winter's dragging on and it's making me crave rich comfort food and angry political music. I'm quirky like that.

Tenderloin is my favorite cut of pork, mostly because it's affordable, but also because it's really versatile: you can roast it, grill it, chop it up to stew it, slice it thin and stir-fry it... I try to always have one or two in the freezer because there are so many ways of turning it into a plateful of yums. I usually have a lot of Asian-themed recipes for pork, but I wanted to try something a bit more traditional.

This dish has a classic Sunday dinner flair to it, like something you'd see Betty Draper whip up for a dinner-party on "Mad Men": meat, potatoes, mushrooms, a creamy sauce... just classic! The ingredients are mostly pantry-staples I always have around, and the technique is absolutely idiot-proof easy, making it a recipe everyone can pull-off with great success.

You can either mix up regular potatoes and sweet potatoes, or use just one kind, but the sweet potatoes can offer a lovely change of pace texture-wise, and they also boost the vitamin content of your plate.

1-pound pork tenderloin, trimmed
3 medium white potatoes, cut into 3/4-inch chunks (or 2 white potatoes and 1 sweet potato)
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper   
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 package mushrooms, thinly sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 onion, chopped
1 tablespoon paprika
1 teaspoon white pepper
1 teaspoon savory
1 teaspoon ground sage
1/4 cup all-purpose flour   
2 cup milk
1 cup chicken broth   
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard   
Chopped fresh parsley, for garnish

Preheat oven to 375°F. Butter a 13 x 9-inch glass baking dish. Place the pork in center of baking dish, tucking the thin end underneath. Arrange the potatoes around the pork.

Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms, garlic, onions, spices and 1/4 teaspoon each of salt and pepper; sauté for 8 minutes or until mushrooms are brown.

Stir in the broth and mustard. Whisk flour into the milk; stir the mixture into the pan and bring to a boil, stirring. Boil and stir for 1 minutes.

Pour the sauce over the pork and potatoes and roast for another 25 minutes or until a meat thermometer inserted in thickest part of pork registers 160°F.

Transfer the pork to a cutting board; let rest for 5 minutes. Return the potatoes and the sauce to the oven for 5 minutes; stir well. Slice the pork crosswise; serve with the potatoes and sauce, sprinkled with parsley.

As you can see from the picture, I should have used a wider roasting dish. But hey, the sauce helps cook the meat just as much as the roasting does: no problem. The smell is also completely amazing as the dish cooks, and the meat comes out tender and juicy.

It's a nice, easy recipe with a lot of down time, so give it a try next time you are in the mood for a delicious, hearty meal!

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