in the kitchen

in the kitchen

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Braised Pork Tenderloin w/ Peppers and Spinach

On Sunday I made pork medallions for six people. The pork tenderloin was bigger than I needed for 12 medallions, so I had a nice size piece left over. It was about a pound-enough to make dinner for three or four. There were some lovely veggies in the fridge so I started. Here's what happened:
Braised Pork Tenderloin with Peppers and Spinach
1 to 1 1/2 pound pork tenderloin
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 tablespoon butter
1 cup sliced red bell pepper
2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary
1 cup large dice fresh tomato
2 cups fresh spinach
Pat tenderloin dry with a paper towel. Salt and pepper it all over. Heat a medium sized skillet that has a tight fitting lid over medium high heat. When pan is hot, place olive oil and butter in pan. Sear tenderloin for 2 minutes without disturbing. Turn and sear 2 more sides each for 2 minutes. Move meat to the side of the pan for the final side to sear and add the peppers in the center. Saute them while the meat browns on the final side for 2 minutes. Stir the rosemary into the peppers and reduce heat to medium. Cook 1 minute, then stir in the tomatoes. Cover with the lid and cook for 15 minutes, stirring veggies every 5 minutes or so and turning the meat once. Roughly chop the spinach and set aside. Begin checking the meat with a instant read thermometer and continue to cook, covered, until the internal temperature reaches 155 degrees. (It will continue to cook for a few minutes and reach 160 degrees.) Remove cover and toss spinach with veggies. When spinach is wilted, remove tenderloin and veggies to a serving platter. Serves 4 people.

Hints: A tenderloin is relatively fast cooking, and can be served juicy pink. Over cooking is easy so I really recommend a thermometer to get the right doneness. Be sure to get the tip of the thermometer into the center of the meat for an accurate reading. Switch up the veggie combo with kale or shaved parsnips. Adding onions, leeks, green onions or shallots would be good. Adding garlic or pine nuts could be fabulous as well. Use what you love and what you have on hand. The method is easy to do, quick and uses one pan.
You could double the recipe if you have a large skillet. Just cut tenderloin in half and put one on each side of the pan.
Digital instant read thermometer: so helpful!
Love the red and green color combo for Christmas!
A tenderloin is so wonderful! It is lean and easy to work with. It fits well with many different flavor profiles. I keep a few in my freezer because I can use them for family dinners or for entertaining in a wide variety of ways. Check out this herb rubbed grilled version great for out door cooking. 

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