Saturday, February 12, 2011

Pork Tenderloin wtih Roasted Potatoes and Shallots

My mom always said, "If you can read a recipe, you can cook."  I never really believed her then, and the more I cook, the more I realize that's not at all the case.  Sure, you need to be able to read the recipe, but there's a lot more you need to know, certain techniques and skills.

You need to know the specifics of your equipment.  So, if a recipe says to heat oil on medium-high, you need to be prepared for blackened shallots when you do so.


You need to know how to use a meat thermometer, so when you use it and the meat gets to the specified temperature, you will know why the meat comes out raw:

You need to know that cooked pork is white with a little bit of pink so it's not so overdone to be dry.

Among many other things like the difference between saute and chop, the difference between a skillet and a  saucepan, etc etc etc.

This is another one from Cook's Country magazine.  It is billed as a 30 minute meal, but it took me more like 45.

Despite the blackened bits of shallot, the potatoes were absolutely delicious.  The pork, however, probably would have been good, had it been somewhere between raw inside and overcooked.  I really have no idea what happened to the pork and why it registered on the thermometer at the correct temperature, but looked this way when I cut in.

I might make this again some day, but not on a day I've been baking all morning because this made a lot of dishes (at least the way I did things), and a really big mess on the stove.

I really think I need to go on Worst Cooks in America.


Pork Tenderloin wtih Roasted Potatoes and Shallots
Cook's Country Magazine, October/November 2010
Serves 4

2 medium Yukon gold potatoes, scrubbed and sliced 1/2" thick
8 shallots, peeled and halved lengthwise
2 pork tenderloins (the small kind)
1t dried thyme
1/2c balsamic vinegar
3T brown sugar
1T coarse grain mustard

1.  Toss potatoes, shallots, 1T oil, 1/2t salt, and 1/4t pepper in large bowl.  Cover and microwave, about 5 minutes, shaking bowl halfway through.  Drain well.
2.  Meanwhile, pat pork dry and season with salt and pepper.  Heat 1T oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until just smoking.  Cook pork until browned all over, 5-7 minutes.  Transfer to plate.
3.  Add potato mixture, remaining oil, and thyme to skillet.  Cook until potatoes are browned, about 5 minutes.  Transfer to platter and cover with foil.  Bring vinegar and brown sugar to a boil over medium heat.  Return tenderloins and any juices to skillet, cover and cook, until meat registers 145 degrees, about 10 minutes.  Transfer to carving board and tent with foil.  Simmer sauce until thickened, about 3 minutes.  Off heat, whisk in mustard.  Slice pork and transfer to platter with potatoes.  Pour sauce over and serve.

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