I love pork.
One of my favorite, favorite dishes is pork chops and applesauce. I remember loving it when I was a little girl. My Grandpa, Jack Logan, would come by the house once a month or so. I didn't know why back then, but every now and again I'd see Grandpa's car parked on Flower City Park and my heart would race! He was so good and kind and he had big blue eyes that sparkled... but I bet they sparked with anger or disappointment a time or two, but I never saw it.
And even if I didn't see him, evidence of him would be there. A pork roast, in the fridge. A big pack of pork chops or a leg of lamb. Bananas, such a treat! Apples, in season. A jug of cider. Oh, for that glorious few days the larder was full and such delicious meals were had!
I thought he was rich. It wasn't until my mother was dying that I realized he came once a month to bring food when he received his monthly pension check. A part of that old man's reward went to feeding his grandchildren in a hovel in the 10th ward of Rochester, New York.
My father didn't like him. I found that out later, too. And when my father would get home and find the food, not a word of appreciation was said, nor was the food acknowledged. He'd stumble to bed, enjoy the fruits of someone else's labor for days, and never said as much as a thank-you.
Luckily, I learned better! From Grandpa's generous heart came my nature, and it's something I thank God for every day. What if I'd been born a selfish jerk instead of just an occasional jerk????
THE WORLD WOULD BE DENIED SWEET RUTHY STORIES BECAUSE SWEET RUTHY WOULDN'T EXIST! YIKES!!!!
So my love for pork came from those early "Grandpa" gifts, such a blessing, and this is something I tried this week because they had pork tenderloins on sale. It was easy, delicious, and we didn't find anyone who didn't love it. Even the leftovers went quickly!
Marinate the pork loin in apple cider if you have any, for 6 - 8 hours. If you don't have any, don't fret! Skip this step, I'm not sure it was all that important!
I dredged the tenderloin in a mix of seasonings:
Then I covered the base of a big frying pan (one of my favorites, the Revere Ware chicken fryer, I love this pan!!!) with olive oil, heated it and put the tenderloin in, letting it get good and brown on all sides.
Already the house smelled like HEAVEN!!!!! Oh, happy day!
While I was braising that pork, I peeled four large potatoes. I cut them into chunks and half-cooked them in the microwave to give them a head start. I would also suggest doing this to two sweet potatoes also. We didn't do it this time, but we all decided the sweet potato flavor would blend perfectly.
I didn't have fresh mushrooms on hand, but I keep canned mushrooms around for emergencies like this!
I added the can of mushrooms to the pan with the braised pork. I stirred up all those little tasty morsels on the bottom of the pan, then I added about two cups of water, maybe a little less. I didn't want the pork swimming, but I wanted a rich broth.
Then in go the potatoes, circling the pork.
I sprinkled them with granulated garlic, salt, pepper, onion and paprika.
Then I covered the whole kaboodle and tucked it into a 350° oven for about 25 minutes....
Now if you wanted this low-carb, skip the potatoes and use a cauliflower/broccoli mix and roast that with the pork. How could that be a bad thing, right???
Dave and I loved this, it was like 20 minute prep time, and because there are always people snacking out of our refrigerator, it was deemed a success by two others.
Quick, easy, delicious and affordable. I don't know how suppertime can get much better than that!