Thursday, January 22, 2015

Roasted Pork Tenderloin and Other Wonderful Things!

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????


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!


  1. I am terrible at making tenderloin. But always willing to try again. My favorite pork is bbq. Other than that, I can pass.

    1. I hear you! This was my only real successful tenderloin and it was so delicious!!!! Tina, I can't believe that with all the WEIRD stuff we have in common.... being "weird" is, of course, the most noted of those.... that I love pork and you don't.

      I'm a little sad right now.

  2. Ruthy, I love your stories -- both the ones you post here and the ones you have published. What wonderful memories of your Grandpa. And how true that memories either good or bad become quickly associated with food. Now I have an entirely different association with pork chops. My mum was a fantastic baker but she basically boiled vegetables to death and cooked meat in a pile of grease and grizzle until it was nearly charred. Honestly, it wasn't until I left home and started cooking for myself that I realized peas weren't supposed to be all shriveled and wrinkly when you put them on your plate! Saturday was pork chop night and it was the worst night of the week as far as I was concerned. We lived in a ten unit walk up and the stench of our supper cooking would hit anyone who dared open the door to our building. I'm sure that the neighbours dreaded our Saturday dinner as much as I did. I still shudder to think about all that grizzle and slime gelling on my plate. Ugh. And our potatoes were always gray. Seriously, how could an Irish woman not know how to cook potatoes? Our dinner plates never looked as inviting as yours. When I became a vegetarian people always asked me if I missed meat...uh, a resounding no since my only carnivorous experiences were at my mother's table. LOL

    1. Oh, I'm laughing so hard at this!!!! The gray potatoes... I've seen those and no, I've never been responsible for them, LOL! I have too much respect for the humble potato!!!! And the overcooked everything, but especially PORK. SO'S WE WOULDN'T GET SICK AND DIE!!!!

      And you know, I get that, I really do, because a two-stage worm that wants to kill me is not endearing! But I'm so glad I can eat not overdone pork (shh, KAV!!! don't read this!!!!) and enjoy it!!!

  3. A beautiful dish, Ruthy! I love pork, too. Pork chop suppers were always my favorite growing up, but pork loin was a real treat. We weren't impoverished, but for a few years my dad was a part time pastor at a church plant. Our housing was provided, but cash was scarce until my mom started teaching. I still think of pork loin as a treat!

    My dear husband, on the other hand, grew up with less than I did - except that his dad owned a 40 acre farm. So they lived off the garden, Moolah the milk cow, and the couple steers a year that they raised (all named Herman, by the way). So he didn't eat pork often, and never really learned to like it.

    So now pork is still rare treat. :)

    I'm so glad you inherited your Grandpa Logan's eye for opportunities to spread kindness and love. He was a treasure in your life.

    1. Oh, he was! And I know that I saw him through the eyes of a child, and he might have been very different to others, but that monthly generosity says a lot, doesn't it?

      I'm getting lamb this year for Easter. We could never afford lamb, and my kids will probably not like it, but I like it so I'm making sure we re-start the tradition of Easter lamb... and then whoever likes it, likes it! (Kav, don't read this part either, I'm such a stinkin' carnivore!!!!)