Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Ghost's Kitchen: Simple Pork Tenderloin

What's Cooking Today?
Simple Pork Tenderloin with Red Potatoes and Petite Carrots

Hello everyone and welcome to another segment of...

I love cooking for people.  I love being able to take simple ingredients and making something that people ask for or make them smile.  It's one of my joys in life which is why I started writing food stuff on here.  If my food can make someone's day happy then I consider that a win.  However, just like anything else, there are days when I'm just sick of cooking.  Everyone has days like this.  There are going to be days where you don't want to exert much or any effort in something you would normally have no issue with.  When those days come, and they will, you need to have a plan; something that gets the job done with as minimal effort possible.  This could easily be done by just running out to a restaurant or ordering a pizza, but today's recipe offers another solution.

While yes, this would still mean you are cooking but this is cooking something with almost no effort aside from cutting up a few potatoes.  How is this achieved?  By utilizing one of life's treasures... pre-seasoned meat!  As a general rule I like to come up with my own flavor combinations that will work well with a dish as a whole, but sometimes you just have to say "screw it, we're doing this!"  That's what I end up doing when it comes to pork tenderloin.

SIDE NOTE: This week I am showing the use of my Pampered Chef Stone Baker.  This thing is fantastic for cooking whole chicken, roasts, or tenderloins.  You can generally find these on craigslist or ebay because, unfortunately, Pampered Chef no longer makes these great things.  You probably won't have access to this wonderful piece of stone, so simply using a dutch oven or a 9X13 pan covered with aluminum foil should give you the same result.

Gather Your Ingredients
  • 1 pre-seasoned pork tenderloin
    • These usually come in a sort of bag in the meat aisle or are prepared by the butcher
    • If there is an Italian Seasoned one go for that, but apple-wood bacon is also a good choice
  • Approx 1/2 pound red potatoes
  • 1 package petite carrots
  • olive oil
  • 1 package Italian dressing seasoning mix
  • cutting board
  • knife
  • small bowl (for oil)
  • basting brush
  • 1 oven-safe cooking container
    • Your options are as follows
      • Stoneware Baker
      • Dutch Oven
      • 9X13 glass pan + Aluminum Foil

1. Preheat oven to 350°F

2. Place Tenderloin in baker
Since I have a stoneware baker I will continue to name it in the steps.  Just mentally replace "baker" with whatever you happen to have.

3. Place petite carrots on one side of tenderloin
If you don't use all of them that's fine.  Just put as many as will fit.

4. Cut potatoes and place on other side of tenderloin.
Rinse your red potatoes and cut them into at least 1/4th segments.  Place as many as will fit in the baker.  The red potatoes I purchase come in a 1 lb bag and I end up using slightly over half of the bag.

5. Brush potatoes and carrots with olive oil
Place some olive oil in a small bowl and use the basting brush to cover the carrots and potatoes in the oil.  You don't want a ton but you want to make sure the majority of the potatoes and carrots have touched olive oil.

6. Pour dressing mix over vegetables (and maybe the tenderloin as well)
Make sure the vegetables are covered.  If you got an Italian seasoned tenderloin then adding a bit more on top won't be a bad thing.  If you ended up getting some other seasoning of tenderloin then use your best judgment if adding Italian dressing seasoning would be a good choice or not.

7. Cover and bake for *approx* 1 hour
The time it takes will depend on the size tenderloin.  A good general rule is 30 minutes per pound.  The tenderloins I normally get are around 1.7 lbs a piece so I bake it for the full hour.  Just see how big your tenderloin is and adjust the time accordingly.  When in doubt, round up not down.

8. Cut, Serve, and Enjoy!

That's all there is to do here.  It's perfect for days in which you don't really want to cook because you aren't really doing that much.  You don't have to think about flavoring the meat and since everything is done in one container there is minimal cleanup time as well.  Next time you're walking down the meat aisle and you see those seasoned tenderloins maybe you should give it a try.  I'm glad I did!

This is Ghost fading into the darkness.
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If you want to see my other food topics and recipes then simply click here!

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