Sunday, November 15, 2009

Foolproof Family Sunday Menu....

This is by far my favorite Sunday night dinner, other than one I don't have to fix myself.

Peppercorn Pork Tenderloin(quick braised, and yes, this is FAST!)

Mashed potatoes


Green Beans

Hormel markets and packages these delicious tenderloins that just melt in your mouth. Even though they're fantastic BBQ'd, "quick braised" is my favorite way because the gravy you make from the drippings is just divine. They even claim on their website, "Foolproof, Flawlessly Seasoned EntrĂ©es – Always Juicy and Tender".

Heat oven to 400'. Drizzle a hot non-stick oven proof pot with olive oil, about 1 Tbl. and place two tenderloins. Brown the outside of the tenderloins for approx. 5-8 minutes each side, flipping only 4 times. When all 4 sides are browned add 4 cups vegetable stock/broth, bring up to boil and turn off heat. Cover, and place in hot oven for 1 hour. When thickest part of tenderloin reaches 180', it will be fork tender.

While tenderloin is cooking prepare mashed potatoes and vegetables.

My mashed potatoes:

8-10 large russet potatoes, peeled, rinsed, and cubed
Fat-free Half and Half
1 stick salted butter
salt & pepper to taste

Add potatoes to large pot and fill with enough water to cover all the potatoes. Cook on high until they begin to boil. Turn heat down to avoid overspill and cook on medium to medium-low for about 20 minutes until fork tender. Using a slotted spoon/wire bowl, remove potatoes to large bowl. Cut butter stick into cubes and add to potatoes. Add approx. 1/2 cup half and half to potatoes, salt, and pepper. Use a wire masher(not electric beaters, this releases too much starch and they become gummy) and smash until fluffy.

To make gravy:

Remove tenderloins and set aside and cover to "rest". Strain juice from pan through fine sieve colander to remove chunks. Return pan to stove top and melt 1/2 stick butter over medium heat. Add 1/2 cup flour to make roux. Gradually add vegetable broth/stock back to gravy, whisking constantly to keep smooth. You can also whisk a rounded Tbl. flour in with 1/2 cup potato water and add into gravy mixture whisking fast if the gravy is too thin. Add plenty of pepper. The juices from the pork will be remarkably lean, very little fat, because these pieces are very lean.

Pour gravy over pork and potatoes, and even tasty on green beans!

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