Pork Tenderloin with Red Wine and Dijon
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I have discovered that the more I want to put off some disagreeable chore (like working out), the more things around the house cry out for my attention. I remember in college, wanting to postpone the arduous task of studying for finals. My room was never so clean.
Wanting to avoid working out, I felt this compulsion today to tackle the onerous business of packing up the Christmas decorations. I believe we fill up 13 huge bins each year. It’s a horrible, depressing job, but I found myself diving right in because it sounded more appealing than working out. Now, that’s saying something.
But it’s only January 1, so I made myself do my exercises and the bike for 30 minutes.
The idea for this recipe originally came from Ellie Krieger of the Food Network. She was a nutritionist and cooked only healthy meals. Her’s was “Pork Au Poivre,” but as usual, I tweaked it. Her recipe called for lots of crushed whole peppercorns and it was a bit much for me. “Poivre” is French for pepper, so yeah, duh.
When I first heard the phrase “Au Poivre” (pronounced “Oh Pwahv”), I thought the chef was saying Pork Oh, Bob! Seriously. Can’t make this stuff up. My stupidity often knows no bounds.
Regardless, this is super healthy and fairly quick. The only time investment is in removing the silver skin from the tenderloin. It’s not one of my favorite chores, to be honest, but I’ll do it, from time to time.
I’ve got to go out to the garage freezer to grab a tenderloin, but it’s icy right now, and the last thing I need to do is slip on the wooden porch and dislocate my very expensive, replaced hips). Besides, Bill is still sound asleep and I would probably die of hypothermia before he noticed that I wasn’t up here, typing away.
I’ll make a salad this morning, while I still have the energy. Maybe I’ll just bake a couple of potatoes and be done with it. Not really feeling all that ambitious today, kitchen-wise.
This is Leo, enjoying one of his favorite activities. He likes to suck on the tassles of this crocheted blanket. I don’t mind because it came from Goodwill and if it makes him happy, whatever. He thinks he is such a cool cat when he’s outside, strutting around, and then he regresses the minute he walks through the front door. It cracks me up. He’s my 15 pound big baby.
When I went into the kitchen to make my salad, I discovered, to my horror, a full pint of heavy whipping cream. Much like peanuts and cheese and crackers, heavy whipping cream is all too tempting for me to deny myself on a daily basis. I have so many good recipes that call for cream!
Even in a best case scenario, were I to manage to not open it, I would just have to throw it out. I don’t like to throw anything out, which is why I often have leftovers for breakfast.
So, I asked Google if I could freeze heavy whipping cream and it turns out, you can! I figured I’d pour it into a couple of ice cube trays and wrap them up when they’re frozen. Then I’ll put them in a big ‘ol freezer bag (labelled, of course!) in the garage fridge. Maybe I’ll go so far as to add it to my “freezer” list I keep on the inside of the kitchen cupboard. If I ever need a little cream for a recipe, I can just grab one cube. Awesome.
See this cool pitcher? It’s actually a large gravy separator and I love it. The cool spout makes it really easy to pour without a lot of spillage. I don’t make gravy more than once a year, but I’ll use this for pouring. Here’s an Amazon link to this awesome gravy separator: http://amzn.to/2qeCtBW.
Pork Tenderloin with Red Wine and Dijon
One pound (approximately) pork tenderloin, silver skin removed
1 to 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
Freshly ground black pepper
1 cup DRY red wine
1 cup chicken broth
1 to 2 pats cold butter, optional
Slice pork tenderloin into one inch slices and pat dry. Using a pastry brush, slather both sides of each slice very lightly with Dijon mustard. Sprinkle each slice with freshly ground black pepper.
One time, with my typical “if a little is good, a lot is better” mentality, I used about three times this amount of Dijon. Well, that pork was literally inedible. So, yeah, easy on the Dijon. It’s very salty, too, so don’t salt the pork until you’ve tasted the sauce at serving time.
Heat a large skillet to medium high. When hot, add enough Extra Virgin Olive Oil to lightly cover the bottom of the skillet. If you use too much oil, you won’t have those yummy brown bits you’re looking for! Back when I was a young cook, I would clean the skillet before adding the wine. Thank God Food Network came along and saved me.
Brown both sides of the pork slices and remove from skillet to a pie plate and cover with foil. Cook, but don’t overcook. Pork tenderloin has almost no fat, so it will get very tough if overcooked. A light pink in the middle is what you’re aiming for, and keep in mind that the pork will continue to cook slightly when covered in foil. This won’t take but a few short minutes.
Repeat until all the pork slices are cooked.
To the brown bits in the skillet, add red wine and let reduce by half. Add chicken broth and let it bubble for a few minutes. Don’t let it boil away! If you want to make the sauce a bit richer, whisk in one or two pats of cold butter, one at a time. I was feeling “holier-than-thou,” so I skipped the butter, but I’d personally recommend it! Turn off the heat.
Remove the foil from the pork and return it to the skillet, along with any juices that have collected in the pie plate.
Move pork around so that it is coated with sauce. Taste to see if you need salt, and serve immediately.
Enjoy and Happy New Year!