Thursday, March 25, 2010

Roasted Pork Tenderloin & Sweet Potatoes w/ Collard Greens

A couple weeks back, we planned to roast a pork tenderloin - but didn't realize doing it right meant letting the meat come to room temperature for about an hour - so instead we cut the loin in half, froze half and made medallions with the other half. Tonight, we revisited the other half.

Dan defrosted the loin in the fridge for a couple days, then when he got home from work he pulled it out. Before I left work, I had him preheat the oven to 450 degrees, so it would be ready when I got home. Loosely following the guidance in Martha Stewart's Cooking School, I dried off the loin, seasoned it with salt and pepper and rubbed rosemary all over it. I also cut some garlic into little strips, and tucked them between the two halves of the loin (it was split). I didn't have any cooking twine, so I used some herb seasoned skewers we got free from AmazonFresh awhile back to hold the two halves together with the rosemary and garlic tucked inside.

In a cast iron skillet over high heat, I seared both sides of the loin until they were golden brown. I added two sweet potatoes (sliced in 1/4 inch thick half-rounds, tossed with olive oil and seasoned with salt & pepper) to the skillet and put the whole thing in the oven. I tried using my meat thermometer to tell me when it was done, but the small size of the roast threw it off, I think. Instead, I just estimated cooking time to about 35-40 minutes, which turned out great. The potatoes needed a little more time, so I pulled everything out, moved the pork to a plate to rest for 10 minutes, spread the potatoes on a baking sheet and popped them back in the oven to finish. While waiting, I put the skillet over medium heat, put in a couple pieces of pork fat, tossed some chopped collard greens in, and seasoned with pepper and a splash of liquid smoke - cooking them until wilted but still bright green.

The pork turned out great, though perhaps I could've shortened the cooking time a little. The potatoes were beautiful and golden from cooking with the pork, and the greens were okay - the liquid smoke was a bit much.

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