SRP #11 – Porc, Pommes, et Pommes de terre

Pork Tenderloin with Apples & Potatoes

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With the dropping temperatures, humidity, and leaves, it’s time for homey, comforting autumnal eats.  Root vegetables, apples, and onions are a great way to ring in the new season, along with a thick, chunky sweater, a cute pair of booties, and leggings — just be sure to bring your sweater to room temperature prior to wearing 😉

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There’s something so comforting about a big pot of gently simmering “something” on the stove, especially when the autumn chill starts to edge its way into the wind.  Plus, no cook is ever going to complain about a one-pot, minimal-fuss dinner — saves time for other essential fall activities, including apple picking, pumpkin-picking, nose-picking (but only when nobody’s looking), and Halloween-costume-pondering.  Hmmm, maybe I’ll be a pork tenderloin for Halloween this year…

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Pork Tenderloin with Apples & Potatoes

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 teaspoon whole mustard seeds
Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
1 medium onion, diced
3 ribs celery, diced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon smoked paprika (you can use the non-smoking kind as well)
3 cloves garlic
1/4 cup white wine
1.5 pound pork tenderloin (mine was peppercorn-crusted, but you can use a nude one instead), cur into 4 hunks
~6 medium yellow potatoes, cut into ~1″ cubes
~4 medium tart apples (Cortlands and Grannies Smith work well), cut into 1″ cubes
32 ounces reduced-sodium chicken broth
1/3 cup dried cherries, optional
Good rolls or crusty bread (like this one), for serving
In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat oil, butter, mustard seeds, and chili flakes over medium-high heat, until butter is melted.  Add onions, celery, salt, pepper, and paprika, and saute ~7 minutes, until vegetables have softened.  Add garlic, and saute for an additional 30 seconds.  Pour in wine, and let simmer ~5 minutes, until most of the liquid has evaporated, scraping the bottom of the pan with your wooden spoon to release any crusted tidbits for ultimate flavor maximization.  Layer pork hunks over the sauteed vegetables, top with the potatoes and apples (I like to keep the skins on for added nutrients, but suit yourself!).  Add chicken broth to pot, cover with lid, and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to medium-low, slightly cock the lid, and let simmer for 2 hours.
After two hours, remove pork hunks to a plate, and shred with two forks.  Add meat back to pot, remove the lid, and let simmer purposefully for another 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.  The potatoes should be soft, and some of the apple pieces should have disintegrated, enriching your broth with aromatic, autumnal, apple-iness.  Stir in dried cherries, if using, and serve with warm bread.
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