It might seem as if food bloggers cook all day long every day, but it’s not exactly so. While I cook more than most people (otherwise I’d have to clean house or organize my closet or something), there are days I need a good meal but am not much in the mood for standing around watching anything bubble on the stove. Like you, I lazily cast around for something requiring little to no work that gets tossed into the oven or slow cooker so I can read a sleazy novel or play the piano–my other favorite guilty pleasures. Someone like you might watch a football game or perhaps create a crossword puzzle, an engaging but oh-so-difficult task. Try it sometime. So glad my teaching junior high English days are long over.
While certainly not sleazy, I’m currently entranced by HANNAH’S WAR by Jan Eliasberg. Check it out.Jump to Recipe
I keep pork tenderloin in the freezer for just such a time. There are myriad preparations for this lean, terrifically tender all-meat cut and they each cook quickly whether pan-seared, roasted, grilled, or stir fried. Type “Pork Tenderloin” in the blog’s search box and see how well I like it around our house. Even if I haven’t thawed it overnight in the fridge, I can stick the pork in a sealed bag, add that to a pan of cold water and be ready to cook in less than an hour. Pork tenderloins frequently come two to a pack and I usually divide them up and freeze them separately, though two cooked pork tenderloins are something wondrous to have around the house for leftovers. Alternately I might roast one and make my easy posole with the other. Does pork tenderloin feel pricey to you? Keep in mind there are no bones to pay for and throw away as well as little fat to trim, which makes it a lotta bang for your high protein grocery buck. No waste = big value.
- How to Thaw Meat Fast/SPRUCE
- How to remove silver skin from a pork tenderloin (Chef Belinda/YOUTUBE)
- All About Pork Cuts/PORK.ORG
- Cooking Meat?/USDA (safe cooking temperatures)
- USDA changes guidelines…/CHICAGO TRIB (includes thoughts from chefs re pork temps)
Yesterday’s dinner, shown below before roasting, was a snap to prep and I cleaned and sliced the Brussels sprouts a couple of hours ahead (stored them in the bowl on the counter) to avoid spending too long in the kitchen on a Friday night. I left the potatoes for later on, but you can clean and cut them the day before if need be. Even faster would be to use smaller sprouts and tiny potatoes that don’t need cutting in half, though the cut sides (placed cut-side down on the pan) make for perfectly crispy vegetables — a favorite at our house.
In the end, anything you toss together in a bowl with olive oil and spices and then throw down on a sheet pan is bound to be among your top favorite meals. While it’s beyond simple to prepare, my rosemary pork tenderloin and vegetables looks and feels like a fancy special dinner – because it is. Try this:
Sheet Pan Rosemary Pork Tenderloin with Lemon-Parmesan Brussels Sprouts and Potatoes
- 1 pork tenderloin-about 1 ½ pounds
- 1 tablespoon Dijon-style mustard or more as needed to cover pork
- Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper
- 2 teaspoons dry rosemary
- ¾ pound EACH trimmed Brussels sprouts and multi-colored fingerling potatoes–all cut in half lengthwise
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 large cloves garlic cut in half
- Zest of one lemon
- ¼ cup (3/4 ounce) grated Parmigiano-Reggiano — garnish for vegetables
- PREHEAT OVEN to 425 degrees F. Set rack at center. Line half-sheet pan with foil.
- PREP THE PORK: Pat pork dry with paper towels. Remove silver skin if needed. Spread the mustard evenly over the pork tenderloin. Sprinkle all over with ½ teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon pepper, and rosemary. Press the salt, pepper, and rosemary into the meat with your fingers. Add the seasoned tenderloin to the half-sheet pan up against one long side.
- PREP THE VEGETABLES: Mix together in a large bowl the Brussels sprouts, potatoes, olive oil, garlic, and lemon zest, along with ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Turn the vegetables out onto the sheet pan and spread out evenly. For crispier vegetables, arrange cut-side down on the pan.
- ROAST for 30-35 minutes or until vegetables are crispy-tender and instant read thermometer in pork tenderloin reads at least 140 degrees for a rosy center. (145 — the USDA safe cooking temp for pork — is for medium, which will rise to 150 while resting. I like mine a bit pinker-juicier than that.) Remove from oven (turn oven off) and sprinkle vegetables with the grated Parmigiano-Reggiano. Place tenderloin on a cutting board, tent and rest 10 minutes, returning vegetables to oven to keep warm. Slice meat thinly, stir the vegetables, and serve together while hot or warm. Leftovers will keep well-covered for 3-4 days in the fridge. You can freeze the pork tenderloin for 2-3 months, thawing wrapped meat overnight in the fridge before serving.
SAUCE! Pork and Dijon mustard = a match made in heaven. Add horseradish and we’re talking over the top. This fast sauce (see right and see NOTES in recipe) — stirred together at the last second — will earn its place in your repertoire as it’s not only finger-licking good, but is perfect for sandwiches, chicken tender dipping…. and more. And lest you worry your sweet little head about it, no — the Dijon sauce is NOT too much after having painted the pork with Dijon before roasting.
TIPS TO CHANGE IT UP: See headnote of recipe for a few ideas. You might also think about adding large whole mushrooms to the vegetable mix or using whole green beans in place of the Brussels sprouts. If you’d like to swap in broccoli florets –yum — for the Brussels sprouts, go for it, but don’t add the broccoli until 10-15 minutes into the roasting time as it cooks more quickly. I sometimes add slivers of garlic into small slices I’ve cut in several places evenly all over the tenderloin. Rosemary not your thing? Switch over to sage or thyme or marjoram, or a mix. Try bone-in chicken breasts or pork chops in place of the tenderloin. Brush either the chicken or chops with oil, season with salt and pepper, and even add the rosemary, too. You might want to brown the chops on both sides in a hot skillet before adding to the sheet pan. Since you already have the lemon you zested, consider adding a splash of lemon juice to the vegetables and/or meat at the table.
WINE: Pinot Noir is scrumptious with pork, but so is Merlot and that’s what we went with. Check out Woodward Canyon wines here. Our 2013 Woodward Canyon Merlot is definitely a date night wine and tasty-precious at this price point. Worth buying ahead and cellaring. Visit Walla Walla and do a tasting; you’ll be pleased as punch.
DESSERT: Nope. It’s January, right.
TIPS FOR REDUCING WASTE: If you’re cooking pork tenderloin, you’re already ahead of the game as it’s lean-lean and all meat. Leftovers make lovely sandwiches, tacos, salads, or additions to pasta. Freeze a chunk (well-wrapped) and pull out next week for an easy dinner. The vegetables are perfect for slicing thinly into a lunch salad or omelet filling or cold for an afternoon snack. If you didn’t juice the lemon at the table, juice it into a small container or storage bag and freeze until needed. You could also make a lemon vinaigrette (see link below) and store it in the fridge until needed.
IF YOU LIKED THIS, YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE…
Sometimes I work up a recipe in a photo for social media. This really isn’t as easy as it looks, but it’s awfully fun to accomplish and the recipes are simple to work from or memorize. Here are two from 2021:
LIFE GOES ON:
below: Occasionally the neighborhood girls walk right down our front walkway looking for an easy meal — just like everyone, I guess. Until our labradoodle Rosie goes crazy at the window, that is…
below: My old friend Jan dropped by yesterday with a stack of these plates for a New Year’s gift. They’re perfect for sending over a plate of dinner to a neighbor or friend, who then will do the same for someone else and….hopefully keep passing it on. She found them at Ace Hardware, one of my fave shopping spots.
Thanks for keeping me company in the kitchen this week as we enjoy Epiphany and face taking down the tree. Sigh. I miss it already.
Cook something special or something old or something new in 2022, but do cook on…and stay healthy,