07 March 2016

Cheap Eats: Grilled Pork Tenderloin/Pork & Mushroom Stew

Dear Lissy,

You've asked me to get all of my recipes onto your blog, so here goes...

Pork Tenderloins go on sale for $0.99 - $1.69/lb pretty regularly here in town.  Grilled pork tenderloin is easy enough for a weeknight dinner, and one of our family's favorite dishes.  During the winter, I pop it into a hearty stew and serve it with homemade bread.  In the summer, it pairs nicely with grilled veg or a green salad.

This picture from the Pork website shows how Pork Tenderloin looks when fully cooked.  We prefer ours a little more done than this:  the pink will only be in the very center of the meat following times and temps in this recipe.

Quick Brined Pork Tenderloins
adapted from CookSmart by Pamela Anderson

***The tenderness of the pork is directly related to the brining.  If you skip the brining, pork may be chewy or tough.***
  • 2# Pork Tenderloin, trimmed of fat and cut into 1# logs.
  • 1/2 cup Kosher Salt
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 Quart Water
  • 1/4 cup Dijon Mustard
  • 2 Tbsp. Coarsely Ground black pepper
  1. Mix salt and sugar into quart of warm water in medium bowl.
  2. Submerge tenderloin "logs" in water and let sit for 45 minutes.
  3. Rinse tenderloin and pat dry.  Use immediately, or refrigerate up to 8 hours.  Pat dry again when ready to use.
  4. Smear logs with Dijon Mustard, and sprinkle evenly with coarse black pepper.
  5. Preheat grill on high, and lightly oil rack.
  6. Place tenderloin logs on grill, and close the grill for 7 minutes.
  7. Turn the tenderloin, close the grill, and grill for additional 6 minutes.  
  8. Turn off heat under the tenderloins, leaving opposite burner running.  Close lid and cook for additional 5 minutes, or until thermometer registers 145-150 degrees F.  
  9. Remove from grill and let stand 5 minutes.  
  10. Slice and serve.  Interior should be very light pink just in center.
Mom's Notes:  
  1. Several variations of this recipe are in CookSmart: Curried Apple, Rosemary Orange, and Sweet chili.
  2. Grilled vegetables can be done during the last 5 minutes of cooking time and while the roast stands so the whole dinner comes together very easily.

Pork and Mushroom Stew

***The tenderness of the pork is directly related to the brining.  If you skip the brining, pork may be chewy or tough, no matter how long it simmers in the broth.***
  • Grilled Pork Tenderloin from above, chunked
  • 6 medium carrots, peeled and cut into 1" chunks
  • 1 small Ball Jar (12 oz size) or can green beans, drained
  • 8 oz fresh mushrooms, sliced (Portabellas often show up on the out-of-date rack at our store and are delicious in this stew.)
  • 4 Tbsp butter
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 2 cups seasoned chicken broth
  • 2 cups milk
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 1-2 Tbsp. Dijon Mustard
  1. Place carrots, mushrooms, and green beans into crock pot.  Turn pot to "high".
  2. Melt butter in medium saucepan over medium high heat.  
  3. Whisk in flour when butter bubbles, and cook for 1 minute.
  4. Add chicken broth, whisking until smooth.
  5. Add milk, whisking until smooth.
  6. Add 1-2 tsp. salt (or dry chicken bouillon) to taste.  Add Dijon and pepper to taste.  I generally use about 1 tsp pepper and 2-3 tsp. dijon.  Sauce shouldn't taste distinctly of either pepper or mustard.
  7. Pour bubbly-boiling sauce over veg in crockpot.  Cook for 90 minutes on high or 3 hours on low until the carrots are crisp/tender.  Stir occasionally.  Sauce will thin to soup consistency as mushrooms cook down.  While veg is cooking, prepare grilled pork tenderloins.
  8. Add pork chunks and stir to evenly combine ingredients.  Reduce heat to low, and cook for 30-45 minutes.  Carrots and pork should both be fork tender.
**Mom's note:  To make this stew super easy, substitute 1 family sized can of Cream of Mushroom soup and 2 cups boiling water for the sauce ingredients in the list.  Add directly to the crock pot and add about 15 minutes extra cooking time.



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