I’ve got admit: I’m a little afraid of meat. I don’t think I’ve ever gone to the meat counter at the grocery, and I’ve never cooked a whole chicken or turkey or anything like that. I pretty much stick to chicken breasts, ground beef, pork chops, and an occasional roast or steak (though Steven usually deals with the steaks since he likes to grill). I don’t like touching raw meat, and I don’t like the residue of blood in the packages.
However, if Lady Gaga can wear this:
then surely I can try (or “greet”) a new kind or form of meat once in a while! So tonight was the first time I’ve ever cooked pork tenderloin. I think pork tenderloin looks disgusting in the package, and when it’s thawed, it’s all squishy and gross. I was determined to try it, though.
Cutting up pork tenderloin into 1-inch cubes was a bit of a challenge as I was trying to cut off the fat, too. Then I realized I didn’t have chili powder, but I adlibbed and my husband (and I) loved it!
Pork Tenderloin with Pasta in Tomato & Red Pepper Sauce
(from Fix-It and Enjoy It cookbook)
1 Tbsp butter
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
2 cups sliced mushrooms
2 onions, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 tsp dried oregano
1 lb. pork tenderloin cut into 1 inch cubes
2 Tbsp flour
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
3 cups milk
9 oz dry penne pasta
14 oz can tomato sauce
Melt butter in large skilled, then add oil, mushrooms, onion, garlic, red pepper, and oregano. Cook over medium heat until onion is soft. Place flour, chili powder, salt, and pepper in a plastic bag – add pork pieces and shake to coat. Add pork and any remaining flour mixture to skillet. Cook, stirring occasionally, until pork is brown on both sides. Add milk, pasta, and tomato sauce. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until pasta is tender.
** I don’t like mushrooms, so I left them out, and I only used 1 onion. I also used minced garlic. Since I didn’t have chili powder, I used cayenne pepper and cumin, and it was pretty spicy! I also doubled the flour mixture. Yum!
Fun Facts about Pork Tenderloin:
– It is the most healthy type of pork to eat. Little fat and more protein than chicken!
– A pigs “loin” refers to meat between the shoulder and the leg, above the side ribs and belly. (Which I’m glad of because I was thinking of the traditional meaning of loin and was a little grossed out.)
I am a little afraid of meat myself–especially on the bone and definitely red meat. I have NEVER cooked a steak. Pour David, I know! Anyway, pork tenderloin is one of our favorites. I have never had to cut it up for a recipe though. We often just put a marinade on it and throw it in the oven—so tender and provides a few meals!! I may have to try this recipe, but then again, I don’t like to have to cut raw meat.
I love pork tenderloin too for several reasons! 1. It comes in a sealed package that keeps well in the fridge for much longer than most meats. It’s great when I haven’t thought to thaw anything. 2. It’s so easy to cook and cooks fast. 3. Like you said, it’s the healthy pork.
We had pork tenderloin earlier this week. As you probably know, it usually comes in a 2-pack. I put one of the tenderloins in the freezer for future use and cut the extra fat of the other one. I put it in my P.Chef Deep Covered Baker, covered it in a tablespoon or two of barbecue rub & Jamaican Jerk rub, put the lid on, and cooked it in the microwave for 8 minutes. Stick the thermometer to check that it was up to 155 degrees and that was it. SOOOO easy!
You sound like my mom. She is afraid of chicken. She stands as far away from it as she can, moves it around with forks to coat it with spices and flour. However, she makes the best fried chicken EVER! Use rubber gloves when you are working with meat. That will solve the tactile part of it.
I’m with you on the blood and raw meat thingy. I refuse to touch raw fish, believe it or not. I actually didn’t cook fish for the first 25 years or so of my marriage, and I refuse to eat it as it completely grosses me out. I don’t like to touch raw meat of any kind and usually use a fork or tongs to move it from the package to the pan or whatever. Now that I think about it, I’m a little surprised I’m not a vegetarian. . . .
Holly, it was delicious and I had a lot of meat left lover so I’ll try to do pork tenderloin more. If you have any recipes to throw my way, feel free!
Chris – You’re not a vegetarian because meat just tastes so good! I guess the grossness of raw meat is not enough to deter us from not eating cooked meat!