29 August 2009

Pork Tenderloin with Braised Cabbage

The cookbook from whence this recipe comes has been on my bookshelf for nine years. Yes, just under a decade, and I think this might be the first thing I've made from it. Now, I wonder how i lived without it all these years. It makes light look gourmet, and sometimes even people who are watching their stubborn waistline like to feel a little gourmet. Such is the case with this gem, and I'm excited to see if the other recipes live up this one. I have my doubts, but I'll try to show faith. I also doubted whether or not my family would eat it, but eat it they did, and aside from Michael, the carnivore, the hands down favorite was the cabbage. The cabbage? Oh yes, the cabbage.

We served this in what seemed quite a traditional manner with buttered boiled red potatoes.

Pork Tenderloin with Braised Cabbage
  • 1 large head green cabbage (30 oz.)
  • 2 pork tenderloins, about 3/4 pound each (1.5 pounds total)
  • 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • salt to taste, plus 1 tsp salt
  • freshly ground pepper to taste, plus 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 2 Tbsp cider vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
Remove any bruised outer leaves from the cabbage and discard. Cut the head of the cabbage in to quarters through the stem end and then remove the core from each wedge. Slice the wedges crosswise into thin shreds. You should have about 10 cups (30 oz/940 g) shredded cabbage. Set aside.

Trim the pork tenderloins of any visible fat. In a large nonstick frying pan (that has a lid!) over medium-high heat, warm the oil. When hot but not smoking, add the tenderloins, season lightly with salt and pepper, and cook, turning frequently, until browned on all sides, about 10 minutes. Remove from the pan and set aside.

Return the pan to medium-high heat. Add the cabbage, the 1 tsp salt, and the 1/4 tsp pepper and cook, stirring and tossing several times, until the cabbage is slightly wilted, about 5 minutes. Add the vinegar and sprinkle on the sugar; stir and toss to combine. Reduce the heat to low (I did medium-low) and return the pork to the pan, pressing the tenderloins slightly into the cabbage. Cover and cook until the cabbage is tender and the pork is firm to the touch and pale pink when cut in the thickest portion, about 20 minutes. Alternately, test for doneness with a meat thermometer into the thickest part of a tenderloin; it should read 160˚ F.

Transfer the tenderloins to a cutting board. Mound the cabbage on a platter. Cut the tenderloins on the diagonal into thin slices and arrange over the cabbage. Serve at once.

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