Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Roasted Pork and Carrots

First of all, if you've never experienced the flavor of roasted carrots, you're in for a real taste treat. The carrots retain some of their crunch, but roasting enhances their natural sweetness. They make a wonderful accompaniment to pork. I've used cumin as the unifying spice, by sprinkling some on both the carrots and the pork, but feel free to use your favorite spice. Other good spices to use on both include cinnamon or a chili powder. I included pineapple and lemon in this dish, not only for their flavor notes, but also because I had them available. Sliced apples or plums would be equally good, or the fruits may be omitted.

Also, September was a big month for Stealth Cooking. Over 1000 viewers last month! I know it's just a number, but it's a big one to me, and I'm grateful to all of you! What started out as a way to share family recipes has grown beyond my imagination. Maybe it's the new facebook page, StealthCooking. If you "like" the StealthCooking facebook page, you'll get a facebook notice whenever a new post goes up. Whatever it is that brings you here, thanks!


1 lb (about 2 bunches) small carrots, or 5 large carrots
1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ancho chili powder (or any chili powder)
1/4 tsp sea salt
4-5 slices sweet onion
4-5 slices pineapple
4-5 slices lemon

1 lb pork tenderloin
2 tsp stone ground mustard
1/2 tsp minced garlic
1/2 tsp minced ginger
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground cardamom
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp extra virgin olive oil

Directions: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Peel and top carrots. Leave small carrots whole or cut large carrots into 2 inch lengths. Place the carrots in a medium size bowl, then pour the olive oil over the carrots and sprinkle with the cumin and chili powder. Toss the carrots to evenly distribute the spices. Place the carrots, together with the onions, pineapple, and lemon on a medium size baking sheet. Sprinkle with 1/4 tsp sea salt, and bake in the oven for about 15 minutes. Prepare the pork while the carrots are baking.

To prepare the pork, mix the mustard with the remaining spices in the mixing bowl you used for the carrots. Cut any visible fat off the tenderloin. Place the tenderloin in the bowl and use your hands to cover the meat with the spice mixture. Spray a skillet with olive oil, or swirl about 1 tsp of oil in the skillet, and heat over medium heat on the stove top. Sear the pork for about 3 minutes per side, so that the tenderloin is brown.

Remove the carrot mixture from the oven. Place the tenderloin on top of the carrot mixture and return to the oven. Bake about 20 more minutes, until a meat thermometer registers 150 degrees. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and cover the pork and vegetables with foil or a cover and let rest for 5 or 10 minutes. Slice the pork and serve.

Serves 4 or 5

Stealthy Cooking Tip: Roasting vegetables concentrates their sweetness, and changes their texture. If you have someone who doesn't usually like vegetables, they may like them roasted! Don't skip covering the meat and letting it rest. This allows the juices to redistribute themselves throughout the meat. Now, when you slice the meat, most of the juices stay in the meat and don't drain all over the cutting board. This gives a juicier (and tastier) meat, and makes clean up just a little easier. This also allows the meat to finish cooking, letting it reach 160 degrees for medium pork.

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