Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Pork Tenderloin with Fancy Brussel Sprouts and a Mustard Lemon Cream

Is that a brussel sprout I see?
I am a changed man.  Unshackled and free.  A weekly shop is no longer confined to a list for me.  Armed with technique and knowledge I am able to scour the aisles for the best deals and ensure that my trolley always has what is fresh and what is cheap.

Liberation personified.  I pass people looking at their lists.  Wondering what to do because their favorite type of just add meat flavor sachet is not available.  I don't judge them though.  Once upon a time that was me.  It is only if you have been imprisoned that you can really appreciate being free.

Tonight's meal was put together with a selection of cheap items from the local Tallyup.  There are quite a few deals about for cheap pork at the moment.  Having eaten quite a bit of loin recently I went for a different cut.  The tenderloin.  It is a very lean meat and thus you must be careful when cooking.  If you take it too far it will be very dry.  However when cooked perfectly it can be a very enjoyable cut.

I somehow lost my mind and decided that love will conquer all, including my deep seeded fear of brussel sprouts.  Some people love them, my wife included.  Some hate them, myself included!  I distinctly remember trying anything I could as a child to hide brussel sprouts at the dinner table.  Not having a dog made it a pretty difficult task!  In fact, would a dog even eat them?!

Everything tastes better with bacon right?
The look, the taste, the smell.  They seemed like little green orbs of punishment.  Dealt out as penance for our childly sins.   To make matters worse Parents would always exclaim how gorgeous they were.  Making you believe that you would never grow up to be like them!

It so happens that the terrible smell is a result of overcooking.  If your partner asks what the stink is, from the other end of the house, chances are you've boiled them too long.

So to get through this self inflicted brussel sprout punishment we're going to have to glam up the debatable vegetable.  What better way to spruce them up with my favorite slow cooked shallots and some crispy bacon?  To make me feel even better I decided to lather it all in a creamy mustard sauce.  If the sauce is good enough I should be able to eat cardboard and enjoy it!  If that isn't encouragement enough then surely the fact that the hottest couple on the planet right now are romantically entwined with brussel sprouts should be reason enough to give them a go?  No?

Pork Tenderloin with Fancy Brussel Sprouts and a Mustard Lemon Cream

Serves 2
Prep Time 15 min
Cooking Time 40 min


3 x 100g Pork Tenderloin Pieces
200g Brussel Sprouts
300g Agria Potatoes
3 strips Streaky Bacon
4 Shallots, sliced
1/4 cup wine
1/4 cup cream
1 tsp Dijon Mustard
2 tsp lemon juice.
Fresh thyme.
Olive Oil.

Your weapons for this evening

1.  Preheat the oven to 200 degrees.
2.  Prep your meat by removing any fat or silvery bits.  You want each piece to be approx the same thickness.
 or until cooked through.
4.  Prep the brussel sprouts by chopping off the end, removing any tough outer leaves and then cutting a cross into the bottom.  This will allow them to cook and also to release some of their bitterness.  Place the brussel sprouts into rapidly boiling water and cook for 6 minutes.  Drain and then place them into an ice bath to refresh them.  This will also ensure they keep their vibrant green color.  Once they are cool drain again and leave to one side.
5.  In a small oven proof frying pan, with a small dash of oil, cook your bacon until crispy.  About five minutes on a medium heat.  Remove and place on paper towels.
6.  Season your pork and then place in the same pan, turning the heat up to high.  Cook for 1 minute on all sides to get a golden color.  Then place the pork, in the oven proof pan, into the oven for between 6-8 minutes.
7.  When cooked remove from the pan and put to one side, covered with foil.  Please do not burn your hands as I always seem to do by grabbing the pan's hot handle!  Rest the meat for about 5 minutes to allow the juices to go back into the meat.  
8.  While the meat is resting add the wine to the meat pan and place on a high heat.  Scrape off all the bits of meat residue from the bottom of the pan.  This is called deglazing.  Reduce by 2/3.
9.  While you are waiting take another pan, place on a low heat, add 1 Tbsp Butter and 1Tbsp Olive Oil then add the diced shallots.  Cook for a few minutes until translucent then add the brussel sprouts.  Saute in the butter and Olive oil for about 5 minutes.  Chop your crispy bacon and add to the pan.  Remove from the heat.
10.  Once the wine has reduced add the cream, thyme leaves and mustard.  Stir to combine and reduce the sauce until it has reached a nice consistency.  Add the lemon juice, then season to taste.
11.  To serve take the rested pork tenderloin pieces and cut them in half.  Combine your roasted potato pieces with the brussel sprout mix then spoon this onto a plate.  Top with the meat and then drizzle over your delicious sauce.

It's a very tasty dish.  It may even convert you to liking brussel sprouts.  No promises though.  Keep the dog at the ready.  Or the cat......if they seem interested.

The cat heard brussel sprouts were on the menu


  1. Dammit, I may have to try this. Despite the fact that brussels sprouts being disgusting is one of the immutable laws of the universe. Like chocolate being the best thing ever, and shoes on sale never being available in my size.

    Also, I have heard that there is an Asian method of stir frying the leaves quickly that makes them marginally less disgusting too. I'll let you try that and report back!

  2. If you really can't bring yourself too it then you can always replace the brussel sprouts with savoy cabbage. Boil for only a few minutes instead of the six. Life's too short to spend it eating brussel sprouts if you don't like them!!