26 January 2009

Pork Tenderloin with Gingered Sweet Potatoes

Pork rocks. If it wasn't on the opposite end of "healthy" on the "things that are good and bad for you" scale, I could probably eat bacon every day. I mean, any food where the leftover grease can be used for frying pretty much anything and making it taste much better is fantastic in my book. This isn't about bacon, though, it's about a great pork tenderloin recipe I decided to make. The pork came out very tender, the mashed sweet potatoes were a great compliment and broccoli is always tasty as a side dish.

A note about pork: the risk of getting sick from eating undercooked pork is much smaller than they seem to warn you about in every restaurant out there. As long as the internal temperature is over 140 degrees Fahrenheit, you're safe and most of the time, you'll be taking it out of the oven at 155 degrees and letting it rest (and thus letting it continue to cook internally) for 10 minutes until it reaches the desired doneness. Pink pork will not kill you, but gray pork will make anyone with a desire to eat good food shed a tear (or eat elsewhere). Enough talk, here's the recipe!

Pork Tenderloin

1-1 1/2 lb pork tenderloin
1 2-inch piece of fresh ginger
3 garlic cloves
3-4 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp soy sauce

Remove the silver skin, as it will not break down when cooking. Place the pork in a zip lock bag. Peel the ginger and cut the piece into smaller chunks. Crush the garlic. Add all ingredients (a couple of pinches of salt and pepper is enough) to the bag, close it and toss to coat. Leave in the fridge for at least 1 hour, preferably overnight. I did this in the morning and cooked at night.

When ready to cook, turn oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Place the pork on a rack in a roasting pan. I added a little bit of white wine and apple juice in the roasting pan together with some more crushed garlic and ginger, and basted the roast with it every 5-10 minutes, but this is not necessary. Roast for 30-45 minutes (depending on thickness), until a meat thermometer reads 155 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove from the oven and place on a plate. Cover loosely with tin foil and leave for 10 minutes before carving.

Gingered Mashed Sweet Potatoes

2 large sweet potatoes/yams
1 2-inch piece of ginger
1 cup heavy cream

Bring water in a large pot to a boil, add salt. Wash the sweet potatoes and cut them lengthwise, once. Add to the pot and boil until tender enough that a knife easily cuts through them. In the meantime, peel the ginger and cut into smaller chunks. Add to a small pot together with the cream and bring to a simmer. Stirring frequently, keep simmering for at least 10 minutes, or the time it takes to finish the potatoes.

Once the potatoes are done, remove from the water and leave until cooler, but still warm. Remove the skin and place the potatoes back in the pot (you may need to rinse the pot first). Mash with a potato masher or fork. Add the cream and stir to combine. Salt and pepper to taste.

I serve the dish with oven-roasted broccoli. Wash a head of broccoli, remove the stem and cut into smaller pieces. Toss with a few tablespoons of oil, some salt and pepper in a bowl. Place in a oven-safe dish and roast for 10 minutes at 450 degrees Fahrenheit.



  1. What do Sweet Potatoes taste like in comparison to regular potatoes.. those are another one of those things I have never had before.

  2. It's hard to easily describe. Try one - I'm sure you'll like them. The consistency is pretty close to "normal" potatoes (yes, there are hundreds if not thousands of kinds of potatoes out there), but a bit more dense. The taste is...well, sweeter. Almost like pumpkin or squash. Try this recipe, or cube 'em up, stick them in the oven at 425 for 20 minutes, then remove from the oven, sprinkle with marshmallows and a little brown sugar, lower heat to 350 and back in oven for 10 or so minutes or until melted...yum.