Before I started trying to conform my eating habits to the paleo diet, I had plenty of “go-to” dishes I made regularly. When I didn’t have much time to prepare or cook dinner, I’d throw together tuna melts, several different dishes involving a flour tortilla (tacos, burritos, tuna wraps, etc.), or any number of quick pasta dishes. Some of these dishes have been revised to fit with the way I try to cook nowadays, like by making seasoned meat or tuna and using a piece of lettuce for wrapping instead of the tortilla, guacamole instead of sour cream and cheese. Some have been discarded entirely. We don’t eat pasta anymore, so most of those are out, though I occasionally use spaghetti squash as a vehicle for some good sauce. I’ve had to come up with a few new “go-to” meals. One of my favorites is pork tenderloin with a pan sauce and roasted vegetables. So yummy and quick. And it doesn’t get any easier than this.
For pork and pan sauce you’ll need:
1 pork tenderloin (or more if you need)
Salt and pepper
Coconut oil (or olive oil)
1/2 cup white wine
2-3 Tbsp butter (cold)
For roasted veggies:
Preheat your oven to 400. Get about 1-2 lbs of a good roasting vegetable. We like asparagus, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, butternut squash, and broccoli the most. Cut into approximately evenly sized pieces. Arrange on a big sheet pan, drizzle with a good olive oil, sprinkle with salt, toss to coat and put in the oven until done. Usually about 20 minutes, depending on your vegetable.
While your veggies cook, trim the fat and silvery skin from the tenderloin. Slice it into 1/2 – 3/4 inch thick medallions (try to make sure they’re all about the same thickness). Use the side of your knife to press the medallions so they are about 1/4 – 1/2 inch thick.
Use a paper towel to pat the medallions dry on both sides. Sprinkle both sides with salt and pepper. Heat a skillet over medium-high heat and melt about 1 Tbsp of coconut oil in the pan. Give the pan and the oil time to get hot before you put the meat in (it should sizzle when it hits the pan). Put several medallions in without overcrowding. Cook for 3-4 minutes, then flip with tongs and cook the other side until done, about another 3-4 minutes. Remove to a plate to rest and repeat until all meat is cooked.
After you’ve cooked all the meat, pour the wine in the pan and let it reduce for a few minutes. Use a wooden spoon to scrape up all the bits of meat from the bottom of the pan.
After the wine reduces a bit, turn off the heat and add the butter (cut it into Tbsp-sized chunks first). Stir until melted, pour in any accumulated juices from the plate where your meat has been resting, and the spoon the sauce on your meat (and your veggies if you want). This is a thin sauce, not a gravy. But it is yummy and fast. Dinner!
What’s your favorite “go-to” dinner?