Tag Archives: pork

Bourbon Pecan Pork Tenderloin

This pork tenderloin recipe will be the show stopping centerpiece at your next dinner and honestly, it doesn’t take too much effort!  I gave it a bit of Southern flair, with the addition of pecans and bourbon, and I’m sure I made all the lower states proud!  Your taste buds with have texture, flavor and nuttiness from the spiced pecan crust and the sauce brightens the entire dish with tang and color!

Please feel free to try this out for Easter or even a Mother’s Day brunch or dinner.  The flavors are also great on chicken, ham or pork chops!  You really can’t go wrong. xoxo

*If concerned about the sauce, alcohol does cook way down annnddd even my 6 year old asked for “more gravy”; it’s not too strong! 🙂

*I bought chopped pecans and then added them to a large Ziploc bag and gently “smashed” them with a heavy bottomed pan.  You can also use a food processor, just be careful not to pulse too much, or you’ll have yourself a paste similar to peanut butter and zero texture ;).

*All ovens heat a bit differently, so please check the internal temp to ensure it is cooked to your liking.

The Starting Lineup

Pecan Pork Tenderloin

  • 1 lb pork tenderloin, any silver skin removed
  • 3 Tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 cup Pecan, almost ground
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • kosher salt & pepper, to taste

Bourbon Dijon Sauce “Gravy”

  • 3/4 cup chicken broth
  • 3 Tbsp bourbon 
  • 1 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 2 Tbsp dark brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tsp soy sauce, low sodium
  • 1/4 cup Dijon mustard
  • 3 Tbsp butter, cubed
  • Pinch of kosher salt

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet/dish with foil and spray with non-stick.

In a small bowl, combine the crushed pecans, thyme, cayenne, salt and pepper.  Liberally rub the 3 tablespoons of Dijon mustard all over the outside of the pork and then coat the tenderloin with the seasoned pecans, as it will stick to the mustard.  Pack it on there!

Transfer to the preheated oven and bake for 50-60 minutes, uncovered, or until a meat thermometer registers at least 140 degrees.  **Though we prefer no pink in ours and I register about 155 degrees for an all white, no pink center.  Remove from oven, tent with foil and allow to rest for 5 minutes.

While the pork is resting, in a small saucepan, combine the chicken broth, bourbon and cornstarch.  Whisk and bring to a boil.  Reduce to medium-low heat and whisk in the dark brown sugar, Worcestershire, soy sauce, Dijon mustard, pinch of salt and the butter until smooth and coats the back of a spoon.

Serve the sliced Pecan Pork Tenderloin over warm, buttery mashed potatoes and a hefty drizzle of the slightly sweet and tangy Bourbon Dijon Sauce over top, enjoy!

PecanPork

 

Slowcooker Maple Apple Bacon Pork Tenderloin

It’s a rainy day here in Texas.  A glorious, cool, rolling thunder sort of day, perhaps my very favorite kind of day there is.  Now rainy days (or any day really) make me want to bake, broil and roast in my kitchen for as long as humanly possible…but there’s just something about that slow-cooker on making the home smell of divine aromas!

So that is exactly what I chose to use on this puddle jumping day!  Let me tell you, I chose to walk outside numerous times just so I could return in to that smell of tenderloin, bacon, maple and apples.  I mean really??  What screams comfort and Fall more than that?!

The Starting Lineup

  • 1 pckg pork tenderloin (they often come with two loins)
  • 6-8 strips bacon
  • 1 Apple, cored & sliced
  • 1/3 cup real maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 clove garlic, minced 
  • 1 yellow onion, quartered
  • 2 cups carrots 
  • 2 cups red potatoes 

We will begin by spraying your crockpot with a bit of non-stick spray, rinsing and chopping your produce and cooking the bacon.  Once bacon has crisped, remove from pan and rough chop.

In a small bowl, whisk together the maple syrup, balsamic, Dijon, soy sauce and minced garlic. 

Next, place the onions, carrots and potatoes in the crockpot followed by the pork tenderloin(s).

Pour the maple glaze over top and then toss on the apple slices and chopped, cooked bacon. 

Cover and cook on the low setting for 6-8 hours… dinner is ready, enjoy!! xo 

Loaded Pulled Pork Fries w/ Spicy Pimiento Cheese Sauce

So after eating a few healthy meals, I remembered that you only live once and I wanted to dig into some southern comfort food.  I couldn’t decide what exactly, so I just mashed a few of my favorite recipes together and came up with this delight!  Man…come football season, these are going to be on my game day menu for sure!!

A couple of things that are awesome about this recipe is A.  It’s actually easy!  You basically put all the ingredients into two different vessels and walk away for HOURS!  Assemble once finished and done!  B.  Any leftovers can be used for other meals!!  Pulled pork? Sandwiches, wraps, etc.  Cheese sauce? A fantastic chip, cracker or veggie dip, pour on the sandwiches, quesadillas, etc.  Man the ideas are coming to me now!

So please do your family a favor and try this out ASAP!

*You can also cook the pork in a crockpot as well..if possible, still sear the meat and then place in your slow-cooker.  Cook on low for 8 hours.

The Starting Lineup

Spicy Pimiento Cheese Sauce

  • 8oz block cream cheese, cut into cubes
  • 2 cups sharp cheddar, shredded
  • 1 cup evaporated milk, divided
  • 4oz can green chilis, with juice
  • 4oz jar Pimiento’s, drained
  • 1 jalapeño, finely diced (I keep the seeds in)
  • 1 tsp Garlic powder
  • A pinch of kosher salt & ground pepper

Braised Pulled Pork

  • 3 lb pork butt/pork shoulder, excess fat trimmed
  • 16oz beer
  • 1 large onion, quartered
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp onion powder
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tbsp ground pepper
  • 1 tbsp kosher salt
  • 2 tsp mustard powder
  • 2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • Your favorite bbq sauce (I use Franklin Barbecue ‘Texas Style’) 
  • French fries (homemade or store bought)

Garnish

  • Green onions, sliced
  • Red onion, chopped
  • Jalapenos, slices
  • Cilantro, chopped
  • Bbq sauce drizzle 

    Spicy Pimiento Cheese Sauce

    Braised Pulled Pork

Let’s begin! 

In your non-stick sprayed crockpot, simply add in all of the Spicy Pimiento Cheese sauce ingredients: cream cheese, cheddar cheese, 1/2 evap milk, green chilis, pimientos, jalapeño, garlic powder, salt & pepper.  Place the cover on and set to low for 2-3 hours.  Stir a couple times while melting and add the remaining milk half-way through to slightly thin.  Done!  Easy, right?  *This is soooo good, I had at least a couple spoonfuls 😬👍 

   On to the pork!!  Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

Combine all of the spices together while heating the olive oil in a large heavy-bottomed pot to med-high. *Reserve 1 Tbsp of the spice blend, set aside. 

Evenly coat your pork with this spice blend and sear all sides of the roast to create a nice crust on the outside.  *Typically takes 10-15 minutes. 

    

Follow the searing by tossing in the cut onions and pouring in the beer. *If you’re over 21, take a swig!  

Now simply cover the pork with the lid and place into your preheated oven for about 3 hours. *If you’ll be away longer, you can drop the temp down to 275 and give yourself another couple of hours.

As your house is smelling magnificent, wipe the cheese sauce you’ve been sneaking from your chin, and start to chop and dice your garnishes. 

 Now that everything is ready to go, remove the pork from the oven and begin pulling it, literally.  Shred with two forks (careful, it’s hot!!) and toss in your desired amount of bbq sauce.  *Here is where your oven is now free and you can bake your french fries if not using a deep fryer.

Assembly time!  Once your fries have finished cooking, sprinkle them with a bit of that reserved spice blend and then top with a good amount of the warm pulled pork and a drizzle of bbq sauce.  Now ladle the Spicy Pimiento Cheese Sauce overtop and garnish with all your favorites!  Dig in and enjoy!  *I hope you bought a six-pack of beer, because it goes great with this!! 

Glazed-Bacon Wrapped Hawaiian Pork

A few months back our family went to a local restaurant here in Texas and my husband had this fun appetizer with ‘sweet-heat’ ingredients.  After I helped myself to a sample bite of his meal, I knew I had to recreate and tweak it into dinner form…and I have to say, it’s not too shabby!

You have sweet and savory flavors from the honey glaze, bacon and pork tenderloin and a wonderful FRESHNESS from the pineapple..lets also not forget the heat of the jalapeno and pepper jack cheese.  Now you can absolutely use a plain jack cheese and seed the jalapeno, but when you roast hot peppers the heat actually subsides a bit..so pick your heat level, but I could even do hotter! (Duh)

These flavors together remind me of the Hawaiin rice, veggie and meat bowls I used to get when living along the coast of San Diego.  So naturally I paired the main dish with a heaping of rice and drizzled the juices overtop.  It’s quite the pairing!

The Starting Lineup

  • 1 pckg bacon
  • 1 pork tenderloin 
  • Pineapple, fresh preferred
  • Jalapeño, sliced in half lengthwise (I prefer to keep the seeds in)
  • Monterey Jack or pepper jack cheese

Glaze

  • 4 Tbsp Honey
  • 3 Tbsp Balsamic vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp Chili sauce
  • 2 Garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 Tbsp Extra virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt & pepper  

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees and line a baking sheet with foil and a rack overtop.

In a small bowl whisk the honey, balsamic vinegar, chili sauce, garlic, EVOO and a pinch of salt & pepper together.  Set aside. *Taste the glaze to tweak any ingredient to your taste. 

  Now lay the bacon stips, touching, on top of the wire racked baking sheet. 

 Next, butterfly the pork tenderloin and stuff with the pineapple, jalapeños and cheese.  *To make it fit a bit better, I’ll get pepper jack string cheese or cut a block into strips and stuff into the jalapeño before putting into the pork.  Shredded cheese could be used as well.  Season with another pinch of salt and pepper.

Transfer the stuffed pork onto the layed out bacon strips.  Coat a good amount  (about 1/2) of the prepared glaze allllll over the pork.  Wrap up the entire stuffed tenderloin with the bacon.  *If needed, you can use toothpicks to secure, just remember to remove before eating! 

 After the pork has been fully wrapped in delicious bacon, coat the entire thing with the rest of the glaze. 

 Place into your oven, uncovered for 45-60 minutes (meat temperature at least 145degrees and bacon done.  *About halfway through check on the bacon.  Depending you may need to lightly tent the wrapped tenderloin with foil.  Though we like ours more on the crisp side.  To each their own! 

 Remove the cooked tenderloin from the oven, lightly tent with foil, and let rest for about 5 minutes.  Carve into 1-2″ slices and serve over rice.  Spoon any drippings over the pork and rice.  Enjoy!! 

 


Texas Tostadas (pulled pork & Memphis-style ‘slaw topped corn cakes)

Around here we like our meals hearty, full of flavor and simple.  We’re also always torn between either mexican food or southern supper favorites.  Well if you mash those two together, you get this creative and delicious fusion!
Please don’t be afraid either..the ingredient list may seem long, but this is mostly a crockpot recipe.  So spend the extra 5 minutes to put together the dry rub and you can walk away for hourrssss!  *Plus, you can make the corncakes your way if you’d like, a.k.a. Jiffy.

Top the shredded pork with this memphis-style ‘slaw (not too creamy, slightly tangy), a good drizzle of your favorite BBQ sauce (I like thinner based) and a side of thick cut white onions and dill pickle slices and peppers.  This is Texas afterall..its a must with BBQ!

The Starting Lineup

Pulled pork

  •  6lb+ pork shoulder
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 sweet onion, thickly sliced

Pork Dry Rub

  • 1 Tbsp black pepper
  • 2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 Tbsp chili powder
  • 2 Tbsp cumin
  • 2 Tbsp dark brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp mexican oregano
  • 3 Tbsp smoked paprika
  • 1 Tbsp kosher salt
  • 1 Tbsp sugar 

Coleslaw

  • 1 bag precut slaw mix (about 16oz)
  • 1/2 cup mayonaisse
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp light brown sugar
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp dry mustard
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder 

Corn Cakes

  • 2 Tbsp evoo
  • 1 cup sweet corn kernals (frozen, defrosted fine)
  • 2 Tbsp shallot, minced
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/8 tsp ground black pepper
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 3/4 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup masa harina flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp white sugar
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne
  • 3/4 cup water
  • Creole seasoning
  • Vegetable oil 

Garnish

  • BBQ sauce of choice (we like Franklins)
  • Sliced white onion
  • Dill pickle slices
  • Pickeled whole jalapeno peppers

The night before, place all of the dry-rub marinade ingredients into a large ziplock freezer bag and shake up.  Then add the pork shoulder into the bag and coat with the dry rub.  Zip tight and place in a shallow dish into the refridgerator and allow to marinate over night.  *you can also coat the pork with the dry rub by hand and then place into a shallow dish, saran wrap overtop, then refridgerator.

Ahhhh…rise and shine!!  Break out the crockpot and we’ll get this going!  Spray the interior with non-stick spray and lay the sliced onions down.  You’ll now simply place the dry-rubbed pork shoulder over top along with the cup of chicken broth.  Cover this up and turn on low for 8-10 hours minimum.

   We’ll now head over to the coleslaw…this is simple too!  In a large bowl pour in the cabbage blend.  In a smaller bowl, whisk together all of the other ingredients.  Once combined, pour over the cabbage and toss to coat.  Cover with saran wrap and keep in fridge till dinner time (or at least one hour).

     Here is where you get a long break…let that pork cook down, become tender and caramelize.  …or you may not be getting a break and you’re off to work, but hey, dinner will be ready in the evening when you return!

We will now imagine the time has passed… and you’re ready to prepare the corn cakes!

Heat the evoo (extra virgin olive oil) in a saute pan over medium heat.  Add in the corn, shallots and a pinch each of salt & pepper.  Allow to cook, while stirring, until tender (about 5 minutes).  Remove from heat.

   In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the heavy cream and eggs.  To that, add in the corn meal, flour, masa harina, baking powder, baking soda, cayenne, salt and the water.  Mix well.   Finally fold in the sauteed corn & shallots.

     In a large pan or cast-iron pan, heat up about 1 Tbsp of vegetable oil over medium heat (not quite smoking).  Pour in about 1/4-1/2 cup of corn cake batter forming a pancake shape.  Cook these for about 2 minutes per side, adjusting heat as necessary.  Once each ‘cake’ has finished cooking, transfer to a paper towl lined plate and sprinkle a bit of creole seasoning over each side.  Repeat with the remaining batter till finished.

Ok.  The slaw’s flavors have all melded together, the corn cakes are finished and it should be time to pull apart that pork!  You can transfer to a serving dish, or leave in the crockpot.  You can also use your hands to pull apart (cool slightly) or use forks/tongs.

Assembly time!  On a plate lay down one or two corn cakes (this is more filling than you’d think) and top with a healthy amount of shredded pork.  Next spoon another generous amount of ‘slaw atop those two and then drizzle the entire beast of supper with bbq sauce.  Right next to this youll place some onions, pickles and a hot pepper.  Mix together, dive in, eat up & enjoy!!!  You may need a Shiner Bock to go with this..or heck, even a Lone Star!!

Cola Carnitas

I often say that simple ingredients can make the most delicious meals.  This recipe is yet another that helps make that thought true.  Given there are no complicated add-ins or cooking techniques, you REALLY taste the sweetness of that Coca-Cola, the brightness from the fresh oranges and the savoriness of the seared and braised pork.  I’d eat this delish delight off of a shoe…but a warm tortilla is better. 😉

The Starting Lineup

  • 2-3 lbs pork butt/shoulder
  • 2 oranges, quartered
  • 12oz Coca Cola (1 1/2 cups)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 Bay leaves
  • 2 Tbsp cumin, to taste
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • Kosher salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 Tbsp evoo
  • 2 Tbsp canola oil  

We’ll start this Mexican food favorite by mincing the garlic, quartering the oranges and heating the canola oil to a medium high heat in a large dutch oven.  Also sprinkle the entire pork with a liberal amount of cumin, salt and pepper and the extra virgin olive oil.  

    Working in small batches (you do not want to overcrowd the pan..no, no, no…), sear each side of your pork in the hot dutch oven.  Once seared nicely, set aside as you finish the rest of the pork.  This will take roughly 20 minutes for the entire pork butt/shoulder to brown.  

  

  

Next, add all of the seared pork back into the pot along with the Coca-Cola and water.  You will now also squeeze in those fresh oranges!  After each quarter has been squeezed dry, toss the whole thing into the pot. 

  
 Bring to a boil, while scraping up the yummy brown bits on the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon.  

Lower the temperature to a simmer and add in the Bay leaves, garlic and a pinch or two more cumin, salt & pepper.  Simply cover and keep on that low temperature for 2-3 hours…just walk right away and relax! 

 ….I do believe that time is now up!!  Carefully uncover that pot (steam hurts!) and remove that tender, fall-apart pork to another dish.  Pull apart with two forks or let cool slightly and use your own two hands!  *I like to sneak a bit straight into my mouth too, sshhhh…. After its fully shredded or chopped up, ladle in a bit of the juice from the dutch oven to keep warm and not dry out. 

 Serve this as you wish!  However, around here we top warmed tortillas with this sweet and citrusy pork, along with a bit of cilantro, chopped white onion and thinly sliced radishes.  Enjoy!! 

 

Savory Pork & Apple Butter Biscuits

What goes better than “pork chops and applesauce”??  *In your finest Peter Brady impersonating Humphrey Bogart voice. ..

Well, I have one for ya!  This is a fun one!  Savory, sweet, inexpensive and comforting!  I like to make these for brunch alongside a fruit salad or even for dinner with some roasted sweet potatoes.

If you’ve never tried Apple Butter, don’t let the name fool you in any way.  It’s inexplainable, but kind of similar to a rich applesauce..fantastic on toast!! (Or any leftover biscuits 😉

…And what goes better than ‘pork chops & applesauce’! 😉

The Starting Lineup

  • 8-12 (tenderized) pork loin cutlets 
  • 1 medium sweet onion, sliced
  • 1 jar Apple Butter
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 tsp each black pepper, kosher salt & cayenne pepper
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 recipe Buttermilk Biscuits | Railroad Wife, or any store bought biscuits  

With your biscuits finished (or in oven baking if you’re a multitasker..just don’t forget about them!), heat a skillet to medium with your two tbsp of butter. 

 

Next, add in your entire sliced onion.  Drop heat down to low or med-low and occasionally stir these onions until they’re soft and a beautiful brown shade.  This can take a bit of time, but it’s so worth it!!  All the sugars come out and they take on a great ‘sweet’ taste!  *Once these onion slices have started to soften, add in a Tbsp of the Apple Butter..continue cooking till it’s that soft, golden color I spoke of. 

     

While the onions are doing their thing, we’ll coat the cutlets.  In a shallow dish, add together the flour along with the salt, pepper and cayenne.  Mix to combine.  Take each pork loin cutlet and dredge each side in this mix, shake off excess and set aside. 

   
Onions are finally done!  Set them aside in a covered dish to keep warm.  In that same skillet (do not wipe out) add in the vegetable oil.  Heat to medium high.

Place the cutlets into the hot sweet onion flavored/butter/oil bath and cook for about 1-2 minutes each side.  *Remember, mine are tenderized and thin cut, so they cook FAST!  If you chose a thicker cut, please cook accordingly. 

   Woohoo!!  Assembly time!  Halve each one of your glorious biscuits and slather on some of that Apple Butter on each side.  Next, place on your fried pork loin topped with some of those caramelized onions.  Cap off with the top of your biscuit and devour..you can’t eat just one! 
 

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