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Happy Pigs and Tasty Potato Salad

September 4, 2009

Juicy Pork Tenderloin

When I decided to move to Walla Walla, I started doing my research, and was pleased to discover Thundering Hooves, a local farm and butcher shop that sells humanely- and sustainably-raised meats. It was surprisingly difficult to find pastured meat in Boston, and when I did find it, it either had to be ordered way ahead or bought in large quantities. The possibility of walking into a butcher shop and walking out with something for dinner that night, something I knew had been raised and fed humanely, well, it was pretty exciting.

For some reason, though, it took me over six weeks to find the time to go check it out. But finally, this week, I left work a little early (the place closes at 5!) and bought me some happy meat.

Thundering Hooves sells beef, lamb, chicken, goat, and pork, though the pork is supplied by another farm. At first I thought I would try something new, some cut of meat I’ve never cooked before, but, well, I chickened out in the end (excuse the pun, please). I couldn’t resist the lovely looking pork tenderloin.

Thundering Hooves

I decided to do something very simple, something that would let the flavor of the meat stand out, so I could really determine whether this healthy living really did make a difference in the way a pig tastes. And let me tell you, it does. This was by far the juiciest, most flavorful pork tenderloin I’ve ever had. I also appreciated the fact that the tenderloins were packaged one to a package (rather than two, like they are in most supermarkets), and that they weren’t enormous. As a lady living alone, it’s nice to be able to cook a pork tenderloin without having to subsequently eat it every single day for the next two weeks. Hallelujah for normal sized meals.

This meal is as simple as they come. To go along with my basic, roasted pork tenderloin I made my all-time favorite potato salad. People are picky about their potato salad, I know, and everyone has her own idea about what makes potato salad great, but this is the recipe I always come back to. It’s easy, doesn’t require too many ingredients, and isn’t too heavy. And I always make enough for leftovers, because it definitely tastes better on the second day.

Pork Tenderloin and Potato Salad

Cumin Roasted Pork Tenderloin
I didn’t season these too strongly because I wanted to really taste the meat. If you’d like more of a cumin flavor, double the amount.

  • 2 T. olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp. chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 pork tenderloin

Heat the oven to 400F. Mix the olive oil and seasonings together and, using a basting brush, brush all over the pork. Roast at 400F until a meat thermometer inserted into the center reads 140F (about 30-40 minutes). Remove from the oven and let rest for about 10 minutes (until the thermometer reads about 150F), then slice and serve.

My Favorite Potato Salad

  • about 1 lb. small potatoes, cleaned and cut into quarter
  • 2 T. mayonnaise
  • 2 T. plain yogurt (I use whole milk)
  • 1 T. Maille or whole-grain Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp. red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 3 or 4 green onions, chopped OR 1/2 a red onion, minced
  • salt and pepper

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, then add the potatoes and cook for about 15 minutes, or until a fork inserted into a piece goes in easily but doesn’t break the potato up too much. Drain the potatoes and let them sit for about 10 minutes to cool.

Meanwhile, whisk together the mayonnaise, yogurt, mustard, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, and onions, and season to taste with salt. (You can add some hot sauce, too, if you’re feeling daring.) Once the potatoes are cooled enough to touch, stir them into the mayonnaise mixture. Stir well so the potatoes are well-coated, then let the potato salad chill for at least 30 minutes.

Potato Salad

The rest of the pork ended up in salads and in a quesadilla later in the week, and I cannot wait to head over to my new butcher’s shop to pick up some more. (They also sell beef jerky, and if you know about my family’s looooove for real beef jerky, you know that I couldn’t resist picking some up. I haven’t tasted it yet, but when I do, if it’s as good as this pork was, I suspect I’ll have a little jerky addiction on my hands.)

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One Comment leave one →
  1. kim e permalink
    September 8, 2009 11:26 am

    Wow I wish that where ever we end up in moving to (which might be either Cape Town or London), that there is the possibility of having humane meat…it’s one of the main things that would be the reason for me ever going back to eating meat/seafood. One day, when we come up and visit you, I can finally try some delicious and truly fresh meat (so I will have to work on bringing meat back into the diet though). I love reading your new delicious culinary adventures! Mmmmhmmm :-)

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