I wanted to make my mother-in-law something special for dinner, and this is what I came up with.
I just though about what kind of dinners she likes, and cooked accordingly. She leans towards very tender meat, creamy sauces, and a herb blend that is most visible in her pantry called, Herbs De Provence, which is a mixture of thyme, marjoram, rosemary, basil, sage and lavender.
I served it with penne and the resulting dinner was comforting, and severely edible. It was very satisfying to see her cleaning her plate.
You will need: 4 tbs extra-virgin olive oil, 2 lbs Pork loin, rib-end piece, cut into bite-sized pieces, 1 medium onion, diced, 1 cup baby peas (I used frozen), 2 medium carrots, sliced, 4 cups spinach, 2 tsp Herbs de Provence, (a herb blend found in most supermarkets), 2 tbs all-purpose flour, 2 cups chicken broth, 1 cup heavy cream, 1 lb penne (I used Barilla mini penne).
Preheat oven 400*
1 – Prep all vegetables and meat. Season meat with sea-salt and freshly cracked black pepper. Put big saute pan on high heat and add 3 tbs of oil. When it is hot, sear meat in batches until brown on both sides. Transfer to a plate and continue to sear meat until all browned, adding oil as needed.
2 – Turn heat down to medium and add carrots and onions. Saute for 10 minutes, before adding herbs, followed by flour. Cook for 1 minute, stirring to incorporate.
3 – Add all liquid and turn heat up to high. Add meat and continue to heat until everything starts to bubble.
4 – Cover with lid and place in oven for 45 minutes to 1 hour, after which time, the pork should be very tender when pierced with a sharp knife.
* While dish is in the oven, put water on for pasta and cook according to instructions. Try to time the pasta to be ready at the same time as the meat. Add past to dish when it comes out of the oven
To saute spinach: Put pan on medium heat and add 1 1/2 tbs extra-virgin olive oil. When it gets warm, add 1/4 cup of broth, 1/4 tsp sea-salt, and freshly cracked black pepper. Add the spinach, cover and let it wilt for about 5 minutes.(cook this when pork comes out of the oven and it is resting).