Tag Archives: potatoes

Tuscan-Style Sausages with Rich Onion Gravy, Mash & Spinach (serves 6-8)

The herds that are still thriving in my garden in late october

The herbs that are still thriving in my garden in late October (thyme, sage, rosemary)

I must be feeling the shiver of winter because my last few dinners have contained a hearty quality I am not drawn to when the weather is warmer. The changes in the season are visible to me every time I walk from the backdoor to my car via the garden. Right now my poor basil plants are all but dead and I am kicking myself for not getting that last good harvest picked for some extra jars of pesto to cheer me up when the bleakness of January hits. The earthier herbs are still determined to brave it out and it is their flavors that have influenced the kinds of things I have been feeling like cooking lately.

Sa

Sausages with rosemary infused onion gravy – nothing like it!

Yesterday I found a new style of sausage at my most favorite supermarket (I must write about it someday soon), an organic “Tuscan Style” sausage no less, and if there is any word that conjures up gastronomy in all it’s glory for me it is Tuscany! (there are some other words of course but this one is in the top five!). What made this sausage “Tuscan”? The words “spezza forte” on the package was a start but I wanted to make sure it wasn’t some marketing ploy intended for lovers of all things Italian like me!

Tuscan style sausages

Tuscan style sausages

So from my limited experience of living there last year and my determination to make a stab at learning or at least understanding the language I knew it loosely meant “strong spice” So what does that really translate into in North American? To this particular set of test/marketing chefs  it meant cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg but being that this sausage is made to please a huge cross-section of people the Tuscan flavor as I know it was rather mild (even thought they did get the spices right on). I am probably going to have to make the sausage myself if I want the real deal. What I am trying to say is that if you are going to make this any good quality sausage will do but if you happen to be lucky enough to go to a real Italian market where the meat is from the source then you will have the best dinner ever!

Romanesque church of in Lucca

Romanesque church in Lucca , Tuscany, a town where I had very good sausages

We had this with a big side of quickly sautéed spinach and it was the perfect thing! This dish was really all about the sausages and gravy so once you have that I’d say feel free to serve it with anything you like, or whatever you can scrounge from your fridge or pantry.

Spinach grwon from seeds from Naples

Spinach grown from seeds from Naples by my friend Catherine on her farm a few miles from me!

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You will Need:

for the sausage & onion gravy

2 to 2 1/2 lbs robust flavored sausages (I used a Tuscan-style pork sausage & a mild Italian style chicken sausage)

3 medium sweet onions – halved and sliced thin (not too thin however!)

3 tbs olive oil

1 sprig fresh rosemary, left whole

2 tbs unsalted butter

3 tbs all-purpose flour

2 1/2 cups chicken broth (or 1 good quality bouillon cube & 3 cups water – it’s what I did!). *You may need more so have some on hand*

Sea salt & freshly ground pepper to taste

for the mashed potatoes:

3 lbs yellow potatoes, peeled and cut into large chunks (sometimes called Yukon golds or golden potatoes)

2 tbs unsalted butter

1/2 cup or more of milk or cream

1 tsp salt

lots of freshly ground black pepper

for the spinach:

10 or more cups roughly chopped spinach

2 tbs extra virgin olive oil

1/4 tsp cayenne pepper flakes (optional)

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Method:

1 – Put big saute pan on medium heat and add 2 tbs of the oil. Place the sausages in an even layer in the pan (there will be about 12 or so). If the sausages are large you can cut them in half if you like. Brown on all sides and then turn the heat down slightly and continue to cook until cooked through. This will take about 20 minutes (internal temp should be 165* if you want to check with a thermometer). Turn the sausages occasionally as the cook. When done, remove to a plate and cover with foil to keep warm (no need to put in a warm oven as they will be going back in the gravy)

Fry sausages

Fry sausages

2 – Add some more oil to the pan (about 1 tbs) and add the sliced onions and sprig of rosemary. Turn the heat up to medium and cook stirring occasionally for about 10 minutes. Reduce heat, cover with lid and continue to cook until onions are nice and soft (about 10 more minutes).

cook onions with rosemary

cook onions with rosemary

3 – At this point the onions will have turned a lovely caramel color and picked up the scrapings from the sausages. Add the butter (*and the stock cube if you are using stock cube plus water instead of broth) and when it melts add the flour and stir very well with a wooden spoon. Add a cup of broth (or water)  and continue stirring into a smooth sauce. Add the next 1 1/2 cups of water and let it come to a boil. Turn heat down until it has stopped boiling and continue to cook and stirring on and off for about 5 minutes.

add butter to make gravy

add butter to make gravy

4 – If you want a thinner sauce add another 1/2 cup or so of water or broth and let it get hot. Add liquid until you are happy with the consistency. Next add the sausages back to the pan and turn down  heat to lowest setting. Keep warm until ready to serve.

add sausages to cooked gravy

add sausages to cooked gravy

for the mash: put the prepared potatoes into a pot and cover with cold water. When the pot comes to a boil, cover with lid and boil gently until potatoes are cooked all the way through (a knife should be able to go through a potato very easily). Drain water and add the butter, milk or cream, 1/2 tsp salt and several grinds of black pepper. Mash until there are no lumps and you have a nice smooth mash. cover gently with a tea towel and set aside until ready to serve.

mash and season potatoes

mash and season potatoes

for the spinach: Put a big pan on low to medium heat right before you are ready to serve. Add the spinach and sprinkle with the seasonings (salt, pepper, chili flakes). It will wilt quickly. Before it seems cooked turn the heat off. it will continue to cook while you get everything served.

saute spinach with oil and pepper flakes for 1 minute..

Saute spinach with oil and pepper flakes for 1 minute..

Sausages with onion gravy - nothing like it!

Serve with lots of gravy and spinach (or any green you like!)

Rich Meaty Ragu In Baked Pasta (serves 12-14)

If you love rich pasta dishes, then this is the dinner for you. It seems to please the biggest to the smallest. I made this several times over the holidays (and again last night!) when crowds of people were dropping by continually, and it was a life-saver. It takes a bit of time (and a very large wooden spoon for wielding all of that meat!) but when it is done, you are off the hook for the whole evening, or for several days if you just cook it for the family for future meals.

This is addictive

This is addictive

I made this with a mixture of beef and lamb for extra flavor, and added special things like sun-dried tomato paste and smoky bacon to give the sauce a complex richness. Once you get the hang of making meat sauces they can be used in so many other things, Bolognese, Shepard’s pie, not to mention how they can be made ahead, frozen in 4 serving sizes to be drawn upon when you are in a hurry or you decide to ask the friend that came over for a quick chat after lunch to stay for dinner! All very handy indeed!

serve with lots of greens for balance (and guilt-free gorging!)

serve with lots of greens for balance (and guilt-free gorging!)

When I write about stuff like this I have to admit to feeling like some overly fastidious housewife and I have to scream out loud (mostly for myself) that it isn’t true!!! I don’t spend my days planning meals, and making mountains of food which get stored in Tupperware containers, neatly labelled with the contents. I only make giant amounts of food when I end up with a pile of something unexpected that needs using up (like 3lbs of ground meat last night).

Parsley, lemons, garlic & wine (great combination flavor)

Parsley, lemons, garlic & wine (great combination flavor)

I do however think about food quite a bit. Food just reminds me of everything that is good about the world: the pleasure of eating in the company of like-minded people, the smells bursting from my kitchen when I zest a lemon or chop fresh basil, the people I get to chat with who are drawn in by the activity and energy in my kitchen, cooking with friends, family and strangers, traveling anywhere and everywhere for that perfect meal, knowing that feeding someone who is down and out that day can change them for the better. It is a simple thing and not the most complicated thing to ponder on as I go through my day, but it is something that I can do everyday and it makes me feel good. You don’t need much to make something pleasing to the heart and soul, it can be as simple as a potato with a little blob of butter and salt – bliss.

Toss potatoes into parsley butter

Potatoes tossed in parsley butter

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You will need:

For meat sauce:

1/4 cup olive oil (extra-virgin is fine too)

3 lbs ground meat (beef, lamb or combination of the two – I buy 15% fat content when using beef)

4 or 5 stripes bacon (I used a flavorful smoky variety)

2 large onions, small dice

3 celery ribs, including leaves, diced

3 carrots, diced (I did this in my food processor – much faster!)

4 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 28oz can (793 grams) tomato puree

1 1/2 cups water

3 tbs tomato paste (or sun-dried tomato paste)

1 tsp sea-salt

1 tsp cayenne pepper flakes (optional)

freshly ground black pepper

2 cups white or red wine

For Béchamel sauce:

1 stick butter (4 oz/ 113 grams)

1/3 cup + 1 tbs all-purpose flour

3 1/2 cups milk

1 good quality veggie or chicken bouillon cube (I use Rapunzel Brand)

1/2 tsp sea-salt (I use Maldon sea-salt flakes) – NO salt if your bouillon cube is salty!

freshly ground pepper

1 1/2 cups parmesan cheese, grated (optional)

3 lb pasta (I recommend any tubular pasta: rigatoni, large penne, ziti)

Method:

1 – Prep all veggies for meat sauce and set aside. Put large deep saute pan or large casserole on medium heat and add 2 tbs of the oil. Add the chopped bacon and fry until getting crispy. Pour off some of the bacon fat.

fry bacon

Fry bacon

2 – Next, add the rest of the oil, then the onions, garlic, carrots, celery and carrots and cook, stirring occasionally for about 12 minutes.

add veggies

Add veggies

3 – Add the ground meat and cook until it has all browned. sir and break up meat as much as possible during the cooking. This will take about 12 minutes.

add ground meat

Add ground meat

Cook until browned

Cook until browned

4 – Turn heat up to high and add the wine, water, tomato puree, and tomato paste and stir until everything is well incorporated and starting to bubble.

add liquids

Add liquids

5 – Add the salt, several generous grinds of black pepper and cayenne pepper flakes (if using)

add seasonings

Add seasonings

6 – When the mixture is bubbling, cover with the lid partially off, turn down and cook, stirring occasionally for up to 2 1/2 hours. The sauce will have thickened and become deeply rich.

cook for 2 to 21/2 hours

Cook for 2 to 21/2 hours

7 – While sauce is cooking put big saucepan or saute pan on medium/low heat and add the butter. When it melts, swirl in the stock cube until it dissolves completely. Add the salt and several grinds of freshly ground pepper.

melt butter, add bouillon cube

Melt butter, add bouillon cube

8 – Add the flour and stir with a whisk until it becomes a smooth paste. Add the milk 1 cup at a time, and cook on medium, stirring continually until it the sauce becomes thick. Taste and adjust seasoning. Cover and set side.

Add flour, then milk

Add flour, then milk

Preheat oven to 400*

Boil the pasta noodles right before you want to cook this dish (the rest can be made ahead) Do not rinse with cold water.

9 – Stir Béchamel sauce into meat sauce

add bechamel to cooked meat sauce

Add bechamel to cooked meat sauce

10 – Mix the hot pasta with the ragu. Butter a very large casserole (or several dishes) and pour pasta mixture into baking dish. Top with cheese (if using)

mix with any pasta you like

Mix with any pasta you like

11 – Place in oven until getting crispy on top (start checking after 30 minutes)

Bake for 30 to 40 minutes

Bake for 30 to 40 minutes

Serve with lots of greens, more cheese, pepper flakes and black pepper!

Pork Tenderloin with Onions & New Season Potatoes (serves 4)

It is the time of year in Ireland when you start seeing potatoes with layers of thick dirt attached to their thin skins. The New Season potatoes are in the supermarkets, butcher shops and Farmer’s Markets all across the country and it would be a shame not to take advantage of this delicious crop.

Pork Tenderloin with onions & New Season Potatoes

All they need is to be scrubbed and boiled. Eating them directly from the cooking pot slathered in butter and salt is a pleasure that should be seized with gusto.

They were also pretty great thrown in last-minute to this quick pork dish.

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You will need:

2 tbs unsalted butter

1 pork tenderloin (about 1 lb), sliced thinly

8 to 12 medium new season potatoes (available at the beginning of summer until supplies last!)

1 large or 2 medium sweet or yellow onions, sliced into thin 1/2 circles

2 sprigs rosemary

2 tbs all-purpose flour

1/2 cup white wine

2 cups chicken broth (or good quality chicken or veggie bouillon cube & water)

1 tsp sea-salt (I use Maldon sea-salt flakes)

several grinds black pepper

1/2 cup heavy cream

Method:

1 – Prep all ingredients (chop onions, slice meat). Wash and scrub the potatoes and place them in a pot and cover with cold water. Place on medium/high heat and cover with lid. Boil until the potatoes are cooked (soft all the way through). Drain, place teacloth on top of potatoes and set aside.

Saute onions

2 – Put large saute pan on medium heat and add butter. Add onions and rosemary and cook for 15 minutes, or until the onions are nice and soft.

add broth, then pork

3 – Add the sliced pork and stir into the onions in an even layer and turn heat up until pork starts to cook. When the pork has lost most of it’s pink color (about 2 minutes), add the flour and stir. Add the white wine and let it boil and thicken for about 30 seconds.

add broth, then pork

4 – Add the salt, pepper, and the remainder of the liquid and bring to a simmer. Turn heat down, cover and cook very gently for about 10 minutes.

Add potatoes and cream

5 – Remove lids, add cream and potatoes and stir gently. Cook until heated through.

Eat!

Serve as is, or with some peas or other green vegetable.

Birthday Potatoes (serves 4)

Of all of the things I have cooked in my life, the lowly potato is the food that I am the most familiar with. I am Irish: need I say more.  Potatoes were part of every single dinner I ate when growing up. They are part of both a triumphant and tragic history. They kept us alive, and they starved us to death. But for now, I want to focus on this vegetable for a different reason.

Roasted potato Wedges with Olive oil, Sea Salt Flakes and Fresh Rosemary

I made this dish to celebrate a friend’s birthday. Every meal I ever saw him eat included roasted potatoes, or some sort of potato side-dish. He is far away, and roasting these potatoes was a way to  be part of his special day.

The world’s joy

is spluttering,

sizzling in olive oil.

potatoes

to be fried

enter the skillet,

snowy wings

of a morning swan-

and they leave

half-braised in gold,

gift of the crackling amber

of olives.

Garlic

embellishes the potato

with its earthy perfume,

and the pepper

is pollen that has traveled

beyond the reefs,

and so,

freshly

dressed

in marbled suit,

plates are filled

with the echoes of potatoey abundance:

delicious simplicity of the earth.

by Pablo Neruda

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You will need: 5 large yellow potatoes, washed and dried, 2 springs fresh rosemary, 2 tsp sea salt flakes (if using fine salt, use 1 tsp), 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil.

Preheat the oven 450*

Yellow or Golden potatoes are best

1 – Cut the potatoes in half lengthways and cut each half lengthways into 3 wedges. Place in a bowl and add the oil. Coat the potatoes well with 3 tbs of the oil (hands work best!). Sprinkle with salt and break up the rosemary and add to bowl.

Mix in a bowl with rest of ingredients

2 – Spread the last tbs of oil on a baking sheet (one that will hold the potatoes in a single, even layer) and place in the preheated oven for 3 or 4 minutes. Take out and immediately spread the potatoes on the sheet. Roast for 15 minutes, before taking out and turning. Return to oven for another 12 to 15 minutes, or until they are golden brown and a knife goes through the center of a wedge easily.

lovely roasted potatoes

Serve with Birthday Cake!

End Of Season Veggie Box From Good Work Farm

Yes, I did cook dinner last night (Pork with Herbs and Tomatoes), but more impressive than my dinner, was my last box share from Good Work Farm (see top right of my blog for more details).

The hoard from Good Work Farm

I have been cooking with the vegetables from this farm since May, and thinking about this being the last box of treasured locally grown produce makes me panicked and sad at the same time.

Storage onions and purple cabbage

Now I have the dreaded task of going into the vegetable section of my supermarket, when there is nowhere to pick up anything from a Farmer’s Market or Road-Side stand. I can’t even think about it!

Beautiful broccoli

I received a hefty supply of seasonal goodies, and I hope to make it last for at least 8 to 10 days.

Potatoes

Farmers Anton and Sarah worked so hard all Summer to bring all of the co-op members a lovely selection of vegetables, and no one appreciated it more than I. I got to experiment with all sorts of dishes, and came up with some unusual combinations, like, adding french breakfast radishes to braised dishes.

Fabulous French Breakfast Radishes

I got two gorgeous butternut squashes yesterday, and I think one of them will be roasted tomorrow and served with monkfish….

A large member of the squash family!

The greens were also impressive.

marvelous mustard greens

I am looking forward to cooking during the cold and dark winter months, but I will miss going to the library every Wednesday to pick up my box of vegetables to get my inspirational juices flowing.

More Great Greens.

Thank you Good Work Farm.

The BEST Curried Pork Tenderloin with Green Beans and Exemplary Boiled Potatoes (serves 6)

Let me be crass and exalt, OMG and then tell you that this dinner was inspired by Jane Austen; two very opposite words (the OMG & Ms. Austen, that is) that somehow get flung together in explaining how this dinner came about. It was outstanding.

I will admit right now (despite alienating some people and endearing others) that I love Jane Austen’s books, and consequently the movies. I have my favorites, but could happily watch any one of them every night of the week for the rest of my life. I love how people communicated to each other on the simplest matters.

The Best Curried Pork Tenderloin with Green Beans & Exemplary Boiled Potatoes

One of the lines from Pride and Prejudice has been quoted a lot lately by son in order to tease me, and, to poke at the stuffiness of  conversations from that time period. 

A Mr. Collins had come to dinner and in an effort to impress and flatter everyone present, he complimented the food by saying, “What excellent boiled potatoes, it’s been years since I have had such an exemplary vegetable”

Wow – what accolades to bestow on such a humble tuber, but honestly, I could listen to my food being praised like that all night long.

I had a lovely couple of pounds of yellow baby fingerling potatoes from my local farm source and wanted so badly to exemplify them! The best way to cook potatoes that are this fresh and good is to simply boil them and toss in butter and salt.

I had green beans and onions from the same place and decided to go with them and make the meal as local as possible. I had pork tenderloin, and instead of roasting it with the usual rosemary and a little broth, I sliced it, fried it in butter and oil, and made an unctuously dreamy curry sauce.

I think Mr. Collins would have had a lot to say last night!

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You will need: 2 1 lb pork tenderloin, sliced into 1/3″ pieces, 3 tbs unsalted butter, 3 tbs extra-virgin olive oil, 1 medium red onion, small dice, 1 cup chicken broth, 1 cup heavy whipping cream, 1 tsp strong curry powder,( I used a vindaloo, if your powder is mild, double the amount stated), 1/2 tsp sea-salt, several grinds black pepper, 2 lbs baby fingerling potatoes (or very small white or red potatoes will do also), 1 lb green beans (or green & yellow), cut into 1/2″ pieces. More salt, pepper, butter & oil as needed.

1 – Scrub potatoes and put in pot and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil and simmer with lid on until potatoes are soft all the way through. Drain into colander and then return back to pot. Add a tbs of butter, 1/2 tsp salt and several grinds of pepper and mix in gently. Cover with a tea towel to keep warm until serving.

Exemplary Potatoes from Good Work Farm

2 – Slice pork and season with salt and pepper. Put big saute pan on med/high heat and working in batches cook pork on both sides adding 1 tbs of oil and 1 tbs of butter as needed. Cook until pork is done (about 6 or so minutes). Transfer to a plate as you go, and cover.

Cook pork

3 – While pork is cooking boil water for the beans. When it comes to a boil, add the beans and cook (covered) until they are soft and cooked completely through. Drain, return to their pot and add a little salt, pepper and extra-virgin olive oil.

Cook green beans

4 – When the pork is done, turn down heat to medium/low and add the diced onions (you may need to add a little more oil and butter). Cook for 10 minutes, stirring frequently.

saute red onions

5 – Add the curry powder to the onions and stir for about 30 seconds. Add the flour and stir for another minute. Add the cup of broth and stir until everything is smooth and flour is completely distributed. Add the cream and bring to a simmer. The sauce will thicken. Cook for about 5 minutes.

make sauce

6 – Add pork to the pan and after about a minute turn off heat. Taste for further seasoning, and add more liquid if you like a thinner sauce.

Add pork

Serve a portion of everything on warm plates. 

What an Amazing Monday Night Dinner!

Pork tenderloin with Mashed Potatoes and Sauteed Spinach, serves 4 (and, a story about a great house, a great garden and a memorable lunch)

The other day I was expecting a package, and, when I went to the front door to see if it had arrived, I almost tripped over a hefty bag of potatoes and tomatoes! This was a much better surprise. From the note inside I discovered they had been generously given to me by my friends Eileen and Jim. The tomatoes and lovely potatoes came from the vines and dirt of their garden. 

deliciously simple dinner

I didn’t set out looking for friends who love to cook and enjoy food the way I do, but these are the friends I have ended up with. When we get together, it is understood that what we eat will be an important part of the event, sometimes, the most important. My theory is that if people love food, and I mean good food, they have the same slant on the world that I do. I think to enjoy food is a true act of living in the moment. Yes, this sounds a little mushy, but truthfully, it is the only time I am really focused on one thing. It is when all my senses are so busy I have no time to worry, or plan, or be consumed by all the other petty nonsense that enters my head on a daily basis.

Potatoes from my friends Jim & Eileen's Garden!

Similarly, when I am cooking by myself, or with friends, the rituals of chopping and measuring and mixing brings a sort of peaceful hum to the air. There is a respect for the food, and your actions have to be filled with love (even if you are in a hurry sometimes!) because, your intention is to present this plate or bowl of food to someone who will enjoy each mouthful. All of my most memorable moments with family and friends have centered around food; nightly dinners, birthday and anniversary celebrations, Christmas Eve feasts and ordinary days changed into something much grander because a beautiful meal was involved.

Thyme from my garden.

This reminds me of one such memorable day last year. I would not remember the day so clearly or with such fondness if it weren’t for the meal we ate. I was in Ireland with my man Dave and the kids and we had planned to have lunch at the house where my brother-in-law grew up. It was a big ivy-covered farm-house set back from the road and surrounded by fertile vivid-green pasture land.

Simon's House

We had been invited to lunch by Simon’s mother and we were all very excited and hungry when we arrived. Mildred does all of her cooking on a solid-fuel cooker (stove), which was also responsible for heating the whole house. Cooking with one of these things can be tricky, as you have to get an expert feel for temperatures, especially if you are going to bake a cake or loaf of bread.

A view of the house from Mildred's garden

Unless you came through the front door, the way to the formal dining room was through the kitchen, and through another little room. It opened up to the main hall with the stairs, and a room on each side of the front door; the sitting room and the dining room. The house was sturdy with big windows with lots of panes of glass looking out onto one of the most spectacular gardens I had ever seen.  Turns out Mildred was also quite the gardener!

some of what was spectacular about the garden

The dining room was sunny and cheerful that afternoon, and was set with china place settings. I sat down thinking about all the great meals that had been eaten in this room and how I was going to become part of all that. I prayed my children would behave like angels and that I wouldn’t spill red wine on her lovely crisp white linen tablecloth!

another view

We dined on roast beef, gravy, yorkshire pudding, two kinds of potatoes, and vegetables. I was completely and utterly lost in the moment. I had wine with lunch, and every sip I took with my food is a taste I will never forget. We ended the meal with cake served with fresh cream and warm brandy butter. Everyone at the table appeared to be in the same state of revery, at least speaking for my kids and husband. Looking back, I recognize that what we were feeling was enormous appreciation for the room, the table, the food and the woman who went to the trouble to cook for us.

Walking the land after lunch (click on any picture to get a closer look!)

After lunch we walked the land, had a visit from some cows and horses along the way, and ended it all with a tour of the garden by Mildred.

The cows

The horses

When we came back inside it had begun to rain and we were all a little chilled. We were greeted in the warm kitchen by tea, and a beautiful chocolate sponge cake. I left the place wishing we could do it all again tomorrow.

The grand tour with Mildred

So, I cooked Jim and Eileen’s potatoes thinking about the generosity of friends, and how food has a powerful place in my life.

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You will need: 1 pork tenderloin (about 1 lb or so), sliced a little bigger than 1/4″), 3 tbs extra-virgin olive oil, 1 medium sweet onion, diced, 1 large garlic clove, finely chopped, 6 sprigs fresh thyme, 1/4 cup white wine, 1 cup chicken broth, sea-salt, freshly ground black pepper, 8-10 cups fresh spinach leaves, 1 tbs unsalted butter, soft, 1 tbs all-purpose flour, 8 -10 medium potatoes (any color), peeled & quartered, 1 tbs cold unsalted butter, 1/4 cup heavy cream or whole milk, 1 tsp sea-salt, 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper.

1 – Prep all ingredients as instructed above

2 – Put saute pan on medium heat and add 2 tbs of oil. Add the onions and garlic and cook for 5 or 6 minutes until beginning to soften. Add thyme sprigs and cook for another minute.

saute onions

2 – Lay the pork on top (in a single lay with a little over-lapping if necessary) and season with a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Cook for 3 or 4 minutes. Turn, season, and cook for same length of time. Turn up heat and add the wine. Let it simmer for 2 minutes before adding the stock. Bring to a simmer.

Add the pork and season with sea-salt and pepper.

4 – Cover with heavy lid and simmer gently on low heat for about 15 to 20 minutes, or, until pork is soft.

* While pork is cooking boil your potatoes. When they are soft, drain and return to pot. Add the cold butter, milk or cream, salt and pepper, and mash until very smooth. Cover with a tea towel to keep warm.

add liquids and simmer for 20 minutes.

5 – Remove pork from liquid and transfer to a plate. Cover to keep warm. Put pot on medium heat. Mix the 1 tbs of softened butter and flour in a small bowl and whisk into sauce to thicken and flavor.

mix roux for pan sauce

6 – Cook for about 2 minutes or so. Taste and adjust seasoning according to taste. Place meat back into pot, turn of heat and cover to keep warm until ready to serve.

add the roux to the liquid

7 – Just before serving put a big saute pan on medium/high heat and add a tablespoon or 2 of extra-virgin olive oil. When pan is hot, add the spinach with a sprinkle of salt and pepper (and some cayenne pepper flakes if you like – I like!). cook for about 3 minutes (until spinach has wilted). Turn off heat.

Pork Tenderloin with mashed potatoes and sautéed spinach

Serve with mashed potatoes and sautéed spinach and a generous spoon or two of sauce.

One last look...