As the leaves change and the weather cools down, there’s nothing quite like a hearty, flavorful meal to warm your soul. Our Garlic Dijon Pork Tenderloin with Roasted Sweet Potato and Pepper Jumble,courtesy of the National Pork Board, Des Moines, Iowa, is the perfect recipe to celebrate the flavors of fall.
Pork is an incredibly versatile meat that offers a wide range of delicious cuts, each with its own unique flavor, texture, and culinary potential. From succulent pork tenderloin to savory pork belly, let’s take a closer look at some of the most popular cuts of pork and how they can elevate your cooking experience.
1. Pork Tenderloin: Pork tenderloin is often hailed as one of the leanest and most tender cuts of pork. This long, slender muscle runs along the spine and is prized for its tenderness and mild flavor. It’s a versatile cut that can be grilled, roasted or even pan-seared to perfection. Due to its leanness, it’s essential not to overcook it to maintain its juiciness. A simple marinade or rub can enhance its flavor, making it a favorite choice for those seeking a healthy yet delicious meal.
2. Pork Belly: Pork belly is the ultimate indulgence for lovers of rich, fatty meats. It’s the cut used to make bacon and is known for its luscious layers of fat and meat. When slow-cooked or roasted, pork belly becomes incredibly tender and takes on a savory, melt-in-your-mouth quality. It’s a key ingredient in many global cuisines, from Chinese char siu to Italian porchetta. Pork belly can be a culinary adventure for those who appreciate the richness and complexity of flavors that come from the fat-marbled meat.
3. Pork Shoulder (Boston Butt): The pork shoulder, often referred to as a Boston butt, is a flavorful and well-marbled cut. It’s excellent for slow-cooking methods like braising, roasting, or smoking, as it becomes tender and develops a deep, savory taste. This cut is commonly used to make pulled pork sandwiches and is favored for its versatility in absorbing flavors from marinades and rubs. It’s a favorite choice for barbecue enthusiasts looking to create mouthwatering, tender pork dishes.
4. Pork Loin: Pork loin is a broad category that includes various cuts like loin chops, center-cut chops and boneless loin roasts. It’s a lean cut with minimal fat marbling, making it a healthier option while still providing a delicious pork flavor. Pork loin can be grilled, roasted or pan-seared, and it pairs well with a variety of seasonings and sauces. Loin chops, in particular, are often used for quick and easy weeknight dinners.
This dish combines succulent pork tenderloin with a savory garlic Dijon marinade and a delightful medley of roasted sweet potatoes and peppers. Let’s dive into this delicious recipe that’s sure to become a seasonal favorite.
Garlic Dijon Pork Tenderloin with Roasted Sweet Potato and Pepper Jumble
- 1 lb. pork tenderloin
- 1/4 cup whole grain dijon mustard
- 2 Tbsp. honey
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/4 tsp. black pepper
- 1 Tbsp. olive oil
- 2 sweet potatoes peeled and 1/4″ dice
- 1 red bell pepper 1/4” dice
- 1 poblano pepper 1/4” dice
- 2 scallions sliced on a bias
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- In a small bowl whisk together Dijon mustard, honey, garlic, salt, and pepper. Rub each pork tenderloin with the sauce until thoroughly coated.
- Over high heat, add olive oil to large cast iron or oven-safe skillet. Sear tenderloin on each side, then add sweet potatoes, red bell pepper, and poblano to the skillet. Top with remaining sauce, place into oven. Roast until the pork reaches an internal temperature of 145°F, about 10 to 15 minutes. Let rest for 3 minutes before slicing and serving. Garnish with scallions.