Tender, Succulent Pork to Tempt a Vegetarian

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Roasted Pork Tenderloin

Brine:

1/4 cup salt

1/4 cup brown sugar

4 cups water

1 sprig fresh rosemary (coarsely cut)

1 sprig fresh thyme (coarsely cut)

1 teaspoon dry sage

1 teaspoon black pepper

Use a large container, melt salt and sugar with 1 cup of warm water.  Add 3 cups of water and spices.  Let the water cool for 30 minutes before putting the tenderloin in.  Keep the tenderloin in the brine in the fridge for 1 to 2 hours. Brining the pork before roasting guarantees the pork is tender.  However, brining is not necessary for this cut.  Just add salt to the rub if you decide not to brine the pork.

Discard the brine, rinse and pat dry the tenderloin.

Preheat oven at 400 F and prepare the rub.

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Rub Mixture:

1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic

2 tablespoon finely chopped rosemary

1 tablespoon finely chopped thyme

1 tablespoon olive oil

Rub the mixture all over the tenderloin on the foil lined baking pan.

Roast until thermometer inserted into center of pork registers 155°F., about 25 minutes.

Remove from oven; let stand 10 minutes.

The meat that I used was very lean and there wasn’t much dripping to make a gravy with.  I soaked some porcini mushroom and made a gravy from scratch based on an epicurious recipe minus the butter. (http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Porcini-Mushroom-Sauce-102883)

Because the pork was brined before it was roasted, it was juicy and tender without the gravy.

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I served the roast meat with vegetable quinoa and it was a smashing success according to Peter. But I thought the mushroom risotto would probably be a better match.

The house was redolent of rosemary and garlic when Audrey came home.  She instantly decided to have a “free day” from her vegetarianism when she saw the succulent pork.  I was very pleased.  Audrey had become a vegetarian since late July after seeing the film “Food Inc,” which grossed her out about meat, but she wasn’t good at ingesting other forms of protein.  I was constantly worried about her not having enough building material for growth. The 1st time she decided to have a “Meat Sunday” was also because of an irresistible pork dish.  

Angela in pool

Angela was 5 when she decided to stop eating meat and become a vegetarian.

When Angela became a vegetarian eleven years ago, I tried to force her to eat chicken.  She would gag and cry and sometimes throw up.  I quickly realized that my effort was futile and my worry was unfounded.  Angela would research and study the nutritional value of every food item and made sure that she had enough nutrients. 

Buddhist friends in China told me that Angela had been close to Buddha in her previous life.  Angela laughed and said that was nonsense; she would have no qualms about killing the animals, she just hated the taste of their meat.  But my Buddhist friends insisted that this distaste for meat was precisely the sign of her closeness to Buddha.  They said, “One day you will see.”  I don’t see.

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Vegetable Quinoa Ingredients:

1 cup quinoa

2 cups organic chicken broth (or water)

Cook the quinoa in a rice cooker. 

Dice and sauté the vegetables before mixing with the cooked quinoa.  I used the same way to prepare the vegetables as I did in my vegetable tarts.  Sprinkle with pine nuts or other crushed nuts.

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