Saturday, January 8, 2011

Slow Cooked Pork Loin with Kale & Mushrooms over Creamy Polenta

In the past, my slow cooker has only been used for queso.  Today changed all that.  It took guts, but I put two beautiful pork loins in my decrepitly old slow cooker, closed the lid and walked away.  Much to my surprise, about 4 hours later this pork loin was perfect; moist, flavorful and delicious!

As for the Kale, who can go wrong with anything that has pancetta and mushrooms in it?

Perfect Flavor Combinations

Succulent Pork Loin in the Slow Cooker
The Chef In My Head

2 pounds pork tenderloin
1 envelope dry onion soup mix
1 C water
3/4 C Cabernet Savignon red wine
4 T low sodium soy sauce
4 cloves garlic, minced
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Tony's seasoning, to taste

Heat a large skillet to med-high heat with about 1 tablespoon of olive oil.  Pat dry pork tenderloin and season with pepper.  Brown tenderloin on all sides.  Place browned tenderloin into slow cooker with the contents of the soup packet on high.  Pour water, wine and soy sauce over the top, turning the pork to coat evenly.  Sprinkle the fresh garlic over the pork leaving as much on top as possible.  Season with more pepper and Tony's.  Adjust temperature to low setting and cook for 4 hours.

Remove pork loin to platter and cover tightly with foil.  Carefully pour cooking liquid to a small saucepan and cook until liquid is reduce by half.  Thicken with cornstarch if necessary.  Check for seasonings and serve with pork loin over creamy polenta or mashed potatoes.

Note:  In the photo you will see that I did not thicken the liquid enough :/  Still tasted great, I just wasn't happy with the appearance.

Serves 6.  Enjoy!

Kale, Pancetta & Mushrooms over Creamy Polenta adapted from Bon Appetit
The Chef In My Head

1-1/4 pounds kale, stemmed, washed well & rough chopped

2 C whole milk
1-1/4 C water
1 C polenta
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 tsp ground black pepper

6 oz pancetta (Italian bacon) or bacon, coarsely chopped
8 oz mushrooms (such as crimini, oyster, and stemmed shiitake), sliced
2 T olive oil, divided
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 C white wine
1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
2 T chopped fresh thyme
1 T grated lemon peel

4 T butter
2/3 C freshly grated Parmesan cheese


Bring milk, water, polenta, salt, and pepper to boil in heavy large saucepan over medium heat, whisking constantly. Reduce heat to low and simmer until thick, stirring occasionally, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat.

Meanwhile, cook pancetta in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat until golden brown, about 3 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer pancetta to paper towels. Add mushrooms and oil to drippings in skillet. Sauté until mushrooms are tender, about 6 minutes. Stir in kale and pancetta. Add garlic, white wine and seasonings.  Cover and simmer until kale is tender to your taste. Stir in thyme and  lemon peel. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Whisk butter and Parmesan into polenta and divide among plates. Top with kale mixture.

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  1. The pork looks so succulent and tender. A hearty and delicious meal.
    Have a wonderful weekend!

  2. Bon Appetit is a wonderful magazine. The pork looks tender and delicious as does the kale.
    Happy New Year!

  3. I'd be hard pressed to find a more comforting meal for a cold and damp winter day. This is perfect family food. I love the recipe and you for sharing it. Have a great day. Blessings...Mary

  4. The slow cooked pork loin looks so tender and succulent, sounds wonderful with the healthy vegetables and delicious polenta!

  5. Wow, the pork looks incredibly tender and the kale sounds perfect with the pancetta added in there. What a comforting meal.

  6. The slow cooker definitely does wonders with pork. So moist and delicious! And served over favorite side dish of all time!


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