Just Good Food

by John Ryan


Pork Tenderloin
with Shiitake Mushrooms

Serves 4


I'm generally not a fan of marinating things overnight because I'm usually not together enough to get the job done. Or the next day something comes up and I don't get to it. But if I'm inviting someone over, I probably have a plan. One advantage to a recipe like this is that much of the prep is done the day before, so cooking is a snap.

To get used to this recipe, cut it in half.


You need...
Overnight marinating
30 minutes cooking
Large zip-lock bag
Large skillet with a lid

Pork and Marinade:
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup red wine
1 cup sliced onion
2 ribs celery, finely sliced
4 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
2 teaspoons dried rosemary
2 pork tenderloins

The next night:
Vegetable oil
1-1/2 tablespoons butter
12 ounces fresh shiitake mushrooms, caps sliced—if the stems are nice, slice them very thin. If not, discard the stems


Marinating the pork:
Combine the marinade ingredients in a large zip-lock bag. Trim and discard the obvious bits of fat and silverskin from the pork. Put the pork in the bag, squeeze as much air out as you can and seal. Mush the meat & marinade around a bit and refrigerate overnight.


The next night...
Start a simple polenta. Recipe follows.

1) Take the pork out and dry with a paper towel. Using medium-high heat and a little oil, brown two or three sides of the pork. Set aside on a plate.

2) Add the butter and shiitake mushrooms. When they are cooked (3 to 4 minutes) put them on the plate with the pork.

3) Pour the marinade in the skillet, cover, adjust the heat so the marinade simmers. Cook until the onions are soft, 5 to 7 minutes.

4) Put the shiitakes back in the pan and lay the pork on top (add any juices that collected on the plate). Cover and kick up the heat to a vigorous simmer. Cook until the pork is done, about 10 minutes. (Depending on how tight your lid is, you may have to add a splash or two of water when you add the pork.)

5) Set the pork aside for a few minutes. Cook the sauce away and season the vegetables with salt and pepper. Put the vegetables on a serving platter. Slice the pork and arrange over the vegetables. Serve with mashed potatoes or polenta.

Shiitake mushrooms make it a bit more special, but this is just fine with white or brown mushrooms.


Simple Polenta

Stir 1 cup polenta (course cornmeal) and 1/2 teaspoon salt in to 4 cups of cold water. Stir often and cook over gentle heat until the cornmeal is the consistency of mashed potatoes, about 30 minutes.

Polenta is very forgiving. If the cornmeal is done before the meat, cover and leave it on the lowest possible heat. If too much water evaporates and it is too thick, just stir in a bit more water.


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John Ryan

Both chef and musician, John Ryan wrote the Just Good Food blog from 1996 through 2001.


This page created April 2001