Friday, September 24, 2010

Harvest Pork and Apple Bake

Campbell's (you know, the soup company?) has a ton of great recipes. How easy is throwing some rice, veggies, meat and soup into a casserole and baking it?

I found a recipe in a magazine for Harvest Pork and Apple Bake and made it up last night. As usual, I fiddled with it a smidge.

Recently, I talked about how blending flavours is easy if you know what tastes good together. Thanks to the Brady Bunch, we all know pork chops and applesauce work good together, so apples and pork tenderloin will be great, with the apple flavour strengthened through apple cider.

Harvest Pork and Apple Bake


2 cups whole wheat yolkless broad egg noodles
1 carrot, peeled, quartered, and chopped
2 tablespoons oil
1 lb pork tenderloin, cut into 1/2" medallions
2 cups crimini mushrooms, sliced
1 small onion, sliced
1 can cream of celery soup (cream of mushroom or chicken would also work...and I bet cream of cheddar would be good too!)
1 cup apple cider
3 sprigs fresh thyme
1/2 tsp cinnamon
salt and pepper
1 red apple, unpeeled, cored and cut into wedges

Cook noodles and carrots in boiling, salted water until noodles are al dente.

Meanwhile, brown tenderloin medallions in a frying pan with a little oil (about 4 mins each side). I talked about browning meat before putting in the crock pot yesterday...same goes here. Brown the pork and give it a little caramelized flavour and it will make your dish extra delicious. Once cooked, put pork on a plate and put aside.

In the bottom of that frying pan is a delicious bunch of gunk created by caramelized sugars and proteins from the pork and it's going to help flavour the rest of your dish. Toss in the onions and mushrooms and cook on medium high heat until they are soft.

Turn up the heat, add apple cider to mushrooms and onions and deglaze anything left on the bottom of the pan that the mushrooms didn't pick up. Reduce cider, stirring frequently, for a few minutes (this will concentrate the flavours and thicken things up a bit).

Preheat oven to 350.

Turn heat down to medium and add soup, thyme sprigs (just throw them in whole...remember how many go in so you know how many twigs need to come out!) and cinnamon.

Toss drained noodles and carrots into sauce and stir to combine. Taste and add salt and pepper as needed.

Toss noodles, sauce and vegetable mixture into a 1 1/2 quart casserole (I used my oval shaped one over the round one so there's more room for the pork and apples on top, but use what you have!)

Arrange pork and apples on top (see photo above) and bake for 30 minutes, uncovered.


No comments: