There’s something about having a meat, green vegetable and starch on my plate that makes me nostalgic for home cooked meals from my childhood. Though my mom detests cooking, she still put dinner on the table for us three kids every night of the week (yes, sometimes a frozen Kid Cuisine – love ya, Mom!). We had those fun plates with the little dividers: one section for the main protein, another for the vegetable, and another for the potato or rice. (Even Kid Cuisine came like this, but with a microwavable brownie, too – yum!)
While my favorite Wizard of Oz divider plate is long gone, I still love a good ol’ balanced meal to feel like I’m nourishing my inner 6 year old just like my mom did. Though we rarely ate pork growing up (my mom developed a strong dislike for it after having my youngest brother, Michael) and I had never even tried brussels sprouts until I graduated college (my family still doesn’t believe me that they are delicious!), this meal, though a bit more refined than Kid Cuisine, was just as comforting and hearty as dinners shared ’round the table with my family as a kid.
Mustard-Rubbed Pork with Braised Brussels Sprouts, adapted from Fitness
makes 3 servings
1 lb brussels sprouts, quartered
1 1/4 lb pork tenderloin
2 tbsp Dijon mustard
2 tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup white wine
1/4 cup chicken stock
1/2 cup pancetta, diced
2 shallots, sliced
1/4 cup dried cherries
1 tbsp fresh sage leaves, chopped
1. Season pork with salt and pepper. Brush Dijon mustard over all sides of the pork.
2. In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add pork and let cook for about 8 minutes. Turn and cook 8 minutes more until a nice crust forms on all sides and internal temperate reads about 145 degrees. Remove the pork to a plate and cover with tinfoil.
3. Add pancetta to the skillet and cook until browned and crispy, about 4 minutes.
4. Add brussels sprouts and shallots. Cook for a few minutes so they start to soften and caramelize, about 5 minutes.
5. Add white wine and broth to the skillet. Cover and reduce heat to medium-low. Cook for another 5 minutes until the brussels sprouts are cooked through.
6. Remove the lid and add the cherries and sage. Cook just for another couple minutes to allow some of the extra liquid to evaporate and to heat through the cherries.
7. Slice the pork into medallions and divide among the plates (or save the extra for leftovers, which is what I did). Divide the brussels sprouts and sauce onto each plate. Serve with brown rice for a well balanced meal!