So excited to have another pork feature on here! We covered pork chops and ground pork, so this time it’s all about pork tenderloin! Pork tenderloins are so versatile, you can cook them as is, marinate them, stuff them… The possibilities are endless. My final pork producer is Val and let me tell you, she’s a great gal! Val and her husband farm in North Iowa with her husband’s family. Val likes to say, they raise “corn, (soy)beans, pigs and kids” which is also the name of her blog Corn, Beans, Pigs, & Kids. Val writes all about being a farm wife and farming alongside her husband as well as shares some great recipes. For this pork tenderloin recipe, I stuffed them with apple stuffing and made a champagne cream sauce to go along with it. It is a little labor intensive recipe, but it is one hundred percent worth it!
- When did you start farming? What brought you into farming?
Probably on day 3 of life when I was brought home from the hospital during the peak of corn and soybean harvest J Agriculture has always been a part of my life and a part of who I am and my identity. I was raised on a corn, soybean, farrow to finish hog and sheep farm in central Iowa. I loved being apart of the farm and participated in every aspect. Growing up on the farm taught me responsibility, it taught me about the circle of life and the value of hard work. I have memories of riding in the tractor or combine with my Dad and of course taking naps behind the driver’s seat. I also will always remember my 10th birthday because that is when my parents said I could drive a tractor! I don’t know when I started asking if I could drive a tractor by myself but for a couple of years I always heard – “when you turn 10 you can.”
So you better believe that was the first thing I wanted to do on my 10th birthday! (And I’ve been hooked ever since! Driving tractor is probably my favorite way of being involved in my family’s farm today.) I also helped with both pig and sheep chores at a very young age, to being incharge of sheep chores as a teenager. I remember in elementary school one day the rumor started flying around that I helped my parents castrate pigs. After initial embarrassment, I owned up to it and at the same time I think it scared the boys away…(which was alright – I was in 1st grade). I also remember in high school my sisters and I being late several times due to lambing season. One thing for sure, is that all my experiences and involvement on the farm, gave me an opportunity to share about our farm and agriculture.
- Who farms with you and what are their roles?
I now am active farming with my husband and his family in North Iowa. We raise “corn, (soy)beans, pigs and kids!” My husband and I are sole proprietors of our farm and we share labor and equipment with my father-in-law. As for my role on the farm, my husband and I joke around that I am the “homosapien production manager” for our farm but I do a lot more than raising the next generation of farmers. I manage our farm records, drive tractor in the fall and spring, help with the pigs when needed, run to get parts and pretty much fill in wherever.
- What is your favorite thing to do with a food crop you grow?
I love to smoke pork! My husband received a smoker as a birthday present last year and we’ve had so much fun smoking everything from pork loins, to pork chops, to making bacon in our smoker. If you are interested, here is a link to my all purpose pork rub: http://cornbeanspigskids.blogspot.com/2014/10/all-purpose-pork-rub-tractor-approved.html
To find more from Val, you can visit her blog at Corn, Beans, Pigs, and Kids, you can give her Facebook page a LIKE, tweet with her on Twitter @PlaggeVal, you can follow her delicious pins on Pinterest, or you can connect with her on Google+.
This recipe was honestly so good. THAT SAUCE! It would be just as amazing on chicken. But it paired so nicely with the apple stuffing in the tenderloins!
- 2 lb. pork tenderloins (it was 2 for me)
- Salt and pepper
- 1/2 granny smith apple, diced into small pieces
- 3/4 cup stuffing bread pieces
- 1/4 cup walnuts, chopped
- 1/4 cup blue cheese, crumbled
- 1/4 - 1/3 cup champagne
- 1 teaspoon garlic
- 1 cup champagne
- 1/2 cup apple cider
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons shallots, minced
- 3 tablespoons flour
- 1/2 cup chicken broth
- 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
- 1/2 teaspoon thyme
- pinch of nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
- In a small saucepan, heat the champagne and apple cider over high heat until it boils. Let it reduce while you prepare the pork.
- To prepare the pork, pound both tenderloins with a mallet until flat and easily able to roll up.
- In a medium bowl, mix together the apples, bread pieces, walnuts, and garlic. Salt and pepper well. Add the champagne to moisten the breadcrumbs. Add the blue cheese and gently stir to combine. Divide the stuffing between the two pounded pork tenderloins and roll up. Secure tenderloins with either toothpicks or butcher's twine. Salt and pepper the outside well. Place tenderloins in 350 degree oven for 40 minutes or until they reach an internal temperature of 145 degrees.
- While pork is cooking, prepare champagne cream sauce. In a large saucepan, heat the butter over medium heat. Add the shallots and cook until they soften, stirring occasionally, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the chicken stock, cream, champagne-cider reduction, thyme, and nutmeg, and cook over medium-low heat until the cream has reduced and thickened, about 30 minutes. If necessary, add 1 teaspoon of flour mixed with 1/4 cup water to thicken until you reach desired thickness.
- To serve, slice up pork tenderloins and top with champagne cream sauce. Enjoy!
This post is part of my Thirty Days of Food series where I am writing about food and farming for the entire month of November, to find out more about it all or how to follow along, visit my Thirty Days of Food page or click the photo below to find more great recipes with farmer features!