Pork tenderloin seasoned with a chipotle brown sugar rub, seared and then cooked in balsamic flavored broth with garlic wilted collard greens. Serve with a nutty brown rice to absorb the juices.
Up until a few years ago, collards, for me, only conjured up images of Granny Clampett setting the vittles on the fancy eating table. I since have learned to love collards, maybe more than even kale or spinach. The traditional southern method is to cook the daylights out of the collards, and then eat both the greens and the rich broth. Coming from the north and a background of greens that consisted of mainly just-tender cooked fresh beet greens served with butter, vinegar and pepper; the idea of cooking a vegetable all afternoon, outside of baked beans, was not a familiar technique. However, the collards seem to survive all cooking processes without losing any flavor; barely cooking or leaving them on the stove for hours both work. This recipe calls for wilting the greens in olive oil and then baking them with the seasoned pork in broth for about 30 – 40 minutes – delicious!
I prepare collards by removing the stems and rib from the leaf; simply fold the leaf in half lengthwise with the rib facing up and tear the leaf away from the tough stem and rib. Wash the leaves, drain. Place 4 – 5 leaves on a cutting board and roll them tightly like you would a cigar (if you don’t roll a lot of cigars, them just do a tight roll) and then cut thin slices crosswise. To serve collards as a side dish, simply cook the sliced greens in olive oil, fresh garlic, salt and pepper for about 5 minutes – a little balsamic vinegar is always good!
Recipe for Pork Tenderloin and Collards
- about 6 servings
- 20 minutes prep time
- 40 minutes cook time
- 1-1/2 – 2 lbs. pork tenderloin (about two small – medium sized tenderloins)
- The Rub:
- 1-1/2 Tbs. Mrs. Dash Southwest Chipotle Seasoning
- 2 Tbs. brown sugar
- 1 tsp. kosher salt
- 1 bunch collard greens, about 2 quarts of leaves, or about 6 cups prepared, as above
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
- 3 – 4 cups vegetable broth
- 2 Tbs. olive oil
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- Vegetable spray
- Combine the rub in a small bowl and press it into the pork tenderloins, coating completely.
- Heat the olive oil in a large high sided fry pan over medium – medium-high heat. Brown the tenderloins on both sides and remove to a platter.
- Reduce the heat to medium and add the chopped onion, stirring up the browned bits, and cook about 5 minute.
- Add the garlic and cook for a minute.
- Add the collard greens, stirring to coat them with the onion, garlic, oil mixture until they become wilted; about 2 – 4 minutes.
- Spray with vegetable oil a 2-1/2 quart baking dish.
- Put the collard mixture in the baking dish and place the browned pork tenderloin on top of the greens.
- Add 3 cups of the vegetable broth to the fry pan over high heat. Scraping up the bits, bring the broth to a boil. Turn off the heat, add the 1/4 cup brown sugar and the balsamic vinegar. Stir to combine.
- Pour the broth over the pork and collards. If collards are not covered completely by broth, add the additional 1 cup vegetable broth.
- Very loosely cover the dish with aluminum foil. Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 40 minutes.
- Serve with brown rice in soup plates. This might not be Granny’s recipe, she probably used possum instead of pork, but I think you will like it.