Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Smithfield® Marinated Fresh Pork. The opinions and text are all mine.
Look, we’re all busy. Some of us just went back to school, and some of us just wish we were going back to school, but all of us are busy. And we’re hungry! I don’t know about you, but by the time I leave work, commute home and walk the dog, I’m ready to eat, like, an hour ago. That’s why I always like to have a pork loin on standby in the fridge. It’s a tender, lean piece of meat that cooks quickly and pairs well with basically everything.
On a recent trip to Safeway, I decided to skip my standard plain pork (who has time to marinate these days?) and instead pick up a Smithfield Marinated Fresh Roasted Garlic & Herb Pork Loin Filet from the fresh meat section. At
Safeway, you’ll find Smithfield Marinated Fresh Pork available in a variety of cuts
and flavors. It’s completely pre-seasoned and pre-marinated, so we can get right to cooking when we get home from work or school, or wherever it is we’ve been spending our day, and have dinner on the table in 30 minutes or less.
The next secret to a super-fast gourmet weeknight meal? Three words: cast iron pan. As a Southern girl, I feel a familial connection to my cast iron pan so I always look for ways to cook complete meals in this trusty tool. First we cook the pork so we can render out some of that delicious flavor, then we sauté some kale in those juices before quickly browning the polenta—it comes pre-cooked, so all you really have to do is heat it up—and we’re in business. Plus, the fact that we only used one pan means that we only have one dish to clean (but never with soap! Don’t be crazy!). Real flavor, real fast. Real talk.
Now please excuse me, will you? I need to go eat some of these leftovers.
2. Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in your cast iron pan over high heat. Place the pork loin in the pan and brown on each side (this should take about 1-2 minutes per side).
3. Once the pork is nice and browned, transfer your cast iron pan to the oven. Make sure to wrap a towel around the handle—it’ll be hot!
4. Cook until the internal temperature of the pork loin is at least 145 °F, about 20 minutes.
5. Remove the pan from the oven and let the pork loin cool on a platter while you finish.
6. You should have plenty of delicious pork drippings left in the pan, so we’ll use those to cook our kale. Place the pan over high heat and add kale. Cook down, stirring until just wilted, about 3 minutes. Season with salt and the juice of half a lemon. Cook for another minute then transfer to a serving bowl.
7. Keep the pan over high heat. Brush both sides of the polenta rounds with olive oil, then add them to the hot pan.
8. Cook polenta for about 3 minutes (until it’s browned and easily releases from the pan), then flip and cook for another three minutes. Remove from heat.
9. Now that the pork loin has had a chance to rest, slice into 1/2″ thick pieces.
10. Et voilà! Plate with the polenta as a base, then add a slice of pork loin and top with some sautéed kale. Enjoy with a glass of wine and marvel at how much time you saved without sacrificing delicious flavor.
Smithfield is also challenging you to submit your tip on how you get dinner ready
in 30 minutes or less using Smithfield Marinated Fresh Pork. So if you have a go-to recipe for a 30-minute meal using Smithfield Marinated Fresh Pork, you can enter to win a grand prize by going to www.SmithfieldRealFlavorRealFast.com.