Seared Pork & Sweet Potatoes with Creamy Mustard Sauce: Meat and potatoes, a classic American dinner time staple. But this recipe takes it to the next level by Seared Pork tenderloin medallions until crusty and golden, then topping them with a creamy Dijon mustard sauce. Served alongside mashed sweet potatoes and topped with a peppery arugula salad.
History and Importance of the Sweet Potato:
Sweet potato history can be traced back to Central and South America. In Central America, domesticated sweet potatoes were present at least 5,000 years ago. They think the first sweet potatoes were grown possibly between the Yucatán Peninsula of Mexico and the mouth of the Orinoco River in Venezuela.
The sweet potato was most likely spread by local people to the Caribbean and South America by 2500 B.C.E.
And the sweet potato was brought to central Polynesia around 700 C.E., possibly by Polynesians who had traveled to South America and back, and spread from there across Polynesia to Hawaii and New Zealand.
Finally the sweet potato became a major player in the world food supply in response to a major crop failure, in Fujian province of China in about 1594.
The sweet potato was also introduced to Okinawa, Japan, in the early 1600s. It became a staple in Japan because they were important in preventing famine when rice harvests were poor.
The sweet potato arrived in Europe during the 15th and 16th centuries as a result of Christopher Columbus travels and colonial antics otherwise known as the Columbian exchange. It is mentioned in Elinor Fettiplace’s Receipt Book, a cookbook compiled in England in 1604.
Seared Pork & Sweet Potatoes with Creamy Mustard Sauce
- 2 medium sweet potatoes
- 3 oz shallot
- 1 pkt beef broth concentrate
- 1 ⁄2 oz whole grain mustard
- 10 oz pork tenderloin
- 2 oz sour cream
- 3 oz baby arugula
- kosher salt & ground pepper
- olive oil
- apple cider vinegar or white wine vinegar
- Make sweet potatoes: Peel sweet potatoes. Slice lengthwise, then cut into 1-inch pieces. Place in a medium saucepan and cover by 1-inch with salted water. Cover and bring to a boil. Simmer sweet potatoes, uncovered, until potatoes are tender, about 13 minutes. Drain, then return to saucepan. Cover to keep warm.
- Prep vinaigrette: Halve shallot, then peel and finely chop. In a liquid measuring cup, whisk together 1⁄2 cup water, beef broth concentrate, and mustard.
- Marinate shallots: In a medium bowl, whisk together 2 tablespoons oil, 1 tablespoon vinegar, and a pinch each salt and pepper. Stir 2 tablespoons shallots into
- vinaigrette (save rest for step 5) and set aside to marinate.
- Cook pork tenderloin: Pat pork dry. Slice, crosswise, into 1⁄2-inch thick medallions (about 6). Season all over with 1⁄2 teaspoon salt and several grinds of pepper. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a medium skillet over medium-high. Add pork and cook until well browned and slightly pink in the center, 2–3 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate and cover to keep warm.
- Make sauce: Add remaining shallots and 1 teaspoon oil to skillet and cook until shallots are softened and browned, about 1 minute. Stir broth mixture, then add to skillet. Bring to a simmer, then cook until thickened and reduced to about 1⁄4 cup, 3–4 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in half of the sour cream. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Finish & serve: Return sweet potatoes to medium heat. Add remaining sour cream and 2 tablespoons oil, then mash with a fork or potato masher until creamy. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Toss arugula with vinaigrette. Serve pork, with sauce spooned over top, alongside salad and mashed sweet potatoes.