I love slow cooker recipes that are unique and this Mediterranean Pork Tenderloin with Couscous Salad dosen’t disappoint. In addition to being special, it’s super easy and you can’t mess it up. The pork is absolutely tender and juicy, and after removing the meat from the slow cooker, the couscous is made in about fifteen minutes while you whisk together an incredible chimichurri-style parsley vinaigrette for spooning over everything.
Garam Masala – How I love thee
Garam Masala is a mixture of cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, cumin, coriander, nutmeg, and peppercorns. This is one of my favorite Indian spices, if not one of my favorites, period. It’s a warm spice (literally that’s what garam masala means), without heat. Thanks to the complexity of the garam masala, this plus salt and pepper, are all you need to prep the tenderloin. I buy it readily in supermarkets, but you can make your own and the best site for finding excellent spice blend recipes is at Kevin is Cooking, to be sure. Since the tenderloin is a lean cut of meat, it only needs two hours (or less) until it’s juicy and fork-tender. The meat remains pink because of the gentle slow cooking but don’t worry, it’s absolutely done. A meat thermometer is your best friend to ensure perfection without
ruining overcooking the tenderloin.
This parsley vinaigrette is nicely drizzled over the couscous salad as well as the meat for a fresh, Mediterranean delight. One of my taste-testers who took some of this home said her daughter used her finger to get the last little bit out of the bowl. I couldn’t blame her, I loved it too.
And what’s not to love about getting a full meal in one pot? The warm couscous and raisin salad cooks for 15 minutes in the slow cooker after the tenderloin is removed. The potent liquid that’s left behind is the perfect medium for flavoring the couscous. Just before serving, toasted almonds (don’t skip the toasting part!) are tossed into the couscous/raisin mixture. Then drizzle the parsley vinaigrette over everything. Light and flavorful, ready in no time, one pot. Sounds like dinner to me!
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 4 garlic cloves, minced and divided
- 2 12- to 16-ounce pork tenderloins, trimmed
- 1 tablespoon garam masala
- Salt and pepper
- 1 cup couscous
- 1/2 cup raisins
- 1/2 cup sliced almonds, toasted
- 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 cup minced fresh parsley
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
Combine broth and 2 teaspoons of the garlic in slow cooker. In a small bowl, combine garam marsala with 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper. Pat meat dry and rub the garam marsala mixture all over both tenderloins. Nestle tenderloins into slow cooker side by side, alternating thicker end to thinner end. Cover and cook until pork is tender and registers 155 degrees, 1 to 2 hours on low.
- Transfer tenderloins to carving board and tent with aluminum foil. Pour cooking liquid into cup or liquid measure, then return 1 cup liquid back into the slow cooker (You could pour the liquid into a fat separator and let sit for 5 minutes before pouring back into slow cooker, but the fat is so minimal, you won't get much separation). Add the couscous and raisins into liquid. Cover and cook the couscous on high until tender, about 15 minutes. Fluff couscous with a fork, then stir in almonds (couscous will seem very dry until you fluff it).
- For the parsley vinaigrette, whisk oil, parsley, vinegar, and remaining garlic together in a bowl and season with 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper to taste. Slice tenderloins and transfer to serving platter.
- Serve with couscous and parsley vinaigrette for pouring over both.
Slightly adapted from America’s Test Kitchen.