Thai-Style Pork and Sweet Potato Stew

I love cooking from the pantry. Being creative never tasted so good!

I had a boneless pork tenderloin roast that I wanted to turn into a stove top stew, but I wasn't sure if I wanted to go the Southwestern route with salsa, paprika, tomatoes and peppers, or perhaps more Asian inspired, with soy sauce, ginger, and orange peel. As I was rummaging through the pantry, I found a random box of "Thai Sweet Potato Soup" and some coconut milk. So, I decided to make a Thai-style curry with the pork instead. That's one of my favorite things about creative cookery -- you can make something out of everything.  
Thai-Style Pork and Sweet Potato Stew
Olive oil
1.5 lbs boneless pork tenderloin roast, seasoned on both sides with salt/pepper
2 TBS butter
2 -3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced 
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1 tsp minced ginger
1 tsp brown sugar 
2 smallish apples, peeled, cored and diced
2 medium-sized carrots, peeled and diced or 1 1/2 cups baby carrots, sliced
1 17. oz package (about 2 cups) of organic Thai sweet potato soup
1 cup coconut milk (unsweetened)
Minimal MESS/ingredients/clean-up: Category 2

To Do:
  • Heat a TBS or so of olive oil in a dutch oven (or heavy bottomed pot with a lid) over medium-high flame, then brown the tenderloin on all sides.
  • Remove the pork from the pan and cover with foil. 
  • Add 1 TBS of the butter, the garlic, red pepper flakes, ginger, and brown sugar and cook until fragrant.  
  • Lower the heat to medium, and stir in the rest of the butter, apples and carrots and cook until the carrots are tender-crisp.
  • Return the pork to the pot.
  • Carefully pour in the soup and coconut milk. 
  • Cook with the lid slightly askew for about 30-35 minutes on medium heat, turning the meat with tongs once. (The liquid should be bubbling, but not boiling.)
  • When the pork feels firm but still gives a wee bit when squeezed, remove it from the pot and let it rest for about 5 minutes. Alternately, you can check the temperature. If it's close to 140-145 degrees, take it out.
  • Turn the heat to low and let the sauce reduce a bit uncovered, while the pork rests.
  • Cut the pork into 1/4 -1/2 inch slices. It should be a little pink inside -- overcooked pork is yuck, and it will cook more when you return it to the sauce.
  • When the sauce has reduced a bit, adjust the seasonings to your taste then put the sliced cork back into the pot and cover with the sauce until heated through.
  • Scoop into bowls over rice, quinoa or noodles.

So, what tasty meal is waiting in your pantry?