Memories of Pappou George

Roasted Pork Tenderloin and Leeks

Every time I make this traditional dish from my Mom’s village I am always reminded of my loving Pappou George who made this dish for us back in 1999. Up until my Giagia Eleni was bed ridden due to a broken hip and severe osteoporosis my Pappou did not do much in the house because it was not a man’s job to cook or clean in those days. However, when my Giagia became dependent on others for her daily activities my Pappou stepped up to the plate and took charge of their household. He cooked and cleaned their tiny 1 bedroom apartment in Veroia with pride. One of his prised recipes was this – Roasted Pork Tenderloin and Leeks. The summer 1999, my Mom and I went to Greece after finishing my BFA at Concordia University. To please us Pappou set out one day to make us this delicious dinner. Since then I will never forget the flavours of the sweetness of the leeks married with the meatiness of the pork nor will I forget the experience of watching my Pappou in the kitchen. Euxaristo Pappou! S’agapo polli. 
 
6 to 8 pork tenderloin rounds
1 bunch of leeks, chopped and washed
1 onion, diced
3 to 4 garlic cloves, diced
juice of 1/2 lemon
salt
pepper
1 tbsp paprika
1/2 tbsp cumin
1 cinnamon stick
3 to 4 bay leaves
1 cup tomato pulp
1 cup chicken stock 
1/2 cup water
olive oil
 
1. Preheat the oven to 425F. Meanwhile season the pork with salt, pepper, paprika, and cumin. Pour on a good helping of olive oil. Once the oven is preheated place the pork in a roasting pan along with 1/2 cup water, bay leaves and cinnamon stick. Roast for 30 minutes.
 
2. After 30 minutes, remove the pork tenderloin and place in a pan. Add the leeks, onions, lemon juice, tomato pulp and chicken stock. Squish the leeks down into the pan juices and then return the pork to the pan. Continue roasting for another 30 minutes.
 
3. After the second set of 30 minutes, remove the lid from the pan. Submerge the pork into the cooked leeks and continue to roast for another 15 minutes uncovered. This will help to evaporate some of the excess water from the pan.
 
4. I served this dish with the Lemon Wedge Potatoes from a previous post. Make sure to have some good crusty bread to dunk into the sweet and sour juices.

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