Friday, July 29, 2011

Dinner for one - Judith Jones's Roast Pork Tenderloin

1 clove garlic
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 pork tenderloin (about 1 pound), cut into slices
1 cup milk
1 sprig fresh thyme

In today’s fast paced and highly mobile universe, one person households are constantly on the rise in most industrialized countries. This is not the place to explore the social consequences of this versus the freedom and flexibility on the plus side, but to focus on one major impact that usually goes hand in hand with living alone (and holds mostly true if living in a two person household as well): the deprivation from good home cooked meals.

Reasons for not cooking for one are plentiful. It seems to much trouble if you put all this effort in just for yourself, pre-prepared meals are available everywhere while ingredients are still not always available in the small quantities you’d need (again, also somewhat true for two person households).

Therefore, besides having made the world a better place by giving us the delights of Julia Child's cooking, the heart wrenching story of Anne Frank and many, many more books, one of Judith Jones' most outstanding achievements is taking a stand against this mindset of not cooking for yourself.

The message is clear: living by yourself need not mean forgoing fresh and home cooked food. Realizing that you are indeed worth all the efforts that go into a nice meal and showing that these efforts are maybe even less than you imagined. Food should bring joy, health and delight every day, in every meal - be it to a family of ten or a household of one.

In the following recipe, I have slightly adapted Judith Jones’ idea to make a pork roast using a small pork tenderloin. She also suggests to use the leftovers for Pork Hash, but they can also be frozen and enjoyed at a later time.

Cut the pork into slices, rub them with the mustard, garlic, salt and pepper and let sit for at least one hour. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees, while in a Dutch oven on high heat, you brown the meat. Add the milk, cover with a lid and put it in the oven, basting the meat from time to time with its juices and the milk, for approximately one hour. Because of the addition of the milk, it is also necessary to turn the meat regularly to prevent burning; on the plus side, the meat will stay tender even if slightly overcooked.

In the meantime, bring out the fanciest tableware, cutlery and napkins you have and set the table with flowers and candles. When the food is ready, just add a boiled potato or a little salad, and sit down without distraction from TV, books or anything else, take in the beautiful dinner you have created for yourself, enjoying every single bite.

Life is good!

You might be interested in checking out tributes to Judith Jones (and her recipes!) today on these lovely blogs:

Mary - One Perfect Bite
Kathleen - Bake Away With Me
Val - More Than Burnt Toast
Joanne - Eats Well With Others
Taryn - Have Kitchen Will Feed
Susan - The Spice Garden
Claudia - A Seasonal Cook in Turkey
Heather - girlichef
Miranda - Mangoes and Chutney
Katie - Making Michael Pollan Proud


  1. This looks great, the idea of using milk sounds intriguing. I love all the simple, but unusual (retro?) ways of cooking familiar foods that are coming out of this week's tribute to Judith Jones.

  2. I really like this recipe and I am enchanted by its creator, JJ issuch a fascinating woman. I'm so glad you are joining us in this 50 week adventure. Have a wonderful weekend. Blessings...Mary

  3. The message that Judith Jones sends through her book about the importance of cooking for yourself is such a powerful one, and you really captured it beautifully. What a delightful dish!

  4. I love the ideaof cooking a pork tenderloin for one. I find it to be the most tender.

  5. I love the flavors in here...perfect small meal :D


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