Freezer meals are the best gift you can give to yourself. In our house, even though the farming part of our lives has slowed a bit, we are still waiting on two calves to be born, finishing a painting project in the entryway, and spending about 3-5 nights watching Miss K play basketball. Take all that, and throw in some extra night meetings, and you have our usual nights of crazy, fast-paced chaos.
It is on these nights that I love knowing I can run to my freezer and pull out a meal that will take less than thirty minutes to make. Thanks to my girlfriends, I now have many more selections to chose from when time is tight.
This post is sponsored by Indiana's Family of Farmers. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Referral links are used in this post.
My contribution to the food table was a very easy, inexpensive meal of a pork tenderloin wrapped in bacon and roasted Brussel sprouts. If you pull the meat out of the freezer the night before you want to eat them, then cooking everything will be a snap for the next night's meal.
First, you need to purchase your pork tenderloin, and this is a different cut of meat than a regular pork loin. Pork chops can be made out of pork loin, and that's the only way I buy mine. Bring home a big loin, cut it up to the thickness you like, and POOF! You have instant pork chops to eat or freeze for later. I can get about 4 meals out of a large loin to serve my family of four. BUT this recipe calls for the tenderloin, the cut that some say is the best part of a hog. In the beef world, we would call this a filet minion, so you know this meat is going to be tender and juicy and melt in your mouth with every bite.
You can control the portion size of your cuts. I can still usually get eight pieces of meat out of a loin, and yes I keep the two slabs of meat together when I wrap them in bacon so that the complete wrapped package is about 6 ozs. of delicious pork.
We all know that bacon shrinks when it is cooked, but did you know you can also stretch bacon? I take each strip of bacon that I am going to use, lay it out flat, then start with my two index fingers in the middle of the strip and push out to each end. It helps the bacon wrap around the tenderloin with some extra to spare so you can secure it with a toothpick and keep the two pieces secured together.
Once you have your loins wrapped (yes, you can giggle at that), you can do one of two things.
You can package them in freezer bags, making sure that you remove as much air as possible from the bag as you seal it so it will stay fresh and prevent any freezer burn.
You can grab your favorite grill pan and start cooking!
I love my Swiss Diamond Non-stick Grill Fry Pan, and I pull it out a lot during the cold months when no one wants to go out and fire up the real grill. It gives that grilled look without freezing your toes off outside.
I place the bacon-wrapped pork loins onto the pan, and cook them five minutes on each side to sear each side and keep the juices inside.
After both sides are seared to keep the juices in.....
I pour some water into the pan........
and cover it until the water is just about gone. It's a good idea to use a meat thermometer to check that the loins are done. Pork is considered "done" when the internal temp reaches 145 degrees. If you want your bacon a bit crispy, you can turn the loins on their sides and turn them as the bacon reaches the way you like it.
Now, we kind of need to back up the truck. Before starting these yummy pork loins, we had to do some prep work on the Brussel sprouts so they can be roasting while the loins are cooking/grilling. I love to buy Brussel sprouts at the grocery store n the veggie isle. They are usually packaged in plastic mesh bags, and we go through about two of those bags for a meal. I wash them and then remove the bottoms and any old leaves that I don't like. After that, cut them in half and put them in a bowl.
When they are all cut, it's time to pour olive oil over the sprouts and add some seasonings.
First, I add a healthy amount of minced garlic,
Then I add some of my favorite seasoning, Farm Dust.
If you cannot find this particular seasoning, Italian seasoning with a bit of salt would also work, or your own favorite seasoning will do just fine.
Stir together, and pour onto a roasting pan or stone.
They go in the oven at 400 degrees for 30 minutes. Check on them after that and continue to roast until the outer leaves are brown.
With a keen eye on the time, you should be able to spoon these yummy vegetables onto the plate where your bacon wrapped pork loin is resting, and your meal is done!
For even more ideas on how to create your own freezer meal party, visit Cheri Lowe's tips for a successful Freezer Meal Day here on her blog, Queen of Free. She has some great ideas on how to make this day easy and cost-effective!
Bacon-Wrapped Pork Tenderloins
- 1 Pork Tenderloin
- 1 pound Bacon
- Cut pork tenderloin into 1 1/2 inch thick sections, keeping the two loins together as they were packaged.
- Wrap each tenderloin in bacon, and secure with a toothpick.
- At this point, you may package the loins into two freezer quart bags, 4 in each bag.
- To cook, place 4 tenderloins in a grill pan and sear 5 minutes on each side.
- Pour a cup of water into the pan, cover, and let steam cook until an inserted meat thermometer reads 145 degrees.
- Remove meat from the pan and let rest for 3 minutes.
Roasted Brussel Sprouts
- 2 packages Brussel Sprouts, from the vegetable section of the grocery store
- 1/4 - 1/2 Cup Olive Oil
- to taste Garlic, minced
- to taste Italian Seasonings or Farm Fresh
- Clean Brussel sprouts by cutting off ends and peeling off any damaged leaves.
- Cut each sprout in half, and put into a large mixing bowl.
- Pour oil over vegetables, and add garlic and spices.
- Stir together, and pour onto a roasting pan or stone.
- Roast in a 400 degree oven for 30 minutes, stir, and continue roasting until leaves brown to your liking.
- Remove from the oven, serve, and enjoy!
I hope you enjoy this recipe and all the other recipes made at our Freezer Meal Day. Click here for a link to all the recipes made on this special Freezer Meal Day!
Until next time Peeps, have a wonderful day,
and go make a positive difference
in someone's life!