Sunday, June 24, 2012

Bird Doggin' It - Weekend Cooking For a Crowd

I'm known to invite a few folks back to the house after things I like to do, air shows, tractor shows, car shows, gun shows or just an afternoon out watching my favorite bird dog play.

Although I love to do a fancy four course spread with a bit of gourmet, or a carefully crafted dinner for two, sometimes one needs something that's bulletproof and will feed a crowd very cheaply after a busy day.

 This is one of those dishes.  With big chunks of peppered pork tenderloin (I had baked a couple earlier in the week) and caramelized Vidalia onion with a sweet smokey undertone, it was a hit.

(And the next picture is for Murphy's Law, taken at an air show a few weeks ago).

If you are seriously short of time, use a couple of the bigger cans of Busch beans (my favorite canned beans) and add the honey, paprika, ancho, red pepper, bourbon, hot sauce, and steak seasoning but the "from scratch" ones can still be on the table in about an hour.

Peppered Tenderloin Pork and Beans

Small pork tenderloin, brushed with  a dab of Worcestershire sauce, rubbed with lots of cracked pepper and baked, cooled and chopped into big bite-sized pieces.
1 large sweet onion chopped
2 cloves of garlic chopped
1/4 cup tomato paste
2 cups chicken stock
1/2 cup  plus 1 Tablespoon light brown sugar
1/3 cup honey
1/4 cup sherry vinegar
3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon ancho chili powder
2 to 4  pinches crushed red pepper (to taste)
1 tsp. salt
1 teaspoon Penzey's Mitchell Street Steak Seasoning (which has cardamon in it)
a couple of splashes of Knob Creed bourbon
teaspoon Scoville Brothers Singing Smoke hot sauce
8 cups (or four 15 ounce cans, drained and rinsed) cooked white beans.

Preheat oven to 350°F Chop up pork tenderloin. Heat a large cast iron pan over medium heat. Add onion and garlic cloves and cook until soft, about 6 minutes. Add tomato paste, chicken broth, brown sugar, honey, sherry vinegar, Dijon mustard, paprika,,ancho,  salt, steak seasnong and stir to mix.

Stir in beans, increase heat to high, and bring mixture to a gentle boil. Transfer to oven and bake, uncovered, until beans are tender and mixture is thickened, 40 to 45 minutes Serve on fresh corn bread or biscuits with green salad and you're set.


  1. Looks like really good fixin's... and some pretty cool aerial hardware too...

    Dann in Ohio

  2. Oh, yes, YUM! We love Busch Baked Beans, too. I even have to bring a few cans of them on board when I go shopping off the ship. It's kind of like bringing coals to Newcastle, but, gee, no one makes beans like Busch Beans and we have our own kitchen in our suite. You can't imagine the questions from security when they see cans in the x-ray machine inside my roller bag. "No computer today, just beans...."

    I miss the Busch dog commercials.... What ever happened to Duke?

    Happy Sunday from Port Canaveral,

  3. That looks REALLY good, now whereinhellisthatporkloin... And that old Mohawk has a 'late model' sled hanging off the bottom... Wonder if that one is still in use somewhere???

  4. Dann - there's been a couple of really good airshows in the upper Midwest lately.

    Lois - I sometimes add hamburger to them, heat in a 8 x 8 until bubbly, then top with biscuits cut in half and bake til the biscuits are done.

    Old NFO - I didn't talk to the fellow with it, so I'm not sure. Tonight for the guests is chicken, with seasoned flour, panfried and covered with cream and paprika and baked on low for 2-3 hours, homemade biscuits, garden green beans with bacon and roasted baby potatoes. Tomorrow I will be eating a carrot and one peanut :-)

    Back to work, Barkley out getting a walk so he's all happy.

  5. I love air shows. Went to Oshkosh before, really, really loved it. Did encampment at G.F.A.F.B. twice also.

  6. The Mohawk and the Bird Dog knock my socks off. :) (They were still olive green when I was in the Army :)

  7. The O2 is kinda cool, too... Push me, pull me. :)

  8. Good Lord, you are killing me here. That is too good. I'll be sharing it with an old Mohawk guy that I share an office with as well. And about the sled - Chuck will know. Thanks.

  9. Love the J3. Got a few hours in one and they still make me smile. Low and slow is the way to go.

  10. Rob - been quite a while since I've been to Oshkosh, unless the show is where I am already for home or business, hard for me to go with going back and forth West to check on Dad. But they ARE fun.

    Blue - this one was a beauty!

    Blue - push me pull me. I've never flown one, but I remember a 337 coming into an airport we were flying out of. There were actually 2 Skymasters inbound (both forest service). The tower spots a little landing light on the 45 for downwind and says "aircraft on the 45, are you a skymaster?" And this little voice comes back "No SIR, I'm just a STUDENT pilot.


    mikelaforge - let us know what chuck says! Cheers!

    RLS - cubs are hard to beat, I had one named "Otis" after the drunk on Mayberry. He was a bit shabby and a little wobbly, but after a rebuilt tail he was a pretty good bird.

  11. Awww... Love me some O2A! Much appreciated!

    (And I still want one...just as soon as I become wealthy.)

  12. "No SIR, I'm just a STUDENT pilot"

  13. oops! I hit "send" before I was done. I hate when that happens.


    "No SIR, I'm just a STUDENT pilot"

    THAT is funny. Brought tears to my eyes.

  14. Blue - I knew you'd get that. You need a BFR, you know who to call. I may be slow, but I'm still current.

    Hope you and the wife get over to visit again soon. I thoroughly enjoyed that.

  15. Thanks for sharing the photos. Not very many people appreciate the Mohawk, or what the crews went through: Alone unarmed and in the thick of it.


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